Kelly serves as Conservation Programs Manager and Grant Writer for the Turtle Conservancy. She has spent the bulk of the last 17 years working in the Mojave Desert with the threatened Desert Tortoise, specifically in the intersection of large-scale renewable energy development and endangered species protection. She holds a Master of Science degree in Ecology and Systematics, and earned a distinguished Master’s thesis award for her research on the relationship between climate and harvester ant behavior. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in nonfiction writing, and has published several essays expounding on the wonders of science and nature. She is an advocate for preserving wilderness as well as turtles and tortoises of all persuasions, and has served on the board of the Mojave Desert Land Trust since 2013.