Melissa Kelly

Staff Director and Attorney

Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources


Melissa Kelly serves as CLEANR's Staff Director and Attorney, developing the Center's research and public engagement programming in consultation with Faculty Director Alex Camacho and CLEANR's faculty advisors. Before joining CLEANR in this role, Melissa worked as a staff attorney at Los Angeles Waterkeeper. There, she managed the organization’s industrial stormwater enforcement program, bringing Clean Water Act lawsuits to address industrial stormwater pollution throughout LA County, advocated for integrated water supply management and strengthened interagency coordination, and built community partnerships. Prior to her work at LA Waterkeeper, Melissa was CLEANR's first Environmental and Land Use Fellow. She received her Juris Doctor cum laude from the University of California, Irvine School of Law and her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

(Log in to view full course descriptions in the UCI Law Course Catalog)

  • Joseph F. DiMento, Melissa L. Kelly & Kaitlin O'Donnell, Arctic Sustainability Law: Almost Sufficient, 47 N.C. J. Int'l L. 247 (2022).
  • Alejandro E. Camacho, Melissa L. Kelly & Ya-Wei Li, Six Priority Recommendations for Improving Conservation under the ESA, 51 Envtl. L. Rep. 10785 (2021).
  • Melissa L. Kelly, Caroline Koch, Cynthia Koehler & Alejandro E. Camacho, Tap into Resilience: Pathways for Localized Water Infrastructure (2021).
  • Melissa L. Kelly, Genna Reed, Gretchen T. Goldman & Jacob M. Carter, Safeguarding against Distortions of Scientific Research in Federal Policymaking, 51 Envtl. L. Rep. 10014 (2021).
  • Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists & UCI Law Center for Land, Environment, and Natural Resources, Conflicts of Interest at Federal Agencies: Recommendations for 2021 and Beyond (2020).
  • Alejandro E. Camacho, Melissa L. Kelly, Nicholas J. Marantz, and Gabriel Weil, Mitigating Climate Change Through Transportation and Land Use Policy, 49 Envtl. L. Rep. 10473 (2019).
  • Alejandro E. Camacho, Elizabeth M. Taylor, Melissa L. Kelly & Stephanie L. Talavera, Emerging Regulatory Experiments in Permit Process Coordination for Endangered Species and Aquatic Resources in California, 46 Envtl. L. Rep. 10131 (2016).
  • Alejandro E. Camacho, Elizabeth M. Taylor & Melissa L. Kelly, Lessons from Area-Wide, Multi-Agency Habitat Conservation Plans in California, 46 Envtl. L. Rep. 10222 (2015).