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Membership Meeting - Satellites, Sound & Software

Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 6:30 PM
2503 Washington Street
Port Townsend, WA  98368

Additional Info:
Member Meetings
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Chris Kelley Talk

Chris will also speak specifically about efforts in Jefferson County to gain a better understanding and better ways to deal with 2 potential marine resource problems in Puget Sound: decreasing bull kelp beds that are important for many species of marine life and derelict crab pots, 12,000 of which are estimated to be lost each year in the sound.

Christopher Kelley, PhD Bio



I retired from the University of Hawaii in 2018 and moved from Hawaii to Port Townsend in 2019.  From 2000 to 2018, I served as the program biologist for the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) at the University of Hawaii.  During that period, I also served as graduate research faculty for the Oceanography Department as well as affiliate faculty at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology serving on both masters and PhD graduate student committees and mentoring undergraduate students through the Holling Scholarship program.


In addition to my deep water biology work for HURL, I have lead a number of multibeam and sidescan sonar mapping projects throughout the Hawaiian archipelago, including mapping the bottomfish habitat depths of 100-400 m around all of the main Hawaiian Islands, and 72 days of mapping in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument on board the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s ship Falkor.  Onboard the Falkor, I mentored US and international graduate students in the planning and execution of multibeam sonar mapping cruises as well as processing sonar data.  My sidescan sonar towfish surveys off Oahu led to the discovery of a number of submerged cultural resources, the most significant of which was the Japanese midget sub sunk by the US destroyer Ward moments before the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.  I have been working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software since 1998 and have been contracted to create various types of GIS projects including the first multibeam backscatter synthesis of the seafloor surrounding the Main Hawaiian Islands.


Volunteer Activities


Since retiring and moving to Port Townsend, I have continued to assist in deep water research, serving as the lead scientist on Nautilus cruises and serving as an onshore scientist for both Nautilus and Okeanos Explorer cruises.  I have also continued to assist my old lab in Hawaii with animal identifications, mentoring an undergraduate student in GIS, and examining glass sponge specimens that other researchers have sent me for help in their identification (I set up a small lab in my house here).  I am also trying to help OET locate historic shipwrecks by examining existing sonar data.


However, I have also been very interested in volunteering locally, helping Port Townsend and Jefferson County in any way I can.  I am currently serving on the Jefferson County Marine Resources Committee.  After arriving here in June of 2019, I volunteered for the Wooden Boat Festival and my wife and I are also assisting the Jefferson Land Trust in maintaining the wildlife cameras both in the Olympic National Forest and in local preserves such as Quimper East, Quimper West, and the Illahee Preserve.  I have given 2 public talks for the Port Townsend Marine Science Center In 2020, I served as a task force member for the review of the Jefferson County Coastal Management Plan.  I applied because of my GIS experience and created my own Coastal management plan GIS for personal use and to become more familiar with coastal management zones, designations, and issues.