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Kelly L Warner

Kelly Warner is the Center Director for the Columbia Environmental Research Center.

Kelly has been on the leading edge of new technology and interpretive science. She began her career as a graduate student collecting surface water data and working on an urban lake project.  As digital spatial applications evolved, she developed an international study of groundwater quality in the Great Lakes basin that was supported by International Joint Commission. Kelly helped to write the groundwater and urban water component of the first biennial report on Great Lakes groundwater quality as part of international Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Kelly and colleagues presented this research to the International Association of Hydrogeologists in Rome, Italy, on the impact of urban development on water quality for US and Canada.

Kelly spent part of her career as Regional Aquifer Coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program where she led a regional team of hydrologists from Maine to Washington on investigations of water quality in the glacial aquifer system. New analytical and interpretive methods were used for understanding changes in water quality across northern United States including methods of arsenic speciation and redox mapping. As a supervisor of water quality studies in Illinois, Kelly helped grow a large program using new methods for continuous monitoring of nitrate and phosphate. The network in Illinois was one of the largest in the country which led to her participation in a Congressional briefing in Washington, DC on the science and interpretive value of the new continuous nutrient sensors.  From 2017-2024, Kelly was the Deputy Director of Science for the Central Midwest Water Science Center, where she led innovative science and research on water resources in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri. 

In 2024, Kelly became the Center Director for the Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia, MO.


*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government