Dr. Melissa Keeley is Associate Professor, in Geography and Public Policy and Public Administration, at the George Washington University. Her research on urban sustainability examines the intersection of urban ecology, engineering, and environmental policy and planning. Dr. Keeley’s active research interests are clustered around several themes, including urban sustainability policy, green infrastructure, and transnational policy adaptation. Dr. Keeley’s research directly led to the addition of the Green Area Ratio in Washington, D.C.’s 2013 zoning rewrite. She is a co-author of Urban Sustainability in the US: Cities Take Action (2019). She regularly consults to governmental agencies, such as the EPA and HUD, and advises decision-makers in cities, including Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Dr. Keeley is the Academic Advisor for 70+ Environmental Studies majors, and in 2019-20 led the development of the new Environmental and Sustainability Science BS.
She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on topics of urban sustainability, water resources and environmental management, and field methods. Her courses include those with hands-on field work (including Field Methods and the Senior Capstone class), frequently have significant service-learning components, and she regularly teaches writing-intensive classes. She is the 2021 recipient of a GWU teaching award: WID Award for Best Assignment Design.
Dr. Keeley has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship. She previously worked as a stream restoration ecologist in Philadelphia, and then at the Berlin Environmental Ministry and the Ecologic Institute of International and EU Environmental Policy. Dr. Keeley received her doctorate in Environmental Engineering from the Technical University of Berlin and was a post-doctoral fellow at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.