Kelly is an associate specialist in Cooperative Extension, adjunct associate professor of ecosystem sciences, and director for the Geospatial Imaging & Informatics Facility.
She played for the Cal women's water polo team at the club level from 1983-87 before it was elevated to varsity status. A member of the U.S. National team for 10 years (1987-94, 1997-98), she competed in four World Championships and was named the USA Water Polo Female Athlete of the Year in 1992. Kelly was also the top U.S. goal-scorer at the World Championships in Rome in 1994.
Inducted into the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame in 2006, Kelly was a part of three national club championships while playing for the Bears. After receiving her bachelor's degree in geography, Kelly earned a master's degree from North Carolina in 1991 and a Ph.D. from Colorado in 1996.