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James Kelley

Professor Emeritus
Physical Oceanography

Emeritus since 2001


B.A. Geology- Pomona College
Ph.D. Geology- University of Wyoming

Research and Teaching Areas

From the moment Kelley joined SFSU as dean in 1975, he has actively encouraged faculty to pursue grants for research, pushed for recruitment of a diverse faculty, established new facilities such as the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC), published his own research in oceanography and geology, taught classes, mentored fellow faculty in the College, and much more. During his 26-year tenure, the College has increased annual external funding for research from $100,000 upon his arrival as dean to $22 million today, which he says is one of his two greatest accomplishments as dean. That $22 million represents 60 percent of the College’s budget. In addition, he emphasizes that all of the research is conducted to benefit students as well as faculty. n conducting his research on coastal upwelling, Jim Kelley was one of the first oceanographers to employ advanced technology at sea to collect and analyze oceanographic data. He also served as president of the California Academy of Sciences from 1985 to 1993. In 2000, the academy awarded him with the Fellows’ Medal — its highest honor — for his ground-breaking work and his role as Dean of the College of Science and Engineering.

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