Professor Pelkey joined the Juniata College faculty in 2002 as an assistant professor of environmental science and information technology. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of California-Davis and went on to earn a doctorate in ecology from the same institution. He has taught courses in environmental science and engineering, stream channel mapping, spatial statistics, animal ecology, GIS and remote sensing, and Information Technology. He is currently designing and implementing a modular course in bioinformatics that will be based on a just in time teaching philosophy.
Pelkey started his academic career in 1998 as a postdoctoral researcher at UC-Davis where he studied collaborative governance efforts in of more than 70 watersheds in Washington and California. In 2000, he served as a lecturer at UC-Davis and taught the research methods course. He was named Brown Faculty Fellow at the University of the South's Landscape Analysis Lab in 2001. In conjunction with Bill Leach, he received the award for Theoretical Paper of the Year from the American Water Resources Association.
He is published in professional journals such as Water Resources Planning and Management, Biological Conservation, African Journal of Ecology and Conservation Biology. He has also presented at national conferences sponsored by the American Political Science Association, the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Federation, The American Public Policy and Management Association, and the Society for Conservation Biology.
He has received research grants in collaboration with other fine researchers from such agencies as the India Canada Environment Facility, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
He is currently on the board of directors for the Foundation for Ecological Research, Advocacy and Learning in Pondicherry, India.
His wife, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, is a faculty member at Juniata College as well.