Ellen Kohler

Ellen Kohler Headshot

Director of Applied Research and Programs

McNeil Building Rm 412
3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Ellen joins the Water Center after serving as the Program Director for Water Resources at the University of Maryland’s Environmental Finance Center. Her work there focused on water resource management issues challenging communities in the mid-Atlantic region, particularly supporting multi-municipal collaborations to improve water quality and integrated water planning to address drinking water, wastewater and stormwater management. Addressing these challenges has required rethinking financing strategies that provide more equitable outcomes for communities continuing to experience environmental burdens. She brings more than 25 years of experience addressing the legal, regulatory and policy context of water quality and natural resource challenges. Her career began at the US Department of Justice in Washington DC as a trial attorney in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division handling wildlife litigation. After a move to northern Michigan, she started a business providing natural resources policy and legal services for a range of clients including watershed groups, conservation organizations, tribal governments and local governments. Returning to the mid-Atlantic region in 2012, she helped lead a team developing a funding mechanism for source water protection in the Brandywine-Christina watershed as the project manager for the Delaware Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and provided consulting services to several watershed associations and conservation organizations who all shared a commitment to improving water quality in the Delaware River basin. She received her JD from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her MS from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources (now Environment and Sustainability).


MS, University of Michigan School of Natural Resources (now Environment and Sustainability)

JD, University of Colorado at Boulder

Research Interests

Infrastructure/Utility Management and Funding; Environmental Justice & Water Equity; Urban Resilience & Sustainability; Watershed Planning & Governance; Source Water Protection; Freshwater Law & Policy; Climate Change Adaptation; Flood Risk and Stormwater Management