Earth Scientist
Earth Scientist


Note: Ellen Kennedy left PNNL in January 2023. Please contact Tara O'Neil at or 509-371-6118 for information about our cultural resources, stakeholder engagement, environmental justice, and NEPA capabilities.


Ellen Kennedy has 25 years’ experience working in the field of cultural resources management and is a senior cultural resources subject matter expert at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Over the past 20 years at PNNL, Ms. Kennedy has provided National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance expertise to a variety of federal clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Ms. Kennedy served as the project manager for PNNL’s Cultural Resources Project, providing program-wide support to DOE’s Richland Operations Office, Cultural and Historic Resources Program at the Hanford Site. In this role, Ms. Kennedy was responsible for managing and leading compliance activities for complex clean-up projects entailing cultural resource field assessments, National Register of Historic Places evaluations, development of agreement documents, and facilitation of tribal and stakeholder engagement. Ms. Kennedy also has provided technical cultural resource compliance and NEPA support for DOE’s Office of Science Pacific Northwest Site Office, with a focus on tribal involvement and the development of innovative mitigation strategies to protect traditional cultural resources.

Ms. Kennedy served as PNNL's lead cultural resources subject matter expert for NEPA and National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Review compliance supporting NRC, entailing tribal engagement and contributions to a variety of NRC NEPA documents (i.e., Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Assessments) for the Office of New Reactors, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, and the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation. In this capacity, Ms. Kennedy is also leading cultural-resource-specific updates to the NRC guidance documents and developing knowledge management tools. Additional support to NRC includes assisting in the resolution of public comments on a variety of NRC-related documents and rulemakings, including the Draft Waste Confidence Decision Environmental Impact Statement, conducting policy-related research in support of NRC’s Fitness for Duty Program. In addition, Ms. Kennedy supports DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy by conducting cultural-resource-related research associated with operating nuclear power plants located across the United States to identify potential cultural resource concerns and American Indian Tribes that may have interest or historical ties to these areas.

Ms. Kennedy has additional expertise in ethnography, oral history, and elicitation and has conducted oral history and ethnographic interviews with American Indian tribes and local community members, as well as elicitation interviews with scientists and policy experts.


  • B.A., Double major in Historic Preservation and Anthropology, Mary Washington College, 1993
  • M.A., Anthropology, Western Washington University, 1998

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Society for Applied Anthropology
  • Secretary of Interior Qualified Professional Archeologist

Awards and Recognitions

  • March 2015 Support on NRC Waste Confidence Comment Response Database Project
  • January 2017 Support to the NRC “Fitness for Duty” Research Project
  • January 2017 Support to DOE-NE Consent-Based Siting Project
  • March 2017 Support to DOE-PNSO Campus Future Development Environmental Assessment



  • Rodman L., S.J. Maheras, E. Bickford, and E.P. Kennedy. 2020. "Planning for Nuclear Power Plant Site Visits." In Waste Management Symposium 2020. PNNL-SA-149620. 
  • Lerchen M.E., A.C. Dalton, E.P. Kennedy, D. Goodman, and A.L. Bunn. 2020. Prescription Drug Use in the Workplace. PNNL-30718. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.



  • Duncan J.P., M.R. Sackschewsky, M.D. Ellefson, J.M. Becker, J.M. Barnett, T.W. Moon, and E.P. Kennedy, et al. 2018. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Annual Site Environmental Report for Calendar Year 2017. PNNL-27831. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • Lerchen M.E., E.P. Kennedy, and A.C. Dalton. 2018. Requiring Total Abstinence from Alcohol Consumption and Testing for EtG. PNNL-27318. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 


  • Branch K., M.E. Lerchen, E.P. Kennedy, and A.C. Dalton. 2017. Factors Affecting the Regulatory Context of Marijuana and Cannabinoids in the Workplace. PNNL-27050. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • McDowell B.K., C.D. Ross, D.M. Anderson, J.M. Becker, J.P. Duncan, D.L. Edwards, E.P. Kennedy, P.P. Lowry, J.L. Mendez, P.D. Meyer, M.J. Paker, J.P. Rishel, and M.A. Smith. 2017. Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland Future Campus Development. PNNL-26488. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 
  • Kennedy E.P. and K. Branch. 2017. The Use of Electronic Communications to Perform Determinations of Fitness. PNNL-26237. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


  • Gutzeit J.L., E.P. Kennedy, B.N. Bjornstad, M.R. Sackschewsky, J.J. Sharpe, R. DeMaris, and M. Venno, et al. 2011. Cultural Resources Review for Closure of the nonradioactive Dangerous Waste Landfill and Solid Waste Landfill in the 600 Area, Hanford Site, Benton County, Washington, HCRC# 2010-600-018R. PNNL-20162. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.




  • Neitzel D.A., A.L. Bunn, S.D. Cannon, J.P. Duncan, R.A. Fowler, B.G. Fritz, and D.W. Harvey, et al. 2005. Hanford Site National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Characterization Report, Revision 17. PNNL-6415, Rev. 17. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • Prendergast-Kennedy E.L. 2005. "Protecting Traditional Places Located on Private Property in Western Washington." Journal of Northwest Anthropology 39(2):139164. PNWD-SA-6894.
  • Scott M.J., C.A. Brandt, A.L. Bunn, D.W. Engel, P.W. Eslinger, T.B. Miley, and B.A. Napier, et al. 2005. "Modeling Long-term Risk to Environmental and Human Systems at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation: Scope and Findings from the Initial Model." Environmental Management 35(1):8498. PNNL-SA-37678.





  • Neitzel D.A., E.J. Antonio, T.O. Eschbach, R.A. Fowler, S.M. Goodwin, D.W. Harvey, and P.L. Hendrickson, et al. 2001. Hanford Site National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Characterization. PNNL-6415, Rev. 13. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
  • Prendergast E.L. 2001. "Historic Preservation: An Unusual Way to Protect Human Subjects in Research." Protecting Human Subjects. PNNL-SA-35019.