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Val Kells

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Class of 1986

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Val Kells is an author and widely recognized Marine Science Illustrator whose specialty is marine and brackish-water fishes. Her work is precise, highly detailed and scientifically accurate. She recently illustrated, designed and co-authored “A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: from Alaska to California.” This four-and-a-half year project includes almost 700 species descriptions and over 950 illustrations of Pacific coast fishes. This important book is the companion to “A Field Guide to Coastal Fishes: from Maine to Texas,” which she also co-authored and designed and for which she produced 1,079 full-color illustrations. Other notable books that feature her work include “Field Guide to Fishes of the Chesapeake Bay” and the forthcoming “Tunas and Billfishes of the World.” Val has also developed and produced thousands of full-color, black-and-white and mixed-media identification and interpretive illustrations for permanent and temporary displays at over 30 public aquariums, museums and nature centers in the US and abroad. Val received her degree in Environmental Science and Science Communication and Illustration from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1986. She was one of the first students in the Science Illustration program.