MEMBER SNAPSHOT / Michael Kudish

Michael Kudish, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Paul Smith's College Division of Forestry

Michael Kudish at home.

photos: Heather Phelps-Lipton

“In 1969, the first people stood on the moon and looked back at the earth - observing that all life was concentrated on our small planet - resulting in the environmental movement. That same year, The Catskill Center was formed.

Kudish’s Forest History of Belleayre Mountain

 “In 1970, when I joined as a graduate student working on my Ph.D. thesis "Vegetational History of the Catskill High  Peaks", we had out first Earth Day. The Catskill Center was then the only private organization that bound the whole region together and cared for its environment. There was no question that I should join.

“At one time we had an advisory board in addition to the Board of Directors; I served on that advisory board for decades. There were also many lectures to give, many field trips to lead, and many articles to write for the Center's newsletter; more recently these have been on the history of hemlock and forest diseases, a flora of the Platte Clove Preserve,  and a map of first growth forest for the Catskill Interpretive Center exhibits.

“My first major project with the Center was as a member of the Wilderness and Wildlands Committee - along with Ed West and Dan Smiley - mapping the forest for the Temporary State Commission to Study the Catskills; the Center was an advisory body to the Commission in the mid-1970s.

“About 2008, one of the Center's board members suggested that copies of my field notes (several thousand pages of them) be housed in the Center's library, not only as a back-up for my home library, but also available to anyone who might want to use them as reference material.

 “The Catskill Center fills a great need. We have no college IN the Catskills. The Catskill Center IS the College of the Catskills because in it is concentrated a highly-trained faculty-like staff more than willing to share their gifts and knowledge with the other inhabitants of the region.”

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