Associate Director of the CEJ, Author and Photojournalist
Michael Kodas is the Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado, a photojournalist and the author of the bestselling book High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed. The book was named Best Non-Fiction in USA Book News’ National Best Books Awards of 2008, and was a question on the game show Jeopardy! Kodas was part of a team of journalists at The Hartford Courant awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage in 1999. He has also received a Gold Medal from the Lowell Thomas/Society of American Travel Writers, and awards from the Pictures of the Year International competition, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Press Photographers Association, the Society of Newspaper Design, the New England Associated Press News Executives Association, and numerous other professional organizations.
Kodas’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Outside.com, GEO, and numerous other publications in the United States and abroad. From 1987 to 2008, he was a staff photographer, writer, and picture editor at The Hartford Courant - America’s oldest continuously published newspaper - where he specialized in adventure and environmental journalism.
In addition to his investigative journalism on Mount Everest, Kodas’s projects include:
• “Call of the Wildfires,” a project for which he worked as both a firefighter and journalist on fires in Wyoming and Colorado.
• "An Appalachian Adventure" for which he walked 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail to produce photos and stories that ran in The Courant, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the Raleigh News and Observer, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Portland (Maine) Newspapers, and an illustrated book.
• "The Urban Sea," a circumnavigation of Long Island Sound by sea kayak to look at the pressures on one of America’s most threatened bodies of water.
• "Feeling the Heat," an investigation into the causes and effects of the deforestation of the rainforests of Brazil and Costa Rica.
• "Troubled Waters" an 18-month series of stories looking at the devastation of New England's marine environment and fishing industry.
• “Kissing the Sky” an expedition to the summit of Ama Dablam, a 22,494-foot Himalayan peak, from which Kodas produced a series of stories looking at the changing role of women in mountaineering.
• “Voyage of the Freedom Schooner Amistad,” a project documenting the recreation and maiden voyage of the Amistad - the cargo schooner on which 53 kidnapped Africans rebelled in 1839.
• A journey to Vietnam with American veterans helping to remove the minefields and ordnance the U.S. soldiers left behind at the end of the Vietnam War.
Kodas is currently working on a new book and multimedia project, Megafire, which will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2015.