Michael Kodas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, reporter and author, and the Senior Editor at Inside Climate News, America’s oldest and largest newsroom focused on the biggest crisis facing our planet.
He was the winner of the 2018 Colorado Book Award for General Nonfiction for his book, Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame, which was also named one of the 20 best nonfiction books of 2017 by Amazon. He is also the author of the bestseller High Crimes: The Fate of Everest in an Age of Greed, which was named Best Non-Fiction in USA Book News’ National Best Books Awards of 2008 and was the subject of a question on the game show Jeopardy.
Michael’s photography was featured in the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick documentary The Vietnam War and he has appeared on the HBO program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; in the American Experience documentary The Big Burn on PBS; in the Denver Post’s Emmy Award-winning documentary The Fire Line and in numerous other film, television and radio programs. His writing, investigations and photojournalism focus on a wide range of environmental issues including wildfire and other climate-related hazards, deforestation, climate change, fisheries, energy, development and endangered species. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, Outside, OnEarth.org, GEO, Der Spiegel, The Denver Post, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, and numerous other publications in the United States and abroad. He has appeared on the PBS NewsHour with Judy Woodruff, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition Sunday on National Public Radio, Dateline NBC and many other radio and television programs.
From 2013 to 2019 Michael was alternately the Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he directed the prestigious Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental Journalism, which brings five mid-career journalists focused on environmental topics to the university each academic year.
In 1999 he was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage at The Hartford Courant, where Michael was a photographer, picture editor and writer from 1987 until 2008. He has also been honored with a Gold Medal from the Lowell Thomas/Society of American Travel Writers as well as honors from the Pictures of the Year International competition, the National Press Photographers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Headliner Awards.
For more than two decades Michael has taken his cameras and notebooks to some of the most difficult to reach environments on the planet. He has fought forest fires with the U.S. Forest Service, circumnavigated Long Island Sound in a sea kayak, trekked deep into the burning rainforests of Brazil and Indonesia, accompanied veterans mapping minefields in Vietnam, ridden fishing vessels into the Atlantic Ocean and climbed Himalayan peaks in Nepal and Tibet. In 2004 and 2006 he climbed on Mount Everest to investigate crime on the mountain’s slopes.
Michael’s multimedia speaking engagements have drawn hundreds of visitors to universities, municipal auditoriums and corporate events across the United States. His photographs and video make for uniquely inspiring and motivating events.
Michael completed photojournalism and news/editorial programs at the University of Missouri, was a Davidoff Scholar at the Wesleyan Writers Workshop and a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado Boulder.