National Park Service
Person of the Month


Theodore (Ted) Sudia

Theodore (Ted) W. Sudia, former chief scientist of the National Park Service and one of the two co-founders of the George Wright Society, died on April 15, 2015 at his home in Pittsburgh at the age of 89.

Ted Sudia

Ted proudly served in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II as a radar operator on the YMS-200, a minesweeper in the Pacific. He received his doctorate from the Ohio State University in Plant Ecology/Plant Physiology. Ted held the position of Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota and later became the Chief Scientist of the National Park Service, where he retired after 25 years of service in 1995.

Ted joined forces with another former NPS chief scientist, Robert M. Linn, to create the George Wright Society (GWS) in 1980. During the next decade, Bob, Ted, and other GWS members worked tirelessly to get the Society established — all as volunteers. The George Wright Society is an organization dedicated to the protection, preservation and management of cultural and natural parks and reserves through research and education.

Ted Sudia was exceptional in his ability to see emerging trends and imagine how they might be applicable to the protection of parks, protected areas, and cultural sites. For example, he wrote some of the earliest materials in the National Park Service on the topic of urban ecology. And of course, he saw the need for an interdisciplinary professional association dedicated to the betterment of parks.

Of Ted's numerous accomplishments, in the mid-1970's he led in the formation of the small not-for-profit Institute for domestic Tranquility and authored the National Park Service Urban Ecology Series.

Last Updated: 18-May-2015