About James Odato

In a career rooted in watchdog reporting, Explorer editor James M. Odato has been cited as one of New York’s top journalists covering state government, gambling, and abuse and waste of public money. He has written thousands of articles, his byline has appeared in numerous national publications and his investigative stories have spurred reforms. As a staff reporter for five daily newspapers, including the Albany Times Union and Buffalo News, Odato has received more than 30 awards from the Associated Press, New York Publishers Association, the New York Legislative Correspondents Association and other media organizations. In 2007, Investigative Reporters and Editors recognized his reporting with the Freedom of Information Award Medal. In October 2021, the University of Massachusetts Press released his book, This Brain Had a Mouth, Lucy Gwin and the Voice of Disability Nation.

Reader Interactions


  1. louis curth says

    So sorry to learn of the passing of Tim Barnett, a “legacy guy” who was very much a part of a “legacy generation” of conservation minded men and women who have dedicated much of their lives and creative energy to help preserve and protect these Adirondacks for the benefit of all of us – both now, and in the future.

    In the long ago 1970s, when the Upper Hudson Environmental Action Committee (UHEAC) sought help in preserving a portion of Johnsburg’s Mill Creek, known as the “Black Hole and Dunkley Falls”, it was Tim Barnett of the Adirondack Chapter of Nature Conservancy, who we turned to for advice. Later on, Tim agreed to a detour from another meeting to meet me for an on-site inspection there. Despite some freshly fallen snow, Tim would not allow his low shoes to be an excuse to prevent us from completing a trudge through the woods so he could get a first-hand look at this unique site. Wet feet were just a part of Tim’s work that day.

    I tip my hat to Tim Barnett.

  2. David Gibson says

    Right on, Lou. Tipped hats all the way around to Tim Barnett. Condolences to Claire and their two sons. I miss him already. His resilience in the face of his adversity, his determination and his sense of humor were remarkable. That photo graph of Tim on the ice by Mark Kurtz speaks volumes about him. Each of those Mark photographed in 1992, the Park Centennial, chose their locations. This was Tim’s choice, his pose, his statement.

  3. Rob Davies says

    Tim inspired and was a model for an entire new generation of land conservationists. Gracious partner, mentor, good humored, and always focused on the goal line. He will be greatly missed.

  4. Dean Cook says

    so sorry to learn of tim’s passing he was a unique person i remember asking him what’s the secret of managing TNC especially in it’s early days Tim’s reply was “hire good people and then get out of their way” a greatly appropriate comment from a unique person. he will be greatly missed by everyone in the adirondacks environmental world. thanks Tim for all that you did to preserve the wildness of the lake george area when most people thought it wouldn’t happen

  5. Henrietta Jordan says

    So very sorry to learn of Tim’s death. In addition to his conservation achievements, he was a quietly effective advocate for accessible trails in land trust preserves. He also had a twinkling eye and a marvelous sense of humor. One of the giants of Adirondack conservation has fallen. But his legacy will never die.

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