Martin R. Kaatz

1924 - 2012

Martin Richard Kaatz, a long-time geography professor at Central Washington University, died on November 24, 2012, from complications following heart surgery. He was 88.

Following service in U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1943-46 in the Phillippines and Japan, Kaatz earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in geography from the University of Michigan. In 1952, he joined the faculty at Central Washington University where his career spanned more than 40 years. He was a 1965-66 Fulbright scholar while teaching at Trinity College in Dublin. Kaatz served 15 years as chair of CWU’s Geography and Land Studies Department.

In addition to his academic service, Kaatz was involved in several organizations, boards, and committees, helping shape land use planning in Ellensburg, Wash., Kittitas County, and the Yakima River Basin. CWU honored him for his service naming him a Distinguished University Professor of Public Service in 1980. The Cascade Land Conservancy recognized his lifetime achievements in conservation in 2006. In 2011, He was honored by the City of Ellensburg for his many years of service to the city.

A memorial service was held on Mar. 23 in Ellensburg, Wash., at the Hal Holmes Center. The Martin Kaatz Geography Scholarship Fund has been established in his honor.