Peter Black

Obituary of Peter Black

Peter E. Black, 82, of Syracuse, NY died peacefully at home on Friday, May 12, 2017.

Peter was dearly loved and is survived by his wife, Lida; two brothers, David and Jonathan; and four sons, Steven, Andrew, Douglas and Elliott, and their families.

Born and raised in New York City, Peter attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School and graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a BS in Forestry and an MF in Forest Influences. He received a PhD in Watershed Management from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. 

In 1965, he came to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, becoming a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Water and Related Land Resources. Throughout his career, he wrote many articles and books including Watershed Hydrology and Conservation of Water and Related Land Issues. 

Peter was devoted to teaching and passionate about the importance of water management to the future of people and the planet. In 2006, Peter wrote and recorded “Water Drops,” a weekly series of two minute broadcasts aired by WRVO-FM in NPR programming. The “Drops” were educational, inspiring and often humorous.   

He served on numerous local, state and national advisory groups, including water resource and watershed committees and task forces all the way to the Environmental Advisory Board of the Army Corps of Engineers. He was a member of the American Institute of Hydrology and represented SUNY ESF as an advisory member of the NY State Soil and Water Conservation Committee. He served as president of American Water Resources Association in 1991-92.  

Peter enjoyed singing in the choir at May Memorial Unitarian Church and the University Oratorio Society. Whether he was shooting photos, building a garden pond at home or hiking, he loved nature. He was famous for his amusing quips and love of blueberry pie and chocolate. 

There will be a Memorial Service on Saturday, June 10 at 10 a.m. at May Memorial Unitarian Society at 3800 E. Genesee St. in Syracuse.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to SUNY-ESF, to help create a memorial scholarship in Water Resources in Peter’s name.  Checks can be made out and mailed to: ESF College Foundation, 1 Forestry Drive, 214 Bray Hall, Syracuse, NY 13210, or by calling 315-470-6683.  

Arrangements are with Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel.