"I've mentored 95 graduate students," he said. "Twenty-some of them are working now as Ph.D.s. In fact, the woman who is replacing me on the Marshall faculty was once one of my students.
"I hope my legacy was that I was a pretty good teacher, and that I influenced my students the way Maxine Thacker and Dr. Green influenced me. I've been blessed and fortunate to have the quality of students I've had at Marshall. It's been a good place to work."
Pauley said he doesn't really know how many papers he authored and co-authored.
"There's been a bunch of them," he said. "And I have several more I'm working on. But what I'm most excited about now are the six books I've been asked to write."
The books include an amphibian-reptile atlas for West Virginia as well as guidebooks to the amphibians and reptiles of West Virginia's state parks, its national forests and its national park areas.
"Also, West Virginia University is doing a series of books on the natural history of the central Appalachians," Pauley said. "I'm doing the volume on amphibians and reptiles."
A couple of the books are nearly complete.
"I've been working on [the atlas] forever," he said. "The manuscript for the state park book is finished, and my wife is editing it. We may be able to get it out this year."
After turning over untold thousands of stones, Pauley has six big ones left to flip.
"I just hope the Lord lets me live long enough to get all this writing done," he said. "I think God put me on this earth for a reason -- to study amphibians and reptiles. I've done a lot of study over these 45 to 50 years. I want to leave that knowledge behind for other people to use. If I can't do that, I haven't fulfilled my mission."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.