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February 11, 2016
Pennsylvania DCNR Names New Director of the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 10, 2016—Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today applauded the appointment of Gale Blackmer as director of the department’s Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. Blackmer, who holds a doctorate in geology, had served as the bureau’s acting director for five months.

“A true ‘people person,’ Gale is certain to strive toward her goal of making her bureau more accessible to the public and its role better understood in so many programs across the state,” Dunn said. “Serving in a variety of roles during her DCNR employment, she has displayed the intelligence, enthusiasm and energy needed to chart the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey on its continued productive course.”

A native of New Castle County, Delaware, Blackmer takes over the reins of a DCNR bureau being increasingly drawn into the public’s eye as it addresses sinkhole and earth-slide concerns; amasses essential information on oil, gas and water well drilling; and continues to advance and expand statewide, web-based mapping techniques.

“I am honored to lead this organization of talented and dedicated individuals with a long history of working with a wide variety of stakeholders within and outside of government,” Blackmer said. “We will continue that free-flow of scientific information to every level — from highly technical professionals to hobbyists and interested citizens. Looking to the future, we will work to make our geologic data more easily accessible to the public.

“That effort has started with modernization of our public-facing databases of oil and gas well information and water well information, and development of our web-mapping application. The survey will move into developing 3-D geologic maps, in part, to understand geologic controls on groundwater flow and quality.”

Blackmer, 53, of Linglestown, Dauphin County, succeeds George Love, who retired in May 2015 after serving five years as director.

In her new role, Blackmer serves as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s State Geologist. She is responsible for managing and directing the statewide program of collecting, preserving and disseminating impartial information on the state’s geology, geologic resources and topography. Also, she will be engaged with internal DCNR staff and external stakeholders and partners to maintain and develop collaborative relationships.

Joining the DCNR team in 1999 as a geologic scientist, Blackmer held a variety of positions within her bureau. Before assuming the acting director’s post, she served as assistant bureau director and manager of the Geologic Mapping Division. She was responsible for the StateMap federal grant program; oversaw the management of the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System; and managed the South Newark Basin study.

Presently chair of the Geological Society of America’s Northeast Section, Blackmer holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Pennsylvania; and a master’s and doctorate in geology from Pennsylvania State University.

For more information on the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey visit the DCNR website atwww.dcnr.pa.gov and select “Geology.”

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