The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources recently named John Norbeck Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry and Dr. Gale Blackmer, Director, Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey.
DCNR had previously named John Hallis Director of the Bureau of State Parks after the retirement of David Kemmerer last December.
John Norbeck returned to the DCNR family in August 2015. As DCNR's Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry, he oversees operations of the bureaus of State Parks, Forestry, and Facility Design and Construction, and helps advance DCNR’s strategic initiatives.
Norbeck served as the director of the Bureau of State Parks from 2006-2012. During his tenure, the bureau was awarded the National Gold Medal for Best Managed State Park System in the country, 2009-2011.
John spearheaded outstanding infrastructure investments in the Pennsylvania Wilds, including the Bald Eagle Nature Inn, Elk Country Visitor Center, Kinzua Bridge Skywalk and Sinnemahoning Wildlife Center.
Additionally, he served as the lead for the Lower Susquehanna Conservation Landscape; increased public private partnerships from 100 to 145 over six years; updated the agency's revenue enhancement program from $13 million to $21.5 million annually; and established a Green Parks Initiative resulting in reducing the bureau’s carbon footprint and increasing energy efficiencies throughout the agency.
Prior to joining DCNR, Norbeck served nearly 30 years through the ranks as a state parks professional in Maryland Department of Natural Resources, State Forest and Park Service, including roles as regional manager, acting chief of field operations, park program manager, training manager, operations park manager and park ranger.
For these career efforts in the two state park systems, in 2012 he was awarded the President’s Award from the National Association of State Parks Directors.
Since early 2014, he served as the chief operating officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy organization.
Dr. Gale Blackmer
Effective, Nov. 2, 2015, Dr. Gale Blackmer was named Director, Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. In this role, Gale will serve as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s State Geologist responsible for directing the work of the bureau.
She will be responsible for managing and directing the statewide program of collecting, preserving and disseminating impartial information on the Commonwealth’s geology, geologic resources, and topography.
Additionally she will be actively engaged with internal DCNR staff and external stakeholders and partners to maintain and develop collaborative relationships.
Gale is currently the Acting Director for the bureau where she has led the bureau through this transitionary period.
Prior to assuming the acting position, Gale served as Assistant Bureau Director and manager of the Geologic Mapping Division where, among many other things, she was responsible for the activities related to the StateMap federal grant program, oversaw the management of the Pennsylvania Groundwater Information System, and managed the South Newark Basin study.
Gale has been with DCNR and the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey for over 15 years starting as Geologic Scientist and working her way through the ranks to now be bureau director.Gale has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Geology, a Master’s degree from Penn State in Geology and Doctorate from Penn State in Geology.