Monday, October 26, 2015

Dr. Gale Blackmer appointed Pennsylvania State Geologist

Please welcome Dr. Gale Blackmer as DCNR’s Director, Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey effective November 2, 2015.  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.

Geologic mapping Town Hall at GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore


To be Held in Hilton Baltimore Tubman Meeting Room on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Kevin Gallagher, USGS Associate Director for the Core Science Systems (CSS) Mission Area, recently asked the leadership of the CSS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP) to establish a process aimed at developing a bold new vision for the future of the Program.  The First Annual NCGMP Town Hall Meeting in Baltimore during the 2015 GSA Meeting will initiate that process, and is firstly intended to facilitate an open and informal discussion of the origins, achievements and success of EDMAP, STATEMAP and FEDMAP.  Moreover, recent progress on charting a path forward for geologic mapping, and emerging opportunities for new partnerships that would bolster the existing program while broadening into seamless and 3D geological mapping as an important response to societal needs, will be explored.  We will kick-off the Town Hall Meeting with a call to the NCGMP community for your wisdom on how best to renew the Program’s commitment to build on past success while concurrently embracing worthwhile new directions.  Next, Harvey Thorleifson, Director of the Minnesota Geological Survey, will moderate an Open Discussion of the Call to Action to the NCGMP Community that will be directed towards devising strategies for next steps to better fulfill that Communities' important role in response to the changing needs of society in a changing World.  

The Town Hall Meeting will be held at the Hilton Baltimore, 401 W Pratt St, Baltimore, MD, in the Tubman Meeting Room on Monday, November 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  Seating is limited so please RSVP early to John Brock (; also, the organizers ask that you bring your own coffee or other beverage, as desired.  The Agenda for the Town Hall Meeting will be provided to all confirmed attendees prior to 11/2/15, and please direct any questions or suggestions regarding this event to John Brock, Acting NCGMP Program Coordinator (; 703-648-6053).  The NCGMP leadership hopes to hear your original ideas about how best to continue the Program’s proud tradition while adapting successfully to a changing World, and encourages you to join in the Town Hall discussion. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Obituary for Jon C. Boothroyd, State Geologist of Rhode Island

 Jon Cushing Boothroyd, Ph D
(August 4, 1938 - October 15, 2015)  

Jon C. Boothroyd, Ph.D., 77, of South Kingstown, RI, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, October 15, 2015, at home. Born in Littleton, NH, a son of the late Kenneth I. and Mabel (Cushing) Boothroyd. Jon joined URI in the mid-1970’s as an Assistant Prof. of Geology, where he specialized in Coastal and Environmental Geology. He quickly progressed through the ranks to become a Full Professor. Much of his fervor for geology was heightened by his early field studies of the Malaspina Glacier in southeastern Alaska. His early research focused on Planetary Geology as related to the surface features and processes on the Moon and on Mars. He, perhaps, was best known for his study of coastal processes, especially in Rhode Island and coastal New England. Jon involved many students, both graduate and undergraduates, in his research, and was greatly admired by these students and colleagues. He was a strong believer in giving students experience in the field, and, as a consequence, he ran frequent field trips to Cape Hatteras, NC, the Bay of Fundy, Kentucky, and many parts of New England. He was a fellow of the Geological Society of America, a contributor to the New England Intercollegiate Field Conference, and active in Friends of the Pleistocene.

Jon was a loyal and contributing member of the Narrow River Preservation Association, the RI Natural History Survey, the Friends of Canonchet Farm, and other environmental groups. Shortly before his death he was selected as a recipient to the URI Hall Of Fame. Jon was constantly trying to balance his love for Rhode Island and his compassion for New Hampshire, all his family, friends, and skiing which he shared with everyone.

Jon is survived by his siblings, Judy Perrier and her companion Dennis Caldwell of Gilford, NH, Jim Boothroyd and his wife Linda of Merrimack, NH and Jane Jesseman and her husband Steve of Lisbon, NH and many nieces and nephews. His funeral and burial will be private. Visiting hours are respectfully omitted. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to your favorite charity in Jon’s name.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Jon Boothroyd, Rhode Island State Geologist

We just learned that Jon Boothroyd, Rhode Island State Geologist, died at his home this past Tuesday, October 13.  We will provide more information as we get it.

Jon was professor of geology at the University of Rhode Island and served as State Geologist as an additional duty.

From the Rhode Island Geological Survey web page:

Until 1985 Rhode Island had no formally designated State Geologist. Alonzo W. Quinn served as de facto State Geologist for many decades (1940-1977) but was not named officially. Robert L. McMaster was appointed Associate State Geologist for Marine Affairs (1975-1985) but no State Geologist was named. In 1985 the Governor appointed J. Allan Cain State Geologist, working through the Statewide Planning Program (now Division of Planning). In 1996 Cain resigned and was replaced by Jon C. Boothroyd, who established the State Geological Survey.