Vol. 39, No. 2
Richard Roberts Hice, circa 1910, Commissioner (1903–09) and State Geologist
(1909–19) of the Topographic and Geologic Survey Commission of Pennsylvania
(from Ashley, 1926, opposite p. 94). See article on page 3.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Edward G. Rendell, Governor
DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
John Quigley, Acting Secretary
OFFICE OF CONSERVATION AND TECHNICAL SERVICES
Cindy Adams Dunn, Deputy Secretary
BUREAU OF TOPOGRAPHIC AND GEOLOGIC SURVEY
Jay B. Parrish, Director
Bureau web site: www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo
DCNR web site: www.dcnr.state.pa.us
Pennsylvania home page: www.state.pa.us
Table of Contents
Editorial – More or Less……………………………………………………………....... 1
Richard Roberts Hice - Third State Geologist of Pennsylvania……………………....... 3
Meet the Staff- Part 7- Geologic Mapping Division……………………………………10
Geoheritage Corner……………………………………………………………………. 19
PENNSYLVANIA GEOLOGY is published quarterly by the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey,
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 3240 Schoolhouse Road, Middletown,
This Edition’s Editor: Gary M. Fleeger.
Links to web sites in articles in this issue were valid as of the date of release of this issue.
Contributed articles are welcome. Guidelines for manuscript preparation may be obtained at
www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/pub/pageolmag/pageolguide.aspx or by contacting the editor at the address
listed above. To subscribe send an email to RAemail@example.com.
Vol 39, No. 2 Summer, 2009
More or Less
Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Recently we found that a vandal had defaced the survey monument at the top of Mt.
Davis marking the highest point in Pennsylvania (see Geoheritage Corner on page 19). By
chipping away the rock at the base of the brass monument, they have inadvertently made it
a slightly lower spot on the earth’s surface. So here someone wanted to get the monument
as a souvenir, but by so doing, not only destroyed a survey monument (which is illegal) but
destroyed the very meaning of the monument itself by lowering it! I will pass on the
obvious crime of messing with a survey monument. Such a marker was created for the
common good, yet one person can selfishly destroy it in an instant, to the common
detriment of all, making it meaningless by the very act itself. This is akin to finding a great
fossil and whacking it to pieces in an effort to extricate it.
Mt. Davis benchmark before (from http://www.climber.org/Feature/HighPoints2000/pa.html)
and after (photograph by James Shaulis) attempted removal.
On another note:
Recent budget cuts have hit all state agencies rather hard. We have had to put some
large and necessary projects on hold or greatly reduce their scope. While PAMAP has no
state budget but continues along using primarily USGS funding (thank you, USGS!), we
have become deeply involved in carbon sequestration.
Act 129 authorizes us to conduct a study of the entire state to determine the suitability
for carbon sequestration. As a result, we are purchasing existing seismic reflection data as
well as collecting new data, revising the state gravity map, and acquiring new low-level
aeromagnetic data. As we progress with data collection this year, expect to see the
geophysical data on our web pages. Everything we collect will be publicly available, and I
look forward to some of you reinterpreting what we find.
The lidar dataset for the state is still a few counties short of completion. We are
hopeful that some federal funding may help us close that gap. If you’ve had a chance to
look at the digital elevation models (DEMs) in detail, I’m sure you’ll agree that they are
excellent aids in geologic mapping.
Recent developments have made us data rich while we struggle along like everyone
else with loss of staff. All in all, it is an exciting time at the Survey as we continue our core
function of basic geologic mapping while adding the carbon sequestration work and its
associated bounty of geologic information.
Richard Roberts Hice
Third State Geologist of Pennsylvania 1
By Clifford H. Dodge
Pennsylvania Geological Survey
Richard Roberts Hice (1865–1925) (cover) is remembered today primarily for his
role as the third state geologist of Pennsylvania (1909–1919)2. He held this position during
the time of the Topographic and Geologic Survey Commission of Pennsylvania (1899–
1919), informally known as the Third Geological Survey of Pennsylvania. Yet, as ―a man
of broad interests and a keen observer‖ (Ashley, 1926, p. 95), Hice was also an
accomplished businessman, consulting geologist, and expert on the economic geology of
western Pennsylvania. In addition, he was a strong conservationist. Hice was affiliated
with several scientific and technical organizations and devoted considerable attention to
some. He loved geology and enjoyed research and writing; his work was published in a
number of scientific journals. He also had a keen interest in other fields of science, such as
astronomy. He traveled extensively in the United States and maintained a winter home in
Fort Myers, Fla., where he cultivated orange trees. Hice was known to many for his
engaging personality and strong physique. Blue-eyed and fair-haired, he was described by
Ashley (1926, p. 94) as having ―a breezy, hearty manner that made him good company
wherever he went.‖
Background and Early Career
The second child of Judge Henry and Ruth Ann (née Ralston) Hice, a prominent
western Pennsylvania family, Richard Hice was born on August 19, 1865, in the town of
Beaver—about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh. Sadly, Hice was only seven when his
mother died in 1872, though his father later remarried. A lifelong resident of Beaver, he
was educated at local public schools and graduated from Geneva College, Beaver Falls,
Pa., in 1886, with a baccalaureate in natural sciences. Held in high esteem for a very
successful career, he was later awarded an honorary Sc.D. by his alma mater in 1913.
Following graduation from college, Hice read law under his father but discontinued his
studies six months before completion. It was decided that he should pursue a career
involving outdoor work, owing to health concerns (Ashley, 1926).
This article, slightly modified, is reproduced by permission of the Association of American State Geologists
from Cobb, J. C., ed., 2008, Association of American State Geologists Centennial History—1908–2008:
Association of American State Geologists, 524 p.
The previous state geologists were Henry D. Rogers (1808–66) for the First Geological Survey of
Pennsylvania (1836–42, 1851–58) and J. Peter Lesley (1819–1903) for the Second Geological Survey of
Hice initially worked
for a fledgling natural gas
company but around 1891
joined the newly founded
Fallston Fire Clay Company,
several miles north of Beaver
(Figure 1). He held several
supervisory and executive
positions with this company
until late 1909. The Fallston
Fire Clay Company
specialized in the
manufacture of face brick and
mined its own clay from the
―lower productive‖ coal
Figure 1. Fallston Fire Clay Company, near Fallston, Beaver Formation).
County, Pa. Clay was mined principally from beneath the Lower
Kittanning coal, just uphill behind the main building. Additional By 1890, Hice’s
clay was mined from under the Lower Freeport coal, about 170 enthusiasm for geology
feet higher, at the top of the incline. Photograph taken circa solidified, particularly as it
1895 (from Hopkins, 1898, p. 119). pertained to western
Pennsylvania. His earliest
published research dealt with Pleistocene river terraces and preglacial drainage of the
Beaver and Ohio river valleys. Within a few years, he was a recognized expert on the local
geology and clay occurrences of Beaver County (Hopkins, 1898, p. 6).
On April 12, 1893, Richard Hice married May Kells in her hometown of Citra, Fla.
Tragically, their first child was stillborn the following year. Thereafter, they had a
daughter, Eva Kells Hice.
During the 1890s, Hice joined the National Brick Manufacturers’ Association
(NBMA), an industry trade group. Just before the start of the 13th Annual Convention of
the NBMA, held in Columbus, Ohio, in 1899, Hice attended the organizational meeting of
The American Ceramic Society and became a charter member. The society was initially a
separate part of the NBMA, and its purpose was to promote scientific research in all fields
of ceramics. Hice remained deeply committed to the society and its principles throughout
his life, and was elected its president for 1915–16.
Third Geological Survey of Pennsylvania
By the late nineteenth century, the geology of the commonwealth had been twice
investigated by state government organizations—namely, the First and Second Geological
Surveys of Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, growing demand by the public for an accurate
topographic map of the state and by business interests for more detailed information on the
economic geology of western Pennsylvania compelled the Pennsylvania General Assembly
to consider a Third Geological Survey. Thus, a bill was introduced in the state legislature
entitled ―An act to authorize the topographic and geological survey of the State in co-
operation with the United States Geological Survey.‖ Signed into law by Governor
William A. Stone on April 28, 1899, Act 78 called for the governor to appoint a
commission consisting of three unpaid citizens of the state who would confer and negotiate
with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to develop and implement a cooperative
topographic and geologic mapping program. The commission would also provide
oversight to protect and ensure state interests. Emphasis was on topographic mapping.
The law allowed for the expenditure by the state of up to $20,000 per year for the first two
years (the legislative biennial cycle), provided that the USGS spent an equivalent amount.
Independent of this, the USGS also bore all the expenses for printing and publication.
The three original commissioners of the Topographic and Geologic Survey
Commission of Pennsylvania were George W. McNees, Simon Harrold, and Fred D.
Barker, and they signed the cooperative agreement with Charles D. Walcott, Director of the
USGS, on July 12, 1899. With the death of Harrold in 1902, Richard Hice was selected to
As time went on, Hice became the secretary and chief representative of the
commission. One of his important assignments resulted from President Theodore
Roosevelt’s growing national conservation movement. From May 13 to 15, 1908, the
president convened a Conference of Governors at the White House to call attention to the
management and use of the nation’s natural resources. Just prior to the conference, state
geologists met with the director and staff of the USGS in Washington, D.C., to discuss
conservation issues, including the need for increased topographic mapping. Commissioner
Hice represented the Topographic and Geologic Survey Commission of Pennsylvania.
Before the two-day meeting ended on May 12, 1908, the state geologists also organized the
Association of American State Geologists (AASG) to achieve greater political clout
through a unified voice on matters of common interest.
Much good work was accomplished by the USGS during the first few years of the
Third Survey, including unprecedented quantitative geologic mapping in parts of western
Pennsylvania, particularly coal regions, and detailed reports on areal economic resources.
(Other geologic mapping by the USGS was conducted during the same period in the
eastern part of the state that was not part of the cooperative agreement.) Topographic
surveys, involving many individuals, resulted in dozens of 15-minute quadrangles being
controlled and mapped. Some additional highlights and contributions of the Topographic
and Geologic Survey Commission of Pennsylvania were discussed by Sevon (1987).
Though acknowledging the importance and success of the cooperative program
with the USGS, the commissioners recognized the urgent need to create an independent
and ―permanent geological survey‖ at the state level to conduct geologic investigations. A
state survey with a proper annual appropriation would ensure ongoing collection, analysis,
dissemination, and preservation of detailed geologic information from throughout
Pennsylvania and would encourage conservation in the mineral industries (Pennsylvania
Geological Survey, 1911). The act creating the independent state geological survey was
eventually approved and signed into law on May 13, 1909.
The independent state survey operated under the purview of the Topographic and
Geologic Survey Commission. The commission now had the legislative authority to
appoint a state geologist and selected one of its own—Richard Hice, who accepted the
position in October 1909. Hice, by background and temperament, was a practical scientist
and businessman and believed that ―the primary purpose of a Geological Survey is the
encouragement of the mineral production of the State‖ (Hice, 1912, p. 156). Hice
maintained the office of state geologist in his hometown of Beaver.
Unfortunately, thereafter, the Third Survey was chronically underfunded.
Inadequate biennial appropriations of the legislature were further cut by successive
governors ―because of insufficient State revenue.‖ No new cooperative geologic mapping
was initiated. Cooperative topographic mapping continued on a reduced scale.
Independent geologic work had to rely principally on Pennsylvania academicians and
college upperclassmen, whose studies were often already underway prior to Survey
involvement and support. Other consulting geologists were rarely employed for specific
independent projects. The Third Survey could generally afford to pay only per diem wages
and some field expenses. Other than for some clerical support, there was no money for
permanent staff or full-time geologic assistants. Hice spent most of his time collecting and
compiling geologic information and statistics in cooperation with the USGS, answering
service requests, performing administrative duties, and editing and producing the various
In 1915, the appropriation bill for the Survey was vetoed by Governor Brumbaugh,
who believed that the proposed funding by the General Assembly was too small for
meaningful work to be accomplished (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1915, p. 457–458).
The governor admonished the legislature and urged it to restore funding to a reasonable
level. Nevertheless, the legislature failed to act, and the work of the Third Survey ceased
on June 1 of that year. Little is known of Hice’s activities during the next two years
(legislative cycle). He may have continued to function as state geologist for a while, but
probably became a consulting geologist to support his family. He was also more involved
with The American Ceramic Society as its president for one year, though the work was
Contrary to the assertions of Sevon (1987) and Faill (1987), the Third Survey did
not come to an end after 1914. Rather, funds for the commission were restored during the
1917 legislative session. However, with the entry of the United States into World War I
and the involvement of the USGS in the war effort, little cooperative work was
accomplished in Pennsylvania over the next two years. Some additional independent state
investigations were begun, but only one state geologic report was completed (Fettke, 1918).
Hice continued his same activities as state geologist as before.
Two years later, new legislation was passed and signed into law by Governor
Sproul on June 7, 1919, creating the modern Fourth Geological Survey of Pennsylvania,
which was designated the Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey, initially in the
Pennsylvania Department of Internal Affairs. The act also abolished the Topographic and
Geologic Survey Commission, and Hice’s formal tenure with the Survey came to an end.
Given the generally lukewarm support of the General Assembly and the inadequate
biennial appropriations, Richard Hice and the Topographic and Geologic Survey
Commission of Pennsylvania probably accomplished as much as could be expected. The
total estimated cost of the Third Survey, excluding printing and publications, was about
$540,000 ($310,000 from the state and $230,000 from the USGS). The cooperative work
with the USGS resulted in topographic map coverage for 56 percent of the state (U.S.
Geological Survey, 1919, p. 125). In addition, cooperative geologic mapping was initiated
in 31 quadrangles; 27 of the resulting maps were published in folios before 1919. A
number of associated economic bulletins were released as well. The USGS also mapped
the geology of several other quadrangles on its own in southeastern, south-central, and
western Pennsylvania. The Topographic and Geologic Survey Commission independently
produced 6 progress reports and 12 numbered reports.
Hice showed no interest in applying for the office of state geologist in the new
Fourth Survey but urged quick action in filling the position so that the appointee could
attend an upcoming AASG meeting. Nevertheless, Hice was asked to stay on as acting
state geologist until his replacement was selected (Hice, 1919; McNees, 1919). On
September 5, 1919, Dr. George H. Ashley was formally appointed by the governor as first
state geologist of the Fourth Geological Survey, although he actually began work on
September 1. Ashley (1919) asked Hice to finish his current Survey work before leaving,
which involved the location and testing of sources of limestone aggregate in western
Pennsylvania for the Highway Department. Hice completed his study in October 1919.
Hice spent the remainder of his career in private practice as a consulting geologist.
He devoted much of his attention to the analysis and evaluation of natural gas reserves
throughout the United States. In his work, he traveled frequently to Louisiana, Oklahoma,
Texas, and West Virginia.
By 1922, Hice was in declining
health, and the following year, he
spent several months resting at his
winter home in Florida to comply with
his doctor’s orders (Hice, 1922, 1923).
However, he continued to travel and
consult extensively. Thus, friends and
colleagues alike were surprised by his
death at his home in Beaver on March
27, 1925. He was buried at the Beaver
Cemetery, Beaver, Pa. (Figure 2).
Figure 2. A simple granite gravestone marks the burial Hice was a charter member and
site of Richard R. Hice at Beaver Cemetery. former president of The American
Ceramic Society and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. He was also a
member of the American Association of State Geologists, American Institute of Mining
Engineers, Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania, American Association for the
Advancement of Science, and American Geographical Society. Hice was a lifelong
member of the Presbyterian Church.
The author wishes to thank Virginia M. Caldwell and Kae H. Kirkwood, Geneva
College, and Greg R. Geiger and Mark J. Mecklenborg, The American Ceramic Society,
for providing useful information and historical references pertaining to the life and career
of Richard Roberts Hice. Robert C. Porter, Beaver Falls, generously showed the author
around the town of Beaver and identified sites, buildings, and other information related to
Hice and his family.
[Ashley, G. H.], 1919, Unpublished letter from [George H. Ashley] State Geologist,
[Harrisburg, Pa.] to Richard R. Hice, Beaver, Pa., dated September 5, 1919:
Pennsylvania Geological Survey files, 2 p.
Ashley, G. H., 1926, Memorial of Richard R. Hice: Geological Society of America
Bulletin, v. 37, p. 94–96.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1915, Vetoes by the governor of bills and resolutions
passed by the legislature, session of 1915: Harrisburg, W. S. Ray [state printer],
Faill, R.T., 1987, The Fourth Geological Survey of Pennsylvania—the resource years:
Pennsylvania Geology, v. 18, no. 1, p. 23–32.
Fettke, C. R., 1918, Glass manufacture and the glass sand industry of Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 3rd ser., Report 12, 278 p.
Hice, R. R., 1912, The mineral production of Pennsylvania, Appendix G of Pennsylvania
Geological Survey, Topographic and Geological Survey of Pennsylvania, 1910–1912:
Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 3rd ser., Biennial Report 1910–12, p. 156–177.
______1919, Unpublished letter from Richard R. Hice, Beaver, Pa., to Hon. James F.
Woodward, Secretary, Internal Affairs, Harrisburg, Pa., dated August , 1919:
Pennsylvania Geological Survey files, 3 p.
______1922, Unpublished letter from Richard R. Hice, Beaver, Pa., to Dr. George H.
Ashley, State Geologist, Harrisburg, Pa., dated June 28, 1922: Pennsylvania
Geological Survey files, 2 p.
______1923, Unpublished letter from Richard R. Hice, Fort Myers, Fla., to Dr. George H.
Ashley, State Geologist, Harrisburg, Pa., dated March 31, 1923: Pennsylvania
Geological Survey files, 1 p.
Hopkins, T. C., 1898, Clays and clay industries of Pennsylvania, appendix of Pennsylvania
State College, Annual Report of the Pennsylvania State College for the year 1897:
Pennsylvania State College, Annual Report 1897, 183 p.
McNees, G. W., 1919, Unpublished letter from G. W. McNees, Kittanning, Pa., to Hon.
James F. Woodward, Department of Internal Affairs, Harrisburg, Pa., dated August 9,
1919: Pennsylvania Geological Survey files, 1 p.
Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 1911, Topographic and geologic survey, 1908–1910:
Pennsylvania Geological Survey, 3rd ser., Biennial Report 1908–10, 104 p.
Sevon, W. D., 1987, The Third Geological Survey of Pennsylvania—the topographic years:
Pennsylvania Geology, v. 18, no. 1, p. 16–22.
U.S. Geological Survey, 1919, Fortieth annual report of the Director of the United States
Geological Survey to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 30,
1919: U.S. Geological Survey Annual Report 40, 200 p.
Meet the Staff- Part 7- Geologic Mapping Division
Earlier issues (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) have introduced you to the other divisions of
the Survey. Finally, we will introduce the core of the Survey, the Geologic Mapping
William A. Bragonier is the division chief.
Bill received his B.S. in geology from Juniata
College and his M.S. from Pennsylvania State
University. Bill’s first professional job was with the
Pennsylvania Geological Survey. He worked in the
Coal Section of the then Field Mapping Division,
where his primary responsibility was field mapping
in the DuBois area with Al Glover, a former long-
time Survey geologist. After three years, Bill left the
Survey to take a position as geologist for the R&P
(Rochester and Pittsburgh) Coal Company in
Indiana, Pa. Shortly thereafter the company formed
an exploration department and Bill was promoted to
Manager of Exploration. In this capacity, he was
responsible for the oversight of surface and deep-
mine coal exploration, the geological aspects of
mining problems and development of a drill-hole-
record database. While at R&P, Bill maintained a working relationship with the
Pennsylvania Survey’s Coal Section, even contracting through R&P with the Survey to
provide structural-contour, coal-crop-line and mined-out-area maps for more than forty 7½-
minute quadrangles in central-western Pennsylvania. His employment with R&P
culminated with the supervision of and active participation in two countywide coal
assessment studies that involved the creation of paleogeographic maps for all coal seams
within the project areas.
In the late 1990s Bill left R&P to work for the East Fairfield Coal Company near
Youngstown, Oh. While primarily responsible for computerized mapping of the company’s
underground coal and limestone mines, Bill was also involved with exploration and in-
mine geologic mapping. In 2006, Bill’s professional life came full circle when he accepted
the position of manager of the Geologic Mapping Division of the Pennsylvania Survey.
Since returning to the Survey, Bill has contributed heavily to the development of a
modern core storage facility for the Survey and is developing a Microsoft Access database,
that contains detailed logs of more than 10,000 coal-related drill holes in western
Pennsylvania. Responding to an aggressive recruitment program by Gary Fleeger, Bill
served two years as secretary of the Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists and was
responsible for most of the logistics of the annual event.
Western Mapping Section
The Western Mapping Section consists of five geologists, who map in the bituminous
coal region of the western Appalachian Plateau and in the Ridge and Valley.
Rose-Anna Behr, a Geologic
Scientist, is the most recently hired
geologist. She was welcomed to the Survey
in February, 2007. A native of Ohio, she is
a graduate of Oberlin College and New
Mexico Tech. Prior to joining the Survey,
she worked as a park naturalist in York
County for Gifford Pinchot State Park and
Richard M. Nixon County Park, where she
continues to volunteer. Her initial
assignments at the Survey have been to
complete some coal availability projects left
unfinished by recent retirements. She is
mapping the Frenchville 7½-minute
quadrangle in Clearfield County, and in
Tioga and Schuylkill Counties in support of
the Survey’s carbon sequestration studies.
She expects to complete those projects later
this year, and will then switch to mapping in
the Ridge and Valley province, where, as
Rose-Anna says, the rocks have been
―improved.‖ In addition, Rose-Anna has worked on magnetometry as part of
geoarcheological studies in York and Lancaster Counties, completed several state park lake
bathymetric surveys, and is involved in the PA Wilds and public outreach. She has
instituted the participation by the Survey in training state park Environmental Education
Specialists in geological education and understanding the geology of their parks.
Clifford H. Dodge, a
native of Lancaster, Pa., joined
the Survey in April 1979 and is a
Senior Geologic Scientist.
Previously, he was employed for
more than three years by the U.S.
Geological Survey (USGS),
Water Resources Division, where
he conducted reconnaissance
geologic mapping and
groundwater investigations for
the Clarion River and Redbank
Creek Water Resources Project
in north-central Pennsylvania.
Cliff received a B.A. degree in
the geological sciences in 1972 from Lehigh University, and an M.S. degree in the
geological sciences in 1976 from Northwestern University. He is a registered Professional
Geologist in Pennsylvania and a Certified Professional Geologist through the American
Institute of Professional Geologists.
As a member of the Geologic Mapping Division, Cliff has engaged in numerous
geologic investigations and mapping projects in north-central and western Pennsylvania.
Much of his research has centered on the geology, availability (resources), and mining
history of the bituminous-coal measures, particularly in Greene, Allegheny, and Butler
Counties, and more recently Elk, Cameron, and Clarion Counties. Recognized for the
value of some of his earlier investigations, Cliff received the ―Secretary’s Award for
Performance Excellence‖ from the former Department of Environmental Resources in
1987. He has also been active in investigating and mapping the Upper Devonian and
Mississippian geology in parts of north-central and northwestern Pennsylvania, and has
been working on a revised lithostratigraphic framework of the area. Related to these
efforts, he prepared a bedrock geologic map and structure-contour map for Warren County
as part of a cooperative groundwater study between the Pennsylvania Survey and the
USGS. Along with several other staff members in our Pittsburgh and Middletown offices,
Cliff is involved in investigating the potential for geologic carbon sequestration in the
In addition to his research activities, Cliff assists in answering geologic service
requests from the public, implementing and supervising exploratory-drilling and coal-
sampling projects, and collecting and organizing geologic data from numerous outside
sources. Furthermore, Cliff has a keen interest in the history of geology, especially as it
relates to the Pennsylvania Geological Survey and the Commonwealth during the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—an age of great industrial expansion and social
change (see article on page 3).
Antonette K. Markowski is a Senior
Geologic Scientist specializing in coalbed
methane (CBM) resources. Toni graduated
from Shippensburg University with a B.S.
degree in Earth Science Secondary
Education in 1978. She interned the same
year with the Department of Environmental
Resources (DER) Bureau of Water Quality.
From here, she transitioned into geology
with a teaching assistantship at Millersville
University from 1979 to 1981. Toni then
interned in 1980 and 1981 with the Survey’s
Harrisburg office. Afterwards, she went on
to Southern Illinois University (SIU) at
Carbondale and earned an M.S. degree in
geology in 1990.
Toni landed her first permanent job in
geology as a Geologic Trainee with the DER
Bureau of Mining and Reclamation’s
Greensburg District Mining Office in 1984.
She later worked for the DER Bureau of Oil and Gas Management in Pittsburgh from
January 1985 to June 1986. Toni started full time at the Survey’s Pittsburgh office in June
1986 in the Pittsburgh office. Here, she interpreted well records for the oil and gas well
database, now known as the Wells Information System (WIS); assisted in oil and gas
reservoir rock research with the aid of geophysical logs; assisted in the Gas Atlas of Major
Appalachian Basin Gas Plays, in which the Gas Atlas Team received the DCNR
―Secretary’s Award for Excellence‖ (1997), and began giving summary talks on oil and gas
developments at various symposiums.
By the early 1990s, industry was developing a keen interest in CBM as an
unconventional resource. At the turn of the 21st century, CBM activity took off at the
national and state levels. Toni performs joint and independent projects in a variety of
CBM, coal quality, and coal-related projects, answering requests for information on the
same; and presenting talks to a variety of organizations. One of the first major CBM
projects from the bureau is Geological Aspects of Coalbed Methane in the Northern
Appalachian Coal Basin, Southwestern Pennsylvania and North-Central West Virginia
(1995). This was a joint mapping project with the West Virginia Geological Survey, and
was supported by the Gas Research Institute. The other, Mineral Resource Report 95,
Reconnaissance of the Coal-Bed Methane Resources in Pennsylvania (2001), includes
CBM origin and generation, geologic influences, methane drainage recovery techniques
and programs, field samples and results, and assessment of potential. Both of these reports
are used to identify areas of methane potential for the oil and gas industry, coal mining
industry, consultants, other energy seekers, utilities, and the interested public.
Other related, ongoing, and planned projects include the analysis of mercury in coal
for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), design of a new and expanded
version of a state CBM-wells database, collection and analysis of new gas-content data
from departmental drilling projects and industry and/or federal partnerships, and giving
presentations to various industry organizations, such as the North American CBM Forum,
American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Appalachian Gas Measurement Short
Course, and other professional geologic organizations, civic groups, town meetings, and a
public hearing. Toni also enjoys judging at the annual Capital Area Science and
Engineering Fair and local high school science fairs as an outreach activity.
James R. Shaulis, a Senior Geologic
Scientist, received a B.S. degree in Geology from
Penn State University in June of 1971, and then
pursued an MED program in Earth and Space
Science until 1974, when he left to work as the
director/curator of the Pember Museum of Natural
History in upstate New York. Before arriving at
the Pennsylvania Survey in June 1979, Jim also
spent time as an exploration geologist for PBS
Coal Company and for Skelly and Loy
Consultants. Jim’s early Survey responsibilities
centered on producing coal-resource investigation
reports for Fayette and Somerset Counties, as well
as helping to produce geologic maps for
groundwater resource reports in those areas. More recently he has focused on geologic
mapping related to earth science education opportunities that occur within rail-trail
corridors, conservation landscapes (CLI’s), and state-owned lands. He is also now involved
with the bureau’s efforts to support the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program, which is
responsible for the identification and management of Commonwealth geoheritage sites.
More than 100 sites of geologic significance are being monitored for potential impacts to
their geoheritage values.
Gary M. Fleeger has been the Western
Mapping Section chief since 2006. He is a
graduate of Bucknell University and the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Gary has worked for the Commonwealth since
1988. He is the Survey’s glacial geologist,
specializing in the glacial stratigraphy and
history of northwestern PA.
Gary is the representative for the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the Great
Lakes Geologic Mapping Coalition. The
Coalition comprises the USGS and the eight
Great Lakes states. Its purpose is to share
resources and expertise in mapping the glacial
geology of the region in three dimensions to the
Prior to joining the Survey, Gary worked
for the Illinois State Geological Survey, Earth
Sciences Consultants (coal consulting), Geomap
Company (oil and gas consulting), the Colorado
Department of Health (drinking water
regulation), and the Pennsylvania DER/DEP oil
and gas, and mining regulatory agencies.
Since joining the Survey in 1996, he has worked in the Hydrogeology (effects of the
1998 Pymatuning earthquake and a statistical analysis of the well construction, hydrologic,
and geochemical properties of the rocks of Pennsylvania) and Western Mapping Sections.
In addition to his supervisory duties and glacial studies, he is in charge of PaGWIS
(Pennsylvania GroundWater Information System) and WebDriller, the Survey’s water well
databases. He also seems to have been typecast as the go-to person for field trip planning,
having run the annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists for a decade, and
recently organized field trips for the annual Highway Geology Symposium, Association of
American State Geologists, and Geological Society of America.
Eastern Mapping Section
The Eastern Mapping Section consists of four geologists, who map in the Piedmont,
Ridge and Valley, and northern Appalachian Plateau.
William Kochanov is a Senior Geologic
Scientist. Bill received his B.S. from Youngstown
State University and his M.S. in geology from
West Virginia University.
Early on in his career, Bill had spent time as
a mudlogger in the east Texas oil fields. He was
also employed by the Pennsylvania DEP Bureau
of Water Quality Management, working with a
team of hydrogeologists to assess the impact of
surface impoundments and underground injection
wells on groundwater quality. Prior to working
with the Survey, Bill was with the Pennsylvania
DEP (now Environmental Protection- DEP),
Bureau of Mining and Reclamation in Cambria
County, reviewing geologic and hydrogeologic
modules associated with new and existing surface
Since starting with the Geological Survey in
1985, Bill has been actively mapping geologically
hazardous areas within the limestone regions of
central and eastern Pennsylvania and has authored 14 county reports specific to sinkholes
and their occurrences. In addition, Bill has mapped portions of the bedrock geology in the
northern anthracite coal field, the Endless Mountains region, and in the Chester Valley of
southeastern Pennsylvania. In 1989, he was part of a
writing team to develop nationwide curriculum
standards for earth science education and since then has
been strongly involved with the Survey’s outreach
Anne B. Lutz is a Geologic Scientist in the
bureau. As a result of a reorganization of the bureau in
2008, she was assigned to Geologic Mapping Services,
where she works on a paleontology bibliography
database. Her goal is to provide a searchable online
database for the use of people interested in what kinds
of fossils have been found in Pennsylvania and in what
publications they are listed or described.
Anne spent the first 15 years of her tenure here as
a geologist/editor in the Publications Services group,
which was disbanded in 2008. In that group, her duties
involved the technical review and editorial preparation
of formal geologic reports and maps. She worked closely with geologist authors and
cartographers and oversaw the printing and distribution of the final products.
Anne earned a Ph.D. degree in geology (paleontology) from Pennsylvania State
University and has held a variety of jobs since her graduate school years. She first taught
geology at Indiana University Northwest, held a brief post-doctoral fellowship at the Field
Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and spent a year as a research associate at Furman
University in South Carolina before moving to Houston. In Houston, she worked as a post-
doctoral fellow at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, studying photographs of Mars with Dr.
Peter Schultz and helping with Spaceweek celebrations, taking advantage of the
opportunity to meet a number of astronauts. Anne then became a database programmer for
a NASA contractor company and taught geology part time at the University of Houston–
Clear Lake. After that, she taught full time at Texas A&M in Galveston. She moved to
Pennsylvania in 1993.
Thomas A. McElroy came to the Survey
directly from graduate school in July of 1980.
He holds a B.A. in geology from Binghamton
University, and an M.S. in geology from the
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and is a
Senior Geologic Scientist. Prior to entry into
academia, he was an electronics technician in
the Air Force for four years, during which time
he served a tour in Vietnam.
Until 1997, Tom was a Hydrogeologist
assigned to evaluating groundwater resources in
the bituminous coal fields of Pennsylvania. He
is the author of reports for Fayette, Cambria and
Somerset Counties, and is a co-author with
Donald R. Williams of the USGS-published
report on the water resources of Indiana County.
As part of these reports, he mapped the bedrock
below the coal measures. He next labored on
Hydrogeologic and well-construction
characteristics of the rocks of Pennsylvania,
which was coauthored by Gary M. Fleeger and Michael E. Moore.
In 2001, Tom left hydrogeology behind and became a field geologist. The first 7½-
minute quadrangle he mapped was Great Bend, in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Subsequently, he began mapping in the Appalachian Mountain section, starting with the
Lewistown quadrangle. He and his coauthor, retired State Geologist Donald M. Hoskins,
have since mapped the bedrock geology of the Belleville, Allensville, Newton-Hamilton
and McVeytown quadrangles.
Tom has assisted numerous communities in the state by determining available
groundwater resources and locating well sites. He has presented papers at several meetings,
written articles for Pennsylvania Geology, and was a leader of the 2007 Field Conference
of Pennsylvania Geologists.
Gale C. Blackmer is the section chief of
the Eastern Mapping Section. She had her first
overview of Pennsylvania geology as an
undergraduate student at the University of
Pennsylvania. She pursued a master’s degree at
Penn State, studying roof stability in a coal mine
in Indiana County. After deciding that she
would rather be a scientist than an engineer, she
proceeded to investigate the thermal history of
the Appalachian Basin in Pennsylvania using
fission track analysis for her Ph.D. She went on
to a series of temporary teaching positions at
West Chester University, Bloomsburg
University, and Dickinson College; taught at
field camp for Penn State and the Yellowstone-
Bighorn Research Association several times;
and spent a year as project manager for a small
hydrocarbon remediation firm in Philadelphia. During that time, she started collaborating
with colleagues at West Chester University on geologic mapping in the Piedmont.
Gale started as a Geologist I at the Survey in 1999, charged with bedrock mapping
and outreach in southeastern Pennsylvania. She started the Survey’s Piedmont project
under the STATEMAP component of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Cooperative
Geologic Mapping Program in 2002. As supervisor, Gale continues to do bedrock mapping
in southeastern Pennsylvania, runs the Survey’s multi-project STATEMAP program, and
coordinates the geologic aspects of development for the Survey’s stratigraphic database.
She also helps with leading teacher workshops and field trips for non-geologists within
state and local government when the need arises. Over the past ten years, Gale and a
dedicated group of cooperating geologists have made great progress on revising and
improving upon our understanding of Piedmont geology through a combination of detailed
bedrock mapping, isotopic dating, geochemical analysis, and study of metamorphic history.
This year, she is starting a project with Dr. G. Robert Ganis to add a structural geology
component to his groundbreaking biostratigraphic work on the Ordovician rocks of the
Great Valley in Dauphin and Lebanon Counties and to capture his interpretations in
geologic map form.
The GIS Section was previously covered in Part 6, in vol 38, no. 1. Since that time,
the section has been moved into the Geologic Mapping Division, and Caron O’Neil has
moved into that section. The other members of that section, Tom Whitfield, Victoria
Neboga, and Section Chief Mike Moore were profiled in Part 6.
Caron E. O’Neil is a Senior Geologic Scientist. She joined GIS Services in July
2008 as part of a realignment within the Survey. Her primary duty thus far has been the
preparation of maps, texts, GIS datasets, and web pages for online open-file reports, such
as the bedrock geologic map reports for part of the Philadelphia quadrangle in southeastern
Pennsylvania and part of the Mill Hall quadrangle in central Pennsylvania.
Caron began her geologic career as a teaching
assistant in graduate school, conducting labs in
physical geology, geomorphology, structural geology,
and historical geology. Her thesis work on lineaments
in northwestern Pennsylvania qualified her for two
short-term contracts related to lineament studies with
the U.S. Department of Energy. Caron received an
M.S. degree in geology from the University of
Pittsburgh in December 1986.
Prior to her current position, Caron was a
Geologist Editor at the Survey for almost 22 years.
Her work included technical review and editorial
preparation of formal reports. As an editor, she
worked with authors (geologists), instructed staff
cartographers, and oversaw the printing of geologic
manuscripts and maps. She also wrote announcements for this magazine. Since 2004, some
of the Survey formal reports have included maps that were prepared using ESRI ArcInfo or
ArcGIS software, and consequently, Caron gained some experience with GIS that eased her
transition into her new role.
Geoheritage is a concept that
makes the connection between
geology and cultural values. It
embraces the idea that society
values certain geologic sites and
features for their educational,
recreational, aesthetic, cultural,
historical, and ecological
significance (Sharples, 2002).
However, though most people
would not argue against their preservation, human activity continuously changes the
landscape and has caused the degradation, and even the disappearance of some of our
important sites. The Pennsylvania Geological Survey is working in support of the
Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program (PNHP) to conserve geologic heritage sites in our
state. Within the bureau, a geoheritage committee has been formed to oversee this
geoconservation effort. More than 100 geologic sites are being managed for their
geoheritage values through the PNHP.
Geologic sites in Pennsylvania are part of our Commonwealth’s natural heritage.
Pennsylvania has a great variety that is perhaps unsurpassed by that of any other state
(Shultz, 1999). Rock exposures are an important link to the history of the planet, providing
information about the origin of life, past climates, and the geologic processes that have
shaped the land. They have value by providing us with recreational opportunities such as
rock climbing, hiking, rafting, mineral and fossil collecting, and scenic viewing.
Hickory Run Boulder Field, Hickory Run State Park, Carbon County
Rock climbing on the Pottsville Formation, Rafting among Pottsville boulders on the
Ohiopyle State Park, Fayette County. Youghiogheny River, Ohiopyle State Park,
―Grand View‖ area, Ricketts Glen State Park, Luzerne County
They provide physical spatial links to our culture and recent history, such as
battlefields or industrial mine sites. They also can be prominent topographic features that
have become landmarks over time, providing a sense of place for residents.
Diabase in Gettysburg National Military Park, Adams County.
Finally, they can serve as important components of ecological habitats, the different
forms and compositions of bedrock enabling greater biological diversity.
Copperhead on Catskill boulder, Somerset County.
Awareness is the first step in conservation. Knowing which sites are considered to be
the most outstanding examples of the commonwealth’s geoheritage, and why, is necessary
if we are to conserve them. ―The Geoheritage Corner― will attempt to start providing this
information by looking at different geoheritage sites. However, to best appreciate how
geology is connected to our world, it needs to be experienced in the field, in the natural
context of the landscape and the environment. It is also hoped that after learning more
about our state’s most special geologic places, you will be inspired to go visit them and
have that best experience.
Schultz, C.H., 1999, Overview, in, The geology of Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Geological
Survey, 4th series, Special Publication 1, pp. 13 – 21.
Sharples, C., 2002, Concepts and principles of geoconservation: Tasmanian Parks and
Wildlife Service, 81 p.
Field Conference of Pennsylvania Geologists-
The 74th annual Field Conference of Pennsylvania
Geologists will be held from Oct 8 – 10 in
Titusville, Crawford County, to commemorate the
sesquicentennial of the drilling of the Drake Well.
The trip will include a combination of glacial and
bedrock geology, as well as a stop at the Drake
Well museum. Look for more information and
registration forms in August on the Field
Conference website at http://fcopg.org.
Contact Jaime Kostelnik (412-442-5828)
Drake Well in 1861
Carbon Sequestration- In the fall of 2008, the Survey started evaluating the state for
carbon-sequestration potential. A number of areas will be selected for more in-depth
evaluation. The work is being coordinated by the Carbon Sequestration Section in our
Contact Kristin Carter (412-442-4234) (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Core Library- Moving the Survey’s core library from a facility in Hollywood, Clearfield
County, to our main office building in Middletown is nearing completion. The Hollywood
facility was an unheated warehouse where core boxes were stacked up to 20 boxes high on
the floor. Our Middletown facility is a well-lighted, comfortable facility with shelving for
the core boxes.
Eight tractor-trailer loads of core have been moved to Middletown, and are now being
organized, catalogued, photographed, and shelved. The core will continue to be available
to researchers for analysis, but now in more convenient and comfortable facilities.
Contact Bill Bragonier (717-702-2034) (email@example.com).
Before- Hollywood core storage facility
After- Middletown core storage facility
Drilling Program- The Survey started a drilling program
for the summer of 2009. We are drilling a total of about
3,500 feet in four core holes in Fayette, Centre,
Lycoming, and Lackawanna Counties. These core holes
will provide valuable data in areas of active projects,
including the carbon-sequestration studies in parts of
Pennsylvania lacking in detailed subsurface data.
Eventually, the core will be available to researchers in our
core library in Middletown.
Contact Bill Bragonier (717-702-2034)
Core drilling at Bald Eagle State Park,