UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Calvin DuBrock, retired director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Bureau of Wildlife Management, recently was named the Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. DuBrock, a certified wildlife biologist, will serve a term of up to six years. He was with the Game Commission for 32 years, 23 of which were spent guiding the agency's wildlife management activities. During that time, he was responsible for directing the commission's statewide programs and research on game, nongame and endangered species, and for developing and implementing agency wildlife management goals, objectives, standards and policies.
The Goddard Chair is a faculty position unlike any other at Penn State, with a focus on providing leadership on public-policy issues. Those chosen to fill it need not have extensive academic or research experience. The chair holder is expected to spend half of his or her time on public outreach, a third on teaching, and the remainder on other scholarly activity, noted Michael Messina, director of the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.
"Cal DuBrock is a longtime conservation leader who will greatly help our department maintain its important role in Penn State's land-grant mission," Messina said. "His expertise complements existing strengths among our faculty — he has the perfect experience required of the position."
Being asked to serve as the Goddard Professor in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation is an immense honor and a daunting challenge, according to DuBrock. He noted that this will be his "second, maybe third, career," and all have been in public service and the management of natural resources.
"The Goddard Chair is asked to place one foot in the policy and public-service arena to advance discussions and natural resource conservation outcomes, and the other foot is firmly in the academic arena teaching and mentoring both students and colleagues," he said.
"I'm excited about the prospect of teaching natural-resource policy to students this spring and being actively engaged in current and emerging policy initiatives affecting our natural resources. I expect to do so in the spirit of 'Doc' Goddard, that is, with vision, integrity, candor, courage and determination."
DuBrock said he has worked diligently since his arrival at Penn State in September to design a natural resource policy course that will be informative and challenging, and to supplement and support the content of other coursework taken by students majoring in forest ecosystem management and in wildlife and fisheries science.
DuBrock is a faculty co-advisor for the student chapter of the Wildlife Society and is "plugged into" the commonwealth's Green Ribbon Task Force on Forest Products, Conservation and Jobs. He also is engaged in discussions about an emerging Pennsylvania One Health (human-animal-ecosystem health) initiative.
In addition, he serves on an advisory panel to develop a leadership academy for young and mid-career natural-resource professionals in the state and is exploring ways to expand experiential opportunities, such as internships, for Department of Ecosystem Science and Management undergraduates and graduate students.
"My real passion is expanding proactively in our culture the public relevancy of how we manage for healthy, sustainable natural systems and the importance of collaborative, informed management," he said. "At the same time. we want to address the goal of increasing gender, ethnic and racial diversity in the natural-resource profession and attain competitive salaries for conservation professionals commensurate with their education and training preparation."
The Goddard Chair was established in 1983 to honor Maurice Goddard, Pennsylvania's "father of state parks." Goddard directed Penn State's School of Forest Resources from 1952 to 1955. During his subsequent tenure in state government, serving under five governors, he succeeded in establishing a state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian.