Dr. Christopher Scott - Goddard Chair at Penn State University

Dr. Christopher Scott - Goddard Chair at Penn State University

The EP Goddard Chair Group is convened by Professor Christopher Scott, who holds the Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation, a Pennsylvania State University Endowed Chair based in the College of Agricultural Sciences and housed in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management.

Funded by Penn State along with income derived from earnings of this endowment, the position was created to honor and extend the science-and-policy legacy of Maurice K. Goddard, PhD (1912-1995), who served as Director of the School of Forestry at Penn State and later as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, which ultimately became the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Professor Scott has been Goddard Chair since July 2021, while also serving as Professor of Ecosystem Science and Management. Prof. Scott’s research, extension, and engagement focus on natural resource conservation and policy, climate-smart forestry, watershed science and management, the water-energy-food nexus, interstate and transboundary waters, climate adaptation and resilience, and energy transitions, with emphasis on the Appalachians, Alleghenies, and international efforts in the Andes and Himalayas. More complete details of Professor Scott's profile.

Past Goddard Chairs include Calvin W. DuBrock (2015-2018), James R. Grace (2010-2014), Robert B. McKinstry, Jr. (2001-2007), Caren E. Glotfelty (1995-2000), Steven G. Thorne (1991-1994), Benjamin A. Jayne (1988-1991), and Arthur A. Davis (1984-1987).

Further information on early Goddard Chairs:

The Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation is a faculty position unlike any other at Penn State, with a focus on providing leadership on public policy issues. The Chair was established in 1983 to honor Maurice Goddard and to assure that an individual would always exist at Penn State who would follow the tradition set by Goddard himself of fostering dialogue on important environmental issues among government, industry, academia, and the general public.

Maurice K. Goddard is best known as the father of Pennsylvania’s modern state park system, one of the finest and largest in the United States. As the top environmental official in Pennsylvania for over a quarter of a century, Goddard also led the expansion of the state’s environmental protection programs. He was a strong and steadfast advocate for Pennsylvania’s natural resources and did not bow to political pressure to exploit them.

A graduate of the University of Maine, Goddard’s career began at Penn State when he was hired to teach forestry at the Mont Alto campus. Called "Gramps" Goddard by many of his students, Goddard moved to the University Park campus and became director of the School of Forest Resources in 1952. Goddard was a teacher much beloved by his students. Many remember him as holding weekly seminars for the entire School student body on current events and politics related to natural resources and the environment.

In 1955, Governor Leader tapped Goddard to become Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Forests and Waters, a position he held until the Department of Environmental Resources was created in 1970, and he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources. Goddard served under five governors of both political parties, and he was respected for his nonpartisan leadership of the state’s environmental programs. After his retirement in 1979 until his death in 1995, Goddard remained active as a volunteer in environmental affairs, serving on the boards of many non-profit organizations including the National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

To find out more about Mr. Goddard you can visit Maurice K. Goddard at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection web site for more historical background on Maurice Goddard.

Establishment of the Goddard Chair

In 1983, Maurice K. Goddard’s many friends, colleagues and admirers honored him by creating an endowed faculty position in his name at Penn State. It was a most fitting tribute to Goddard’s commitment to education and a way of institutionalizing the leadership that Maurice Goddard wielded so effectively. The purpose of the Maurice K. Goddard Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resource Conservation is "to enhance the University’s commitment to the Commonwealth to provide direction in balanced resource conservation and utilization through programs of public service, research and instruction." The occupant of the chair typically has combined a background in natural sciences with experience in public chair administration, economics, law or public policy.

The activities and accomplishments of the Goddard Chair occupants have been numerous and diverse. Goddard Professors devote at least two-thirds of their time on environmental resource issues ranging from international forest policy to hazardous waste facility siting to biodiversity conservation. The other one-third of the time Goddard Chair occupants spend teaching such courses as forest policy, natural resources decision-making, and watershed management planning. Clearly, the Goddard Chair contributes an important dimension to the School of Forest Resources and Penn State, giving both students and faculty an opportunity to participate in and take advantage of the policy initiatives of the chair holder.

Arthur A. Davis

Arthur A. Davis, who was appointed the first Goddard Professor in October 1984, focused his activities on three key challenges to conservation of Pennsylvania’s environmental resources: wood--increasing hardwood utilization while meeting other demands on Pennsylvania’s forests; water--protecting ground water quantity and quality; and waste--overcoming opposition to siting waste storage and disposal facilities. Davis undertook research activities and conducted dialogues with key academic, government, business, community and legislative leaders to develop specific proposals of action. Many of his proposals formed the eventual basis of state policy. Davis became Governor Robert P. Casey’s Secretary of Environmental Resources in January 1987.

Benjamin A. Jayne

Benjamin A. Jayne became Goddard Professor in July 1988. Jayne provided important leadership within Penn State as well as the Pennsylvania forest products industry in activities to implement the recently enacted Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council Act. He became the first executive director of the Hardwoods Council, continuing his outreach to the forest products industry through a series of studies, workshops and interactive conferences on forest products marketing and promotion of vertical integration in the industry.

Steven G. Thorne

Steven G. Thorne was appointed Goddard Professor in October 1991. During his tenure in the Goddard Chair, Thorne was involved in a broad range of issues related to forestry best management practices, conservation of biological diversity, and economic development. He developed a model township timber harvesting ordinance and related information materials, including Pennsylvania Model Timber Harvesting Ordinance; Local Regulation of Timber Harvesting: A Sourcebook for the Forestry Community; and Timber Harvesting Issues in Pennsylvania: Information for Citizens and Local Government Officials. He also wrote the booklet, Best Management Practices for Silvicultural Activities in Pennsylvania’s Forested Wetlands, and collaborated on a general handbook of best management practices for silviculture. Thorne also conducted a series of workshops on these publications for practicing foresters and township supervisors.

Thorne was involved in drafting and working for the passage of Act 10 of 1994, the Pennsylvania Timber Trespass Act, which increased the penalties for illegal timber cutting on private property. He was also instrumental in getting a resolution adopted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly to create a Legislative Task Force on Forestry to examine current issues related to forest management in Pennsylvania. Thorne delivered The Glatfelter Distinguished Lecture for the School of Forest Resources in April 1994, entitled Unfinished Business: Creating the Future Forests of Pennsylvania. Thorne co-directed the project to develop a strategic plan for conservation of biological diversity in Pennsylvania, which led to the publication of the report, A Heritage for the 21st Century: Conserving Pennsylvania’s Biological Diversity.

Caren E. Glotfelty

Caren Glotfelty was named the Goddard Professor in May 1995. After a distinguished career in public service, including four years as a deputy secretary of the former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, Ms. Glotfelty epitomizes the potential and purpose of the Goddard Chair. Ms. Glotfelty's background in land use planning, environmental conflict resolution, and water resource management matches the needs of Pennsylvania citizens for conservation leadership. Because of her abilities, expertise and high profile, she has become a leading figure in natural resource and environmental conservation. Among her many activities and accomplishments are the following:

  • Author of the National Water Policy Charter for the Interstate Council on Water Policy
  • Chair of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Ecosystem Management Advisory Committee
  • Co-Chair of Governor Ridge's 21st Century Environment Commission
  • Coordinator of the International Countryside Stewardship Exchange, a visit by a team of experts to the Spring Creek watershed to assess watershed condition and planning
  • Organizer of the Goddard Symposium, a celebration of the life and legacy of Doc Goddard, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
  • Co-teacher of an undergraduate course, Natural Resource Decisions, in which student teams produce land management plans for real clients and explore real policy issues with natural resource managers
  • Leader of a Heinz Endowments’ sponsored project to design a watershed stewardship and biological diversity conservation plan for the Susquehanna River

While this list illustrates some of Ms. Glotfelty’s major roles, there are dozens of smaller ways in which she has contributed to the Commonwealth's environmental consciousness. She is a member of numerous boards, serves on many committees, speaks regularly to a range of citizen audiences, and is generally part of the environmental and natural resource leadership of the state.

The Goddard Chair position focuses on nine goals broadly related to outreach connected to natural resource conservation, policy development, and professional development, student engagement and achievement, and ensuring a legacy of resource sustainability.  The position attests to the University's commitment and dedication to the conservation, allocation, and protection of natural resources.