Commissioner Franz Names New State Geologist
News Date: 
October 1, 2019

Casey Hanell to replace retiring Dave Norman

Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz today announced her appointment of Casey Hanell as Washington State Geologist. Hanell – selected after a national search – fills the post vacated by the retirement of Dave Norman. He will oversee the Washington Geological Survey, which is part of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  
“The geology that made Washington’s landscapes rich and distinct also presents serious public safety challenges for many of our communities. I’m proud to add Casey’s diverse experience to our efforts to provide the people of Washington with the best science about hazards like landslides, earthquakes and volcanoes,” said Commissioner Franz. “I’m excited to see him build on the great progress made under Dave’s leadership.”
A native of Olympia, Hanell has worked in various capacities within DNR.
Most recently, he served as Earth Sciences Program Manager in the agency’s Forest Resources Division, ensuring those who use DNR-managed lands deploy the best available science to protect public safety and natural resources.
He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Geology from Western Washington University.
“I am incredibly honored to serve Commissioner Franz, the citizens of Washington, and the dedicated employees of the Washington Geological Survey as the next State Geologist,” said Hanell. “The geology of Washington is what makes our great state such a beautiful place to live.
“Understanding our geology is essential to a safe, resilient, and prosperous Washington. Dave Norman did a great job elevating geology in the public interest and I am looking forward to advancing the understanding and use of geologic information by professionals, policy makers, and private citizens alike.”
Norman retired after more than 30 years of work in the Washington Geologic Survey, primarily in surface mine reclamation. He served as State Geologist since 2008.
Under his watch, DNR created the Washington Geologic Information Portal, which provides online map-based access to geologic data compiled by the Survey. Norman also oversaw the establishment of a statewide lidar program that has become a nationwide model, a program for studying Washington’s landslide hazards, and a robust program for assessing the seismic safety of Washington schools.

Geology in the Public Interest

Under the leadership of Commissioner Hilary Franz, the Washington Geological Survey works to ensure the safety and economic well-being of Washington’s residents from geologic events. The Survey is the primary source of geological products and services for Washington’s government agencies, businesses, and the public.
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Joe Smillie
Communications Manager