COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director James Zehringer today announced Thomas J. Serenko, Ph.D., as the new chief of ODNR’s Division of Geological Survey.
A native Ohioan and graduate of Youngstown State University, Serenko’s professional career includes international experience as a geologist in Chile, Tajikistan, Switzerland and Kazakhstan.
“Dr. Serenko’s 25 years of experience as a private industry geologist, coupled with his exceptional academic background, will serve all Ohioans well as he begins his new role as the state geologist,” said Zehringer.
Serenko earned his doctorate degree in geology from Imperial College, London, United Kingdom. He received his master’s degree in geology from the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo., and his bachelor’s degree in geology from Youngstown State University. His writings have been published in several major industry journals, and he has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
He most recently managed a mine in Nevada that produces 700,000 tons per year of limestone and 50,000 tons per year of clay. His duties included overseeing all permitting and environmental compliance, safety, mine development, mine design and exploration.
Serenko has also been employed as a mining and exploration manager at Southern Clay Products Inc., in Gonzales, Texas, and has conducted extensive coal surveys throughout Kentucky.
Serenko will replace interim director Mac Swinford. He took over the division in early June when Larry Wickstrom was replaced. State officials have declined to discuss Wickstrom's departure, but others have said he had differences with his superiors in the ODNR.