Dan Plath of
Westville has been selected as the new Chief of Resource Management at
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Plath, who begins work in mid-October,
will oversee the park’s Natural, Cultural, and Fire Management Branches. He
replaces Robert Daum who retired in November of 2015.
In a press release
announcing the move the Park Service said that “while Plath is brand new to
the National Park Service, he brings decades of experience managing people
and projects in Northwest Indiana.
“He has been a
Principal at NiSource in the Environmental Department for the last eight
years and, prior to that, spent 10 years with the Indiana
Department of Environmental Management.
“He is also the
President and founder of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association (NWIPA)
and is on the Advisory Council of the Shirley Heinze Land Trust, the
Catholic Foundation of NW Indiana, the Trail Creek Watershed Board, and the
East Branch of the Little Calumet River Watershed Steering Committee, the
Purdue Water Institute Advisory Board, and the Indiana University Northwest
SPEA Board of Advisers. He is the Chair of the Indiana DNR
Coastal Advisory Board and the NW Indiana Forum Environmental Committee.”
Plath earned both a
Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Public Administration & Environmental Policy
through Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He
is a graduate of Leadership Northwest Indiana (LNI) and the IU Northwest
Institute for Innovative Leadership.
He is a Certified
Master Naturalist and an American Canoe Association Level 2 Coastal Kayak
Instructor. Dan is the recipient of the Northwest Indiana Quality of Life
Award, the NW Indiana Time’s 20 Under 40 Award, the LNI Leaders as Heroes
Award, 2014 Indiana United States Canoe Association Paddler of the Year
Award, the 2015 Calumet Summit Trails and Recreation Award, and was inducted
into the NWI Society of Innovators.
spearhead the effort to designate a section of the Lake Michigan Water Trail
a National Recreation Trail, headed an effort that led to the creation of
the Kankakee River National Water Trail, and is currently leading efforts
which include developing water trails on the Little Calumet River,
installation of ADA compliant Canoe and Kayak launches
throughout NW Indiana and completion of the 1,600 mile
Lake Michigan Water Trail National Recreation Trail.
In 2016, Dan
co-founded Team River Runner Northwest Indiana which uses kayaking to
improve the lives of disabled veterans. He is also heavily involved in land
preservation and stewardship efforts throughout Northwest Indiana as well as
the NiSource seven state footprint.
In his free time,
Dan is an assistant cross-country and head wrestling coach at St. Patrick’s
School in Chesterton, IN.
Dan lives in
Westville, Indiana with his wife Vicky, son Eric (8), daughter Katie (6),
and son Matthew (4).