The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) is governed by the Natural Resources Board, the members of which are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board sets policy for the Department but has no duty or authority concerning the management of, control over, or administration of the day-to-day affairs of the Department (S.C. Code Ann. 48‐4‐50). The Board appoints the Agency Director, upon advice and consent of the Senate, who serves at the pleasure of the Board and is the administrative head of the Department. The Department is organized into four programmatic divisions, each led by a DNR Deputy Director, and an Executive Office. Our agency leadership team consists of the following staff.
Director — Robert Boyles
As director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Boyles serves as the chief administrator and is responsible for the management and supervision of the agency’s five divisions. Prior to being unanimously confirmed as director, Boyles served as the deputy director of the Marine Resources Division from 2003 to 2019. During this time, he also represented South Carolina on several national and regional marine resources stewardship panels, served on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (2005-2012), and was the vice chair (2006-2009) and chair (2010-2011) of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. He serves as President of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Chair of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Board of Directors. In October 2023, he was named by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as recipient of the Captain David H. Hart Award for 2023 for his outstanding contributions to and exceptional leadership towards the sustainable management of marine resources along the Eastern seaboard.
Robert holds a Master of Marine Policy from the University of Delaware and a B.S. in Mathematical Economics from Wake Forest University. Additionally, Robert was a Bradley Fellow in Marine Policy at the Duke University Marine Lab.
Chief of Staff — Shannon Bobertz
Shannon Bobertz started her career in the legal office at SCDNR in 2013 as Assistant Chief Counsel. She was appointed General Counsel in 2014, and served in this role until being appointed Chief of Staff in 2022. As the Chief of Staff, she helps coordinate activities of the Deputy Directors and Executive Office staff to streamline operations, improve communications, enhance external and internal customer service and implement projects as requested by the Board and the Director.
Shannon graduated with a B.A. from Cornell College and a J.D. from University of South Carolina School of Law.
Chief Budget and Finance Officer – Scott Speares
Scott has a B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama.
Chief External Affairs Officer – Kevin Ryan
Prior to beginning his career with SCDNR, Kevin served in the South Carolina House of Representatives representing coastal Georgetown and Charleston Counties. In 2013, Kevin joined SCDNR as a Game Warden, assigned to Colleton County. He left the agency briefly to work for the General Assembly, first as a performance auditor with the Legislative Audit Council and later as a budget analyst for the Senate Finance Committee. He served as SCDNR’s Director of Government Affairs for over four years before assuming his current position. Kevin holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of South Carolina and a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University. He lives on Johns Island with his wife and their two dogs.
Chief Operations Officer - David Tarrant
David attended Clemson University, earning his B.S. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Resource Management. Prior to joining SCDNR in May of 2023, he served within other state agencies, including 20 years with the South Carolina State Parks Service, in addition to his 12 years of private sector experience.
Deputy Director for Land, Water, and Conservation — Ken Rentiers
Ken Rentiers has been deputy director for the Land, Water and Conservation Division since 2009. In his role, his primary duties include overseeing, developing and implementing policies and programs that study, manage and conserve the state’s land and water resources.
Rentiers received his B.S. in Political Science from the College of Charleston and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Deputy Director for Law Enforcement — Col. Chisolm Frampton
Col. Chisolm Frampton first joined the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in 1993 as a private first class. Since that time, he proactively moved rank and served in many capacities to include Executive Protection for then Governor David Beasley until reaching the rank of Colonel. Among his many honors and awards, Col. Frampton has been cited by the U.S. Coast Guard for the Meritorious Service Medal for maritime security as well as being the recipient of the state’s highest honor, the Order of the Palmetto.
Col. Frampton received his B.S. in Political Science from the College of Charleston and graduated from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
Deputy Director for Marine Resources — Blaik Keppler
Blaik Keppler has been with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources since 2007. Prior to becoming the Marine Resources Deputy Director in 2022, she served as the director of the Coastal Reserves and Outreach section and the ACE Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve Manager.
Keppler received her Master’s in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and a B.S. in Coastal and Marine Resources from North Carolina State University.
Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries — Emily Cope
Emily Cope started her career with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in 1999 and has served in numerous positions including habitat protection coordinator, assistant regional wildlife biologist, forest stewardship program supervisor, and SCDNR assistant director before filling the deputy director role in 2011. The primary activities of her career have involved providing technical assistance to landowners, supervising habitat protection efforts across South Carolina, and building partnerships to support the mission of SCDNR.
Cope earned her Master’s and B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Clemson University.
Audits Manager — James Vant
General Counsel — Susan O. Porter
Director of Government Affairs — Duncan Crotwell
Director of Human Resources — Eva Smith