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ESF to Bestow Graduate of Distinction Awards

Curtis H. Bauer, Col. Richard P. Wagenaar, Steven Anlian

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and its Alumni Association will bestow Graduate of Distinction honors on three of its alumni during convocation ceremonies Dec. 8.

Being honored for contributions to their communities and ESF are Curtis H. Bauer, Col. Richard P. Wagenaar and Steven Anlian.

A 1950 graduate of the forestry program at ESF, Curtis H. Bauer founded a consulting forestry business and built it into the largest in New York state.

Three years after graduating from ESF, Bauer founded his consulting forestry firm. By the time he sold the Jamestown-based business in 1991, Forecon, Inc, counted among its clients some of the largest industrial forest products firms in the country. Over the decades he employed numerous ESF alumni, giving them a start in their own natural resource careers.

Bauer's list of professional honors and affiliations reflect his long-standing passion for, and commitment to, his field. He was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) in 1985, due to his prominence in his profession. The New York Chapter of the SAF recognized him with its prestigious Heiberg and "Forester of the Year" awards.

Bauer has served on the college's board of trustees for 30 years, including several years as its chairman. He has also served on the ESF College Foundation and chaired or served on advisory committees for the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

Bauer will be presented with ESF's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Col. Richard P. Wagenaar, a 1982 forest and natural resource management graduate, has served his country in many capacities through the U.S. Army and its Corps of Engineers. In his latest position his work is influencing the lives of countless residents as leader of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for New Orleans.

Wagenaar was only six weeks into his new job when Hurricane Katrina hit southeastern Louisiana. Now working with a massive $3 billion budget, he is responsible for a jurisdiction that includes 2,800 miles of navigable waterways, 1,300 miles of levees and floodwalls, six major flood control structures and other projects to protect coastal wetlands and the city of New Orleans.

Wagenaar uses his ESF background to bring an environmental scientist's point of view to the job thereby looking not only at obvious safety concerns, but also ensuring the protection of marshes and the availability of fresh water.

A decorated military officer, he has eight meritorious service medals and three Army commendation medals among many other honors. He graduated from several elite military education programs such as the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and holds two master's degrees.

Wagenaar will be presented with the Alumni of Distinction Award.

A 1975/76 graduate of the landscape architecture program Steven Anlian has dedicated himself to helping rebuild homes, cities, and lives as an expert in disaster relief.

Anlian took a leave of absence from his position at HOH Associates, a nationally recognized urban planning and landscape architecture firm, to volunteer with Armenia's national planning agency after the devastating earthquake there in 1989. He did this as a Fulbright scholar. For his work, he was appointed an honorary member of President Gorbachev's Commission on Armenian Recovery.

In 1991, recruited by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), he served as resident advisor to the newly independent Government of Armenia to assist with its rebuilding.

In 1998, returning to Armenia, Anlian developed the "New Strategy for Armenia's Earthquake Zone," which presented innovative solutions to providing permanent shelter for the displaced families in the earthquake region and jump-started stalled recovery efforts. This guided USAID in programming $34.2 million for the recovery program.

In July 2006, Anlian returned to Washington, D.C. as the director of infrastructure in the department of operations for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the new federal corporation redefining American foreign assistance. Thus he will assist with future natural disasters.

Anlian will be honored with the Graduate of Distinction Award.