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K-State Today

October 4, 2012



K-State to honor Michael Ensch as outstanding alumnus

By Mary Lou Peter

Kansas State University’s department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources has named Michael G. Ensch an outstanding alumnus of the department. He will be honored Oct. 26 during a visit to K-State’s Manhattan campus, where he will present a seminar to students, faculty and park and recreation industry professionals.

The seminar will be from 2-3:30 p.m. in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building will be followed by a reception in Room 127.

Ensch, who retired from his role as chief of operations for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Directorate of Civil Works, earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and park administration from K-State in 1973 and completed work toward a master’s degree in horticulture and forestry.

In his chief of operations position with the Army Corps of Engineers, he supervised the corps’ national program for operations and maintenance of navigation, which had an annual budget of $3 billion. It included oversight of locks, dams, channels and harbors, as well as hydropower, environmental stewardship and regulatory operations. Those national programs included 375 dams, 74 hydro plants, 11.7 million acres of land and water, 25,000 miles of inland channels, 102 deep draft harbors and 655 other harbors.

“We are thrilled to host a presentation by a professional with Mr. Ensch’s credentials,” said Sid Stevenson, associate professor in horticulture, forestry and recreation resources. “It is exciting to have one of our own achieve at this level. His progression through the ranks from his initial position as park ranger at Tuttle Creek Lake to park manager to outdoor recreation planner to operations executive is particularly compelling.”