OFFICE TELEPHONE: 202-205-1523 at Washington Office
OFFICE FAX: (703) 306-0139


Environmental Compliance Manager 1993-current National Science Foundation (NSF), Physical/Biological Scientist (GS-1301/401-15) Office of Polar Programs. Arlington, VA. Develop, implement, and manage all environmental regulation and compliance for the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP), a complex, international research and education enterprise.

Lead sensible management of natural resources through cooperative programs, partnerships, and improved public/industry relationships.


Master of Science University of Arizona Water Resources Management, Hydrology, Meteorology, Research Design, Statistical Methods, Thesis 1972  
Bachelor of Science University of Arizona Forestry, Watershed Management, magna cum laude, Agricultural and Sanitary Engineering 1970
Senior Executive Development Program USDA 1995-1996
Consensus Methods in Resource Management University of Virginia 1986


• Developed and implemented aggressive, yet budget conscious, environmental compliance and waste management program for United State’s $200 million per year Antarctic operations. Reversed agency performance and won international support for NSF's stewardship of Antarctica's natural resources.

  • Completed Department-wide review and developed implementation strategy for the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) while assigned to the USDA Deputy Chief Financial Officer.

• Coordinated natural resources legislation and resolved complex issues among Native Americans and other constituents while serving as the Natural Resources Personal Staff and liaison to the Natural Resources Committee in the House of Representatives.

  • Direct White House initiative to improve the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Revised Forest Service NEPA policies and procedures to streamline requirements and improve performance.  

• Resolved technically complex and politically sensitive controversy over the development of a New England ski area among widely divergent stakeholders which included national political figures as well as national, state, and local environmental and business interests.


Significant Assignments:
Designated Federal Official to USDA Committee of Scientists, Deputy Forest Supervisor, EPA/Forest Service Liaison Officer, Regional Resource Issue Manager, LEGIS Fellow (Natural Resources Personal Staff to Chief Deputy Majority Whip, 103rd Congress).  

Associate Director, President's Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Washington, DC 1997
Direct national program for the reinvention of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) among all federal agencies. Established improved NEPA practices in strategic planning, training, performance measurement, and electronic communication among federal natural resource and regulatory agencies.

  Assistant Director, Forest Service, Environmental Coordination, Washington, DC 1991-1993
Direct Forest Service National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) policies and procedures. Streamlined administrative procedures for ski area development, land management planning, and special uses of National Forests saving over $20 million per year agency-wide.  
Group Leader, Forest Service, Planning, Environmental Review, and Appeals, Milwaukee, WI 1987-1991
Direct land management planning, environmental compliance, appeals, and litigation. Through positive interpersonal relationships, comprehensive and expert knowledge of scientific principles in the biological and physical sciences, and expert knowledge of Federal environmental law, regulation, and agency policy; resolved 107 administrative appeals of 15 National Forest Plans and over 100 appeals of Plan implementation decisions.

  Director, Forest Service, Planning and Budget, Asheville, NC 1982-1987
Direct land management planning, environmental review, and $22 million budget. Significantly improved budget development, allocation, and attainment reporting. Chair of Diversity Improvement Team and coordinator for State Clearinghouse and Natural Heritage Programs, research, and special studies.

  Regional Planner, Forest Service, Planning and Budget, Atlanta, GA 1979-1982
Lead Regional Interdisciplinary Team in completion of region-wide natural resources management plan and environmental impact statement establishing technical standards for watershed management, mineral use, land ownership exchange, and engineering practices. Integrated agency-wide natural resource and program planning processes to match resource output objectives with standards for environmental stewardship.  

Regional Hydrologist, Forest Service, Watershed and Minerals, Atlanta, GA 1975-1979
Develop Regional water resource program policy direction, interdisciplinary coordination, and technical standards in hydrologic sciences. Established liaison with other Federal agencies, Forest Service Research Stations and university researchers for development of water resources analysis methods.


16 NSF, USDA, and Forest Service Certificates of Merit, Appreciation, and Excellence. Cash Awards for performance in each of the last 10 years.  

Professional Associations American Geophysical Union, Society of American Foresters, American Forestry Association, and American Society of Civil Engineers (Correspondent).  

Honorary; Alpha Zeta, General Research Scholarship, I.F. Nichols Memorial Scholarship, Graduate with Distinction, and Scholarship Honors.

Selected Publications: 
National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs, Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Modernization of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica, January, 1998, 142pp.
85 Environmental Assessments of projects of the United States Antarctic Program (USAP) from October 1993 to December, 1997. National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), Executive Office of the President, Considering Cumulative Effects Under the National Environmental Policy Act , January, 1997, 118pp.
United States Department of Agriculture, A Primer on Evaluation and Use of Natural Resource Information for Corporate Data Bases , General Technical Report WO-62, March, 1995, 168pp.
House of Representatives Legislation for 103rd Congress, Taos Land Exchange (HR 328) and Jemez National Recreation Area Designation Act (HR 38), Passed House of Representatives. April, 1993. HR 1561, HR 1562, HR 1471, and HR 1828 introduced.

USDA Forest Service, NEPA Policies and Procedures Manual and Handbook, Federal Register. September 18, 1992.

Chief's Decision Documents for five administrative appeals, USDA Forest Service, Washington D.C. 1991 - 1992.

Regional Forester Decision Documents for 35 administrative appeals and two litigation reports, USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region. 1987-1991.

Cunningham, Robert S., Resolving Forest Plan and Project Appeals in the Eastern Region of the Forest Service, September 25-29, 1989. National Convention. Society of American Foresters. Spokane, Washington.

FEIS and Forest Plan for the Nantahala/Pisgah National Forests, March 1987.

Forest Supervisor Decision Documents for 15 administrative appeals, USDA Forest Service, National Forests in North Carolina, 1982-1987.

FEIS and Forest Plan for the Croatan/Uwharrie National Forests, May 1986.

DEIS and Forest Plans for the Nantahala/Pisgah and Croatan/Uwharrie National Forests; October 1984 and April 1985, respectively.

Task Committee on Qualifying Land-Use Change Effects of the Watershed Management and Surface-Water Committees of the Irrigation and Drainage Division. American Society of Civil Engineers. Evaluation of Hydrologic Models Used to Quantify Major Land-Use Change Effects. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, Vol. 11, No. 1, March 1985.

DEIS and Regional Guide for the South, August 1981.

Supplemental FEIS, Osceola Phosphate Mining Proposal, July 1979.

Cunningham, R. S., Regional Forestry/Water Interfaces, Florida's Water Resources--Implications for Forest Management, May 30-31, 1979. Symposium Florida Section, Society of American Foresters, Gainesville, Florida.

Cunningham, R. S. and M. Jones, 1977, Sludge Used for Strip Mine Restoration at Palzo: Project Development and Compliance Water Quality Monitoring, Proceedings, Municipal Waste Water and Sludge Recycling on Forest and Disturbed Land, Pennsylvania State University Press.

Cunningham, Robert S., 1976, Waste Water Sludge as a Publicly Acceptable Tool for Strip Mine Reclamation, Eighth Mid-Atlantic Industrial Waste Conference, University of Delaware.

Cunningham, R. S., Craig K. Losche and R. Kenneth Holtje, 1975, Water Quality Implications of Strip Mine Reclamation by Waste Water Sludge, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Spring Conference, May 4-8.

Cunningham, R. S., Kenneth N. Brooks and David B. Thorud, 1975, Antitranspirants as a Possible Alternative to the Eradication of Salt Cedar Thickets, Proceedings, Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Vol. 5.

Cunningham, R. S., L. Tluczek and Dean H. Urie, 1974, Soil Incorporation Shows Promise for Low Cost Treatment of Sanitary Vault Wastes, North Central Forest Experiment Station Research Note, NC-181.

Cunningham, R. S., 1972, Evaluation of Transpiration Suppressants as an Alternative to the Eradication of Salt Cedar Thickets, M. S. Thesis, University of Arizona.

Cunningham, R. S., 1971, Antitranspirants: A Possible Alternative to the Eradication of Salt Cedar Thickets, Proceedings, New Mexico State Water Conference.