Alan Joseph Wormser, 48, who worked to make the National Guard more sensitive to environmental needs, archaeology and cultural and historical matters, died Aug. 12 at Inova Fairfax Hospital from a stroke, as a complication of diabetes.
Trained as an archaeologist, Mr. Wormer developed his specialty in Texas, where in 1993 he launched the country's first cultural resources office for a unit of the National Guard. He supervised a staff of archaeologists, architectural historians and other specialists and advised the Texas National Guard on the impact its bases and construction programs might have on the environment, historic properties and Native American artifacts.
In 2000, he brought this expertise to the federal government as national program manager of cultural resources at Army National Guard headquarters in Arlington. As a federal agency, the National Guard is required to comply with environmental and historic preservation regulations at its hundreds of locations throughout the 50 states, the District and three territories.
Mr. Wormser's task was to balance the Guard's military mission with concerns for the environment and history. As a result, he worked closely with archaeologists across the country and became an authority on issues related to environmental law, land management and conservation. He was a primary liaison between the Defense Department and Indian tribes whose lands and sacred sites were affected by developments at National Guard bases nationwide.
In Texas in 1996, he succeeded in having a historic military base, Camp Mabry near Austin, nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Mr. Wormser later worked on a national scale to determine whether buildings or other sites on National Guard properties should be designated as historic landmarks. He also led workshops across the country for the National Guard, historic preservationists and archaeologists.
In 1997, he was given environmental security awards from the secretary of the Army and the secretary of defense, and the next year he received a personal citation of merit from Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen.
Mr. Wormser was born in San Antonio and graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He received a master's degree in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma in 1981 and did additional graduate work there until 1984.
He was a registered professional archaeologist whose specialties included the anthropology of Texas and the Southwest, the settlement of the southern plains and Native American practices. Before finding his niche with the National Guard, he worked on the staff of the Oklahoma state archaeologist and, from 1986 to 1993, was an archaeologist for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Besides his professional work, Mr. Wormser had a wide array of other interests. Since his teens, he had been interested in folk dancing from around the world and could perform more than 700 varieties of ethnic dances, particularly from Eastern Europe. He led classes and workshops on folk dancing and occasionally performed at festivals across the country.
He had been a member of the fencing team in college and, in recent years, had become interested in rapier fencing from the Renaissance. He also participated in activities of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group dedicated to historic reenactments from medieval and Renaissance times.
Mr. Wormser, a resident of Annandale, was a ham radio operator skilled in communicating in Morse code. He was a member of emergency response communications networks and, at the time of his death, was secretary of the Alexandria Radio Club.
He also had done a considerable amount of genealogical research and had traced his own family back to Hungary and Romania in the 15th and 16th centuries.
His wife of 12 years, Kerynn Lynne Darien Bissett, died in 2002 of Lou Gehrig's disease.
Survivors include his fiancee, Lara Coutinho of Indianapolis; and two sisters, Lisa Schamess of Washington and Deborah Wormser of Dallas.