Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units

CESU Background

What if federal agencies who manage natural and cultural resources could tap into a network of scientists, who represent a full spectrum of natural, social, educational and cultural disciplines, to find information in a timely manner that informs management decisions? 

What if the universities, state and local agencies, nonprofits and businesses had access to and participation in this network? 

What if this network addressed urban as well as rural areas of the United States and U.S. territories? Could it connect to scientists and resource managers in Canada and Mexico?

What would this mean to the future of the nation, to the future of the planet?

The CESU Network is well positioned as a platform to support research, technical assistance, education and capacity building that is responsive to long-standing and contemporary science and resource management priorities.

The Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Network is a national consortium of federal agencies, tribes, academic institutions, state and local governments, nongovernmental conservation organizations, and other partners working together to support informed public trust resource stewardship.

Discussion Questions:

1. Visit the CESU national website and explore which CESU unit is in your region. Visit and explore their list of partners.

2. CESU projects focus on education, applied research and technical assistance. What project or program are you working on that might benefit from partnership under a CESU agreement?

3. How do the projects presented in the CESU that serves your geography reflect the four trends of managing by network: (a) third-party government; (b) joined-up government; (c) digital revolution and (c) public/consumer demand?

CESU Network In Action

From communicating the impact of climate change on Hawaii's coral reefs to community planning and sustainability related to urban encroachment of military facilities in the Southeast, Tom Fish highlights eight projects of the CESU. 

Projects range from support of the Great Lakes fishery industry to the landscape evaluation of the Great Basin Sagebrush Steppe.  Join us at the Colorado Plateau to learn more about the reintroduction of the humback chub.  Connect the dots between submerged cultural landscapes to planning the location of wind power turbines.  Learn about on the ground coastal restoration and how the history and case studies of the CESU Network provide a guide for the future.

CESU Future

Learn how you can tap into this Network of scientific knowledge, technical assistance and resources or to join the team of providers.

Gain insight into how this community of practices is reaching in and reaching out to connect with the needs for guidance.

Reflect on the opportunities for student involvement and encourage pursuing their education and meeting the nation's demand for scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technology specialists.

Tom Fish

National Coordinator
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units Network, NPS

Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units

Tom Fish, National Coordinator, CESU Network, presented the following case study in 2012 as part of the Managing by Network course of the Partnership and Community Collaboration Academy.  While Tom's position is located within the National Park Service, the Network includes more than 325 partners including 14 federal agencies.  Tom's presentation attracted the Academy's attention.  He answered two burning questions:  Where are the science specialists?  And how do we contact them to support the stewardship of the nation's public lands.  Thus Tom was invited to the BLM National Training Center to record his presentation for a broader audience. 

Learn more about the CESU

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