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. The CESU Network includes 371 partners, including 15 federal agencies, in seventeen CESUs representing biogeographic regions encompassing all 50 states and U.S. territories. 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 CESU Network welcomes the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The United States has a unique legal and political relationship with Indian tribes and Alaska Native entities as provided by the Constitution of the United States, treaties, court decisions and Federal statutes. Within the government-to-government relationship, Indian Affairs provides services directly or through contracts, grants, or compacts to 566 Federally recognized tribes with a service population of about 1.9 million American Indian and Alaska Natives. While the role of Indian Affairs has changed significantly in the last three decades in response to a greater emphasis on Indian self-governance and self-determination, Tribes still look to Indian Affairs for a broad spectrum of services.
The seventeen CESUs bring together scientists, resource managers, students, and other conservation professionals, drawing upon expertise from across the biological, physical, social, cultural, and engineering disciplines (from Anthropology to Zoology) to conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary applied projects that address natural and cultural heritage resource issues at multiple scales and in an ecosystem context. Each CESU is structured as a working collaborative with participation from numerous federal and nonfederal institutional partners. CESUs are based at host universities and focused on a particular biogeographic region of the country.