Skip to main content

Great Basin Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU)


About The Great Basin

The Great Basin is geographically well defined, bounded on the west by the Sierra Nevada range, on the north by the northern edge of southern plains of Idaho, on the east by the Wasatch range of Utah, and on the south by the Mojave desert in southern Utah and Nevada. Established in 2001.

Lead Institution: University of Nevada-Reno

CESU Objectives

  • Provide research, technical assistance and education to federal land management, environmental and research agencies and their potential partners;
  • Develop a program of research, technical assistance and education that involves the biological, physical, social, and cultural sciences needed to address resources issues and interdisciplinary problem-solving at multiple scales and in an ecosystem context at the local, regional, and national level; and
  • Place special emphasis on the working collaboration among federal agencies and universities and their related partner institutions

Network and Structure

The CESU Network partners are organized into seventeen units. CESUs function as “virtual” organizations, linking federal agencies and institutions to increase access to expertise and facilities. Each CESU is composed of federal agencies, a host university, and partner institutions.

Each CESU has an administrative structure that allows partners to work cooperatively and efficiently. These include the cooperative and joint venture agreement, a federal managers committee, a role and mission statement, and strategic and annual work plans.


  • University faculty and institutional experts- close professional collaboration with federal employees and increased opportunities for interdisciplinary, multi-agency research projects related to federal resource management issues. The CESU Network makes their unique skills and expertise easily accessible by resource managers throughout the country.
  • Graduate students- increased research, fieldwork, and employment opportunities; exposure to contemporary federal resource management issues; and additional faculty, courses, and seminars.
  • University and institutional research programs- consistent and comprehensive agreements that provide for overhead costs, maximize opportunities for research, create a broadened scope of contacts with federal agencies, and offer a voice in establishing research agendas.


Boise State Contact