Evaluating the U.S. Geological Survey, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Units Program—Your Input Needed!

Evaluating the U.S. Geological Survey, Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Units Program—Your Input Needed!

The legacy of the USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Units (CRU) Program is vast. Having sprouted from its beginnings at Iowa State University over nine decades ago, it has flourished into a partnership comprising 42 individual Cooperative Research Units across 40 states. Central to this initiative has been the collaboration between the USGS, state natural resource management agencies, universities, the USFWS, and the Wildlife Management Institute. This union has pioneered research and nurtured the next generation of natural resource professionals.

As the CRU continuously reflects on and refines its approach, researchers at the University of Maine have initiated a project to evaluate the program's impact and effectiveness. A critical component of this assessment involves understanding the relationships and networks among cooperators. While we have gained significant insight from a survey focusing on CRU scientists, we want to capture the perspectives of all collaborators. This will offer a more holistic view of program dynamics and function.

We need your participation and support in circulating a survey among state natural resource agency collaborators! We want to reach a diverse group of professionals, biologists, and managers including those in distinct land or park divisions. Whether engaged in conserving game or non-game species, operating in terrestrial, freshwater, or marine environments, your feedback is invaluable in informing the future of the program.

A survey invitation and reminders have been sent to the directors of state agency cooperators for distribution. If you receive it from them, please consider responding. If you have not already been asked, you may access the survey online.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the survey or its administration, please do not hesitate to reach out to Sarah Vogel (Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maine) at sarah.vogel@maine.edu.

August 15, 2023