Cooperative Research and Training Programs Resources of the National Park System

To develop adequate, coordinated cooperative research, offer training programs and/or develop information products and to create, through cooperative agreements, cooperative study units to conduct multidisciplinary research to provide a solid science basis for the management of the National Park System
or the larger region of which parks are a part as necessary to form the basis of sound park management.

To establish cooperative study units to conduct multi-disciplinary research and develop integrated information products on the resources of the National Park System, or the larger region of which parks are a part.

The establishment of a comprehensive network of such college and university based cooperative study units as will provide full geographic
and topical coverage for research on the resources contained in units of the National Park System and their larger regions.

(16 USC 5933).

To more effectively achieve the mission of the National Park Service; to enhance
management and protection of national park resources by providing clear authority and direction for the conduct of scientific study in the National Park System and to use the information gathered for management purposes; to ensure appropriate documentation of resource conditions in the National Park System; to encourage others to use the National Park System for study to the benefit of park management as well as broader scientific value; to encourage the publication and dissemination of information derived from studies in the National Park System.

The objectives of the units (cooperative ecosystem study units) are to:
• Provide resource managers with high-quality scientific research, technical assistance, and education;
• Provide resource managers with solid natural resource information;
• Deliver research and technical assistance that is timely, relevant to resource managers, and needed to develop and implement sound adaptive management approaches;
• Ensure the independence and objectivity of research;
• Create and maintain effective partnerships among federal agencies and universities to share resources and expertise;
• Take full advantage of university resources while benefiting faculty and students;
• Provide research, technical assistance, and educational functions within the context of cultural, social, biological, and physical sciences;
• Enhance the ability of Federal natural and cultural resource managers to generate, acquire, synthesize, act upon, and articulate to the public sound research and scientific information;
• Encourage professional development of federal scientists and enhance their ability to manage federal science resources efficiently.

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Dr. Thomas E.

National Coordinator
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Network
1849 C Street NW, Room #2723
Washington, DC 20240
Phone: (202) 208-5972.
Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2010: Information Not available New Program. Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Administrative Requirements for Department of the Interior Financial Assistance Awards at 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart F must be followed.

The Secretary of Interior must determine that appropriations for the purpose of cooperative management of projects are available and an agreement is in the best interests of the United States.

Funds may not be used for acquisition of real property.

Contact the Headquarters Office for more information.

All awards require the application of the appropriate Cost Principles for Federal Financial Assistance, as specified for each type of organization.

(2 CFR 220, 225, or 230).

For further information, please contact the regional office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The CESU Network consists of colleges and universities, including but not limited to Land Grant schools, nongovernmental conservation organizations, state and local governments, and federally recognized American Indian tribal governments, in partnership with Federal natural resource and scientific agencies.

State and local governments, federally recognized American Indian tribal governments, public/private nonprofit organizations, nonprofit institutions of higher education, and individuals.

Applicant entity must have expertise in the contemplated scientific research, technical assistance, information dissemination, and educational functions within the context of cultural, social, biological, and physical sciences as applicable to park management.

Prospective CESU Network nonfederal and federal partners follow a procedure which is outlined at the program s website.

Beneficiary Eligibility

University faculty; federal employees by accessing increased opportunities for interdisciplinary, multi-agency research projects related to federal resource management issues; any entity which may, will, or can benefit from the contemplated activity; students, researchers, experts, and instructors as members of the general public.


All organizations will be required to comply with the requirements provided in the
specific Funding Opportunity Announcement and award document. If applying as a nonprofit organization, proof of nonprofit status will be required. Examples of prior work in technical areas related to management and research on public lands (e.g., National Park) may be required. Each organization submitting an application will be required to follow the registration requirements including registration in the DUNS and CCR systems. The procedures are provided at: OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Pre-application coordination will be specified in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, if applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applicants, who wish to submit proposals for identified needs, will coordinate with the designated NPS CESU Research Coordinator. Opportunities will be announced in accordance with current policy and procedure of the NPS. Projects will be awarded as determined by the Secretary (generally through the project office or Superintendent) within the requirements of applicable existing bureau and agency regulation and policy. Cooperators will submit the required SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance and identify the entity and the project proposal in addition to a budget and SF-424B, Assurances for Federal Assistance.

Award Procedures

Projects are identified and awarded based on priorities of the agency and available funding. Network partners may respond to a Funding Opportunity Announcement or Request for Interest. Timely submissions will be reviewed in relationship to the evaluation criteria specified in the opportunity announcement. Awards will be made in the form of a cooperative agreement.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


MANAGEMENT; SUBCHAPTER II - National Park System Resource Inventory and
Management; Sections 5932, Research Mandate; Sec. 5933, Cooperative Agreements, (a)
Cooperative Study Units; and Sec. 5935, Availability for Scientific Study; NPS Challenge
Cost Share 16 U.S.C. 1f; Research and Training 16 U.S.C. 1a-2j; Funding of Research
Agreements (43 U.S.C. § 1471f); Cooperative Agreements, 16 U.S.C. 1g, Title II of the
1998 NPS Omnibus Act (P.L. 105-391).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Determined based on project specific requirements.


Not Applicable.


Recipients may request renewal of existing projects or additional projects to meet program goals and objectives. NPS will grant renewals based on mission needs, priorities, regulations, and Administrative Requirements. Renewals are contingent upon available appropriations to the program and need for further assistance.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Some projects may be conducted on a predetermined cost share basis.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Assistance is provided on a project basis and available appropriations. A project may last from 3 months to 5 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: For further information, please contact the regional office.

Post Assistance Requirements


Unless otherwise specified in the award, additionally, all organizations will be required to submit yearly narrative summary accomplishment reports to the National Park Service at the end of each project year.

All projects and activities are monitored for progress and compliance within the agreed upon scope of work.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

Specific projects or activities for which funds are advanced shall be tracked and reported by submittal of Standard Form 270, Request for Advance or Reimbursement, and a quarterly or annual submittal of Standard Form 425, the Financial Report.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Recipients will maintain records in accordance with the provisions of 43 CFR Part 12, Subpart C, "Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative
Agreements to State and Local Governments." The Cooperator must maintain a complete detailed accounting system to report expenditures of funds and accomplishments achieved under the award. Records, accounts, and supporting documents must be retained for 3 years after submission for final request for reimbursement.

Financial Information

Account Identification

14-1042-0-1-303 - NR&P; 14-1036-0-1-303 - Operation of the National Park System.


(Cooperative Agreements (Discretionary Grants)) FY 10 $0; FY 11 $0; FY 12 $1,000,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

New Program - Information not available.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Recipients of awards will comply with the applicable OMB Circular and DOI Regulations governing Financial Assistance awards at 43 CFR Part 12.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices.

Dr. Thomas E. Fish
National Coordinator
Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Network
1849 C Street NW, Room #2723
Washington, DC 20240
Phone: (202) 208-5972.

Headquarters Office

(CESU) Network Dr. Thomas E. Fish
National Park Service.
Main Interior Building
1849 C Street NW, Room #2737, Washington, District of Columbia 20240 Email: Phone: (202) 208-5972

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Specific projects will have particular requirements. The criteria will be contained in the Funding Opportunity Announcements on
Criteria may include:
• Ability to provide research, technical assistance and education,
• Demonstrated involvement with and responsiveness to Federal agency and interagency requirements, particularly in the area of Federal land management, environmental and research agencies;
• Demonstrated potential contribution to fostering multi-disciplinary/multi-agency
research related to ecosystem management;
• Demonstrated ability to contribute to fostering interdisciplinary research related to
cultural resource management, including historic preservation and heritage education;
• Potential contribution to increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce.

Host University Criteria:
• Research Extensive/Intensive University which meet current Carnegie Classification
(i.e., research focus, Ph.D. and M.S. students) are qualified to serve as host university;
• Involvement of faculty and graduate students in state-of-the-art research in disciplines
relevant to ecosystem management, including biological, physical, social, and cultural
• Ability to fully integrate Federal employee(s) into university activities (e.g.,
appropriate faculty appointments and equivalent support facilities, graduate committee
memberships, opportunities for teaching advanced courses and seminars);
• Ability to partner with at least one minority-serving institution;
• Potential of the university to address significant ecosystem management issues and concerns of regional and national importance;
• Ability to deliver research, technical assistance, and educational services to managers in multiple Federal land management, environmental and research agencies;
• Access to critical resources (e.g., computing, GIS/remote sensing, library services, research laboratories, office space, etc.);
• Focus on ecosystem-level issues and multi-disciplinary collaboration;
• Potential of the university to provide complementary and needed research, technical assistance, and educational services to participating Federal agencies, and other characteristics relevant to regional and national science needs;
• Inclusion as host or partner in the CESU no fewer than one of the following
institutions: Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Predominantly
Hispanic Serving Institution, Tribal College or University, or other post secondary
minority institution;
•Ability to attract minority students in graduate programs relevant to CESU;
•Current programs to involve minority students in graduate programs relevant to the CESU;
•Willingness to accept the network negotiated indirect cost rate by host, partner universities, and other partner institutions.

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