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Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit - Great Lakes - Northern Forests

Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit - Great Lakes - Northern Forests

Faculty Opportunities

In 2018 the University of Michigan joined the Great Lakes-Northern Forests Cooperative Studies Unit, one of 15 such networks across the country.

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 network includes more than400 nonfederal partnersand15 federal agenciesacrossseventeen CESUsrepresenting biogeographic regions encompassing all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Collaborative Project Opportunities

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

Great Lakes-Northern Forest CESU

The Great Lakes-Northern Forest CESU (GLNF-CESU) is a network of faculty and staff from leading academic institutions, specialists from conservation organizations, and resource managers from federal agencies. (See current membership here.) Partners transcend political and institutional boundaries to improve the scientific basis for managing public lands. Resource managers receive high quality scientific research, technical assistance, and education, while academic partners embrace interdisciplinary ecosystem studies involving the biological, physical, social, and cultural sciences.

The mission of the Great Lakes-Northern Forest CESU (GLNF-CESU) is to conduct a program of research/ technical assistance and education that involves the biological/ physical/ social and cultural sciences needed to address/ manage and preserve Great Lakes Northern Forest ecosystems in a rapidly changing social/ economic and environmental landscape. The GLNF CESU region includes more than 30 percent of the nation's total population, several of its largest metropolitan areas, and some of the world’s most significant water resources and forest lands.

Start a Conversation

Projects are generated multiple ways. Most begin with conversations between agency resource managers or researchers and members of the university community. Periodically opportunities to respond to requests for proposals are posted to the institutions within the CESU network, please watch for these opportunities here.

  • If you have an idea for a project, contact Dr. Jennifer Read, U-M CESU Technical Representative, before beginning work on a project scope and budget.

CESU Contacts at the U-M Graham Sustainability Institute

Dr. Jennifer Read, U-M CESU Technical Representative
(734) 769-8898

Graham Institute U-M CESU Administrative Representative
(734) 615-8230

Great Lakes - Northern Forests CESU Contacts

Erin Williams
Co-Director, Great Lakes-Northern Forest CESU
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Coordinator
National Park Service, Midwest Region
PHONE: (612) 624-7286 (office)

Stephanie Snell
GLNF CESU Coordinator
PHONE: (612) 624-2213 (office)

Website: Great Lakes Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (GLNF - CESU)


Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service U.S.
Geological Survey
National Park Service


U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station
Natural Resources Conservation Service


Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Civil Works