Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU)

Co-Leaders Corner

We are pleased to welcome you to our corner of the internet here at the Pacific Northwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (PNW CESU). Together, Ali and Dan are committed to ensuring the PNW CESU continues to support robust ecosystem studies throughout the Pacific Northwest region by facilitating collaboration between funders and scientists.

We’ve experienced some staffing changes in the program that we’d like to update you on. In July 2023, we bid farewell to Teresa Bresee, who served as the PNW CESU Program Administrative Specialist for many years. We greatly thank Teresa for her hard work and invaluable contributions to the PNW CESU!

In October, we welcomed Kylie Baker as the PNW CESU Science Communication Specialist. She recently graduated from the University of Washington (UW) with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Resource Management. She specializes in environmental conservation and communication, and her passion lies in sharing compelling conservation narratives and scientific discoveries to engage diverse audiences. Welcome to the team, Kylie!

Ali Ainsworth, the National Park Service (NPS) Science Advisor and PNW CESU Co-Lead, has recently joined the UW Northwest Climate Adaptation Science Center (NW CASC) Advisory Committee. In an interview with NW CASC, she was introduced and highlighted as one of the “Faces of Adaptation.” Congratulations, Ali!

Dan Brown, the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences (SEFS) Director and PNW CESU Co-Lead, has been involved in a major renovation project on the Seattle campus (Anderson Hall). He is also working on launching a new organization to facilitate cross-sectoral networks of collaboration on sustainability (called the National Sustainability Society), which will host its inaugural conference in Seattle, September 9-11. This project will be the primary focus of his sabbatical from June through December 2024. While we will miss Dan, Professor Clare Ryan has graciously agreed to serve as Acting Director for a six-month term, assuming all the responsibilities of the SEFS Director position.

On May 7th, the annual joint meeting between the PNW and Great Basin CESUs was a great success. The meeting featured updates from the National CESU Network, NPS, and our respective regions. It also included two project presentations and a membership applicant presentation for the PNW CESU.

The 2023 fiscal year was remarkably productive for the PNW CESU. Our partners were awarded $13.1 million in federal funds, contributing to a total of 1,164 projects since 2001. Portland State University (PSU) led with 22 new projects and modifications, followed by Oregon State University (OSU) with 14, and UW with 11. Among federal agencies, NPS awarded the most funds to new projects and modifications with $5.2 million, followed by the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with $2.4 million and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) with $1.7 million.

We are immensely grateful to our members for their outstanding and critical work. The projects completed through the CESU network enhance our understanding and management of natural and cultural resources. Here’s to continued success and more exciting discoveries in 2024!

Alison (Ali) Ainsworth
Dan Brown
Kylie Baker