Coop Unit History
Cooperative Research Unit Program Established
Cooperative Units Act
WA Fishery Unit Established
Combined Fish & Wildlife Research Unit Established
WACFWRU 30th Aniv.
The Cooperative Research Unit (CRU) Program was established in 1934, as part of the Bureau of Biological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, to meet the growing needs for trained personnel to conduct and provide education in the field of fish and wildlife resource management. Cooperative agreements with universities, state fish and wildlife agencies, and the Wildlife Management Institute enable the Units to coordinate fish and wildlife research and training programs. All Cooperative Research Units are located on University campuses, and all permanent Unit staff serve both as University faculty and as federal employees in the management of Unit missions. The CRU program was transferred to the US Department of the Interior (DOI) in 1939, and in 1940 became part of the DOI US Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1960 the US Congress passed the Cooperative Units Act (Public Law 86-686), authorizing the CRU Program as a seperate line item in the DOI budget. This act increased the visibility, status, and stability of the CRU Program, and also authorized the inclusion of fisheries research under the CRU umbrella. In 1996 the Cooperative Research Unit Program was transferred to the Biological Resources Division of the US Geological Survey. Today 40 Cooperative Units within 38 states are coordinated and supervised by the Cooperative Research Unit Program in Reston, VA.
The Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (WACFWRU) is one of 34 Units that are combined Fish and Wildlife Research Units. Two additional units are Wildlife Research Units, and four others are Fishery Research Units. WACFWRU will celebrated its 30th anniversary in 1998. The Unit was formed as a fisheries research unit in 1967, and became a combined fish and wildlife research unit in 1989. Base funding for operations is provided by the Unit's cooperating agencies: USGS; the University of Washington (School of Fisheries); and the Washington Departments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife and Natural Resources. Effective working relationships with Washington State University and other academic institutions, other Federal and State agencies and private conservation organizations help the Unit meet its goals. In addition to maintaining productive research programs in their own areas of expertise, Unit staff seek funds fro research by other scientists at the University of Washington, Washington State University and the cooperating State agencies.
During the last five years, WACFWRU has received an average of $1.3 million in new research dollars per year from federal, state, and private sources. These funds have supported 27-33 graduate students per year in the program. WACFWRU has maintained a consistent record of completed student theses and dissertations, and technical publications of high quality. WACFWRU students and staff have received numerous awards for scientific excellence.