CHWA Research Coordinator’s Corner May 2021

by Dan Filer, CHWA CESU NPS Research Coordinator

State of the Network

Bar graph showing funding levels for 2018, 2019, and 2020 in the CHWA CESU.

Total funding through the CHWA CESU 2018-2020

Fiscal year 2020 was the most productive year in the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network’s history in terms of volume of funding and number of financial actions: we facilitated just over $8 million passing from our twelve federal partners to our cooperators using 150 new agreements and modifications to existing projects (see graphic below).  We attribute this to several factors, including more active federal involvement in the network and the growing depth of expertisement and research capabilities within our network. We recently admitted our 64th non-federal member of the network, Conservation Science Global, Inc. (CSGI), continuing our efforts to diversity the expertise we can provide and expanding the reach of our network.  In the last 4 years we have more than doubled the size of our network, and these efforts have undoubtedly drawn more funding to our partners.

COVID-19

COVID-19 continues to impact our network both personally and professionally.  While we have been fortunate in the last year to be safe and healthy, we understand that many have not been so fortunate.  Everyone here at the office of the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network hopes that you and your family have been staying safe and fairing well during the continued stress and pressures placed on all of us during the continued pandemic and time of social unrest.  Travel continues to be restricted and we are planning for an annual meeting this fall that will be held on ZOOM.

Headshot of Tanya Gossett in National Park Service uniform and hat with trees and grassland in background.

Tanya Gossett, Associate Area Director for Resource Stewardship and Science for the National Park Service. Photo Credit: National Park Service

Change in NPS Leadership

The Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network is delighted to announce the arrival of Tanya Gossett in February as the new Associate Area Director for Resource Stewardship and Science for the National Park Service, and the direct supervisor of the Research Coordinator for this network.  Gossett has more than 21 years of experience in federal service and most recently served as the Superintendent of Prince William Forest Park, a role in which she worked closely with external stakeholders, the National Park Service, and the Department of Defense staff and professionals at the adjacent Marine Corp Base Quantico.  She is a Fairfax, Virginia native and holds degrees in history and historic preservation planning from James Madison University and Cornell University, respectively, both of which are CESU partners.

Annual Meeting Update

The Annual Meeting of the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13 beginning at 10 AM on ZOOM.  The Annual Federal Partners Meeting is scheduled for 10am-12pm on Wednesday, October 20, and will also be held on ZOOM.  Last year’s annual meetings saw record attendance likely because of the online platform, but we are planning to move back to a summer meeting in hybrid form in 2022 with a return to the National Conservation Training Center on Friday, June 24.

Database Updates: Projects and Experts

Among the exciting developments within our network is the continued roll-out of our experts and projects database, both of which were built using host support finding and engaging the programming skills of Appalachian Laboratory Manager Katie Kline.  There are other articles in this newsletter highlighting developments with both of these databases – please take a moment to read them.  These efforts are unique to the CESU network and serve as valuable tools to our federal and nonfederal partners.