by Dr. Dan Filer, CHWA CESU NPS Research Coordinator
State of the Network
We saw a very slight increase in overall funding pass through the network in FY2019, with close to $6 million being sent to our partners through new agreements or funded modifications to existing projects. We also slightly increased the number of partners that were engaged in in projects, with more than half of our partners receiving some type of funding last fiscal year. The Department of Defense and the National Park Service continue to be some of the most active federal partners, and we are actively working to increase awareness of the Network among others.
The state of the network remains strong! We are continuing to attract new partners, working with federal agencies to fund new and different types of projects, and funding levels have remained strong. We hope all of these trends continue into the immediate future, and we stand ready to help any of you secure funding.
You can always contact me with any questions or concerns you may have by phone at 301-491-2465 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Response to COVID-19
As the Director has shared in his message, I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy during these difficult and unique times. The pandemic has resulted in many changes to existing agreements, whether it be the need to add additional funds to continue work or extend periods of performance. We have also seen an extension of deadlines for federal opportunities, which may result in more funds becoming available during the summer than in past years. Be sure to reach out to me if your project has been impacted and you have questions. We will keep you informed of any opportunities through the network.
New Partners in 2020
We are very excited to announce the addition of ten new partners earlier this year: nine non-federal and one federal partners. The new members are as follows:
- American Indian Higher Education Commission
- Association of African American Museums
- Gallaudet University
- Indiana University – Eppley Institute
- Temple University
- Johns Hopkins University
- Live It, Learn It
- Monmouth University
The addition of these partners brings us to 13 federal partners and 62 non-federal partners, making us one of the largest and most active CESU research networks in the nation! We look forward to working with these new partners along with our current members in 2020 and beyond!
We have made the decision to postpone our annual meeting to a date in the fall (likely October or November) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting will take place somewhere in the DC Metro area and will not be held at the National Conservation Training Center as previously planned.
Although the date is to be determined, we would like your feedback on whether we should try for a blended meeting (face-to-face with a virtual option) or strictly virtual session. We know future scheduling and travel can be uncertain at this time, but please consider taking this poll and give us your best prediction as to what you may do for the meeting.
2021 Renewal of the Chesapeake Watershed CESU Research Network
Our research network will be up for renewal in 2021 – what does that mean, and what does that mean for you as a partner? The CESU network Joint Venture Agreement that all of our institutions and organizations signed onto when they became members is required to be re-evaluated every five years, along with our current membership and the effectiveness of our programming and projects. The last renewal was completed in 2016 and we have grown over three-fold since then and quadrupled the amount of annual funding dollars that pass through the network! We will be working closely with the administrative contacts of your institution and/or organization over the coming months to collect the necessary data for this renewal process, so please be vigilant in checking your email or responding to any queries that may come from me or the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.