Our Mission

To execute and provide collaborative research, education, and technical assistance addressing desert ecosystem resource issues at local, regional, national, and international levels. To establish interdisciplinary programs that involve natural resources, cultural resources, and social sciences, with emphasis on involving communities and under-represented groups.

The Desert Southwest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (DSCESU) is a cooperative network of federal, university, and nongovernmental agencies studying and managing natural and cultural resources across the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Formed in 2000, and encompassing the Sonoran, Mojave, and Chihuahuan deserts, the DSCESU has been involved in more than 400 projects, with funding totaling over $19 million. The DSCESU is hosted by the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

Members of the Desert Southwest CESU benefit from a collaborative partnership in research, education, and technical assistance. Collaboration is facilitated by a streamlined task agreement process, and a 17.5% indirect cost rate (with the exception of the indirect cost rate of the U.S. Forest Service (0%) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (10%)).