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Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, Chesapeake Watershed CESU

Post Date

April 1st 2008

Application Due Date

April 10th 2008

Funding Opportunity Number


CFDA Number(s)


Funding Instrument Type(s)

Cooperative Agreement

Funding Activity Categories

Science and Technology and other Research and Development

Number of Awards


Eligibility Categories


This financial assistance opportunity is being issued under a Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) Program. CESU’s are partnerships that provide research, technical assistance, and education. Eligible recipients must be a participating partner of the Chesapeake Watershed Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) Program.


  • Estimated Total Funding:


  • Award Range:

    $122200 - $122200

Grant Description

The purpose of the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NoRock) funding opportunity is to use host genetics to infer movement patterns at broad spatial scales, but in many cases these patterns are confounded by translocation efforts or lack resolution due to long generation times. Genetic information on parasites, however, can complement information from host genetics and can provide a better reconstruction of their common history if the parasite has a high mutation rate, short generation time, and is highly specific to the host. We propose to estimate contact patterns of mule deer and elk across several states in the Rocky Mountain region using host and parasite genetics. By linking our sampling effort with chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveys in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Colorado we will be able to look at connectivity at an unprecedented scale. Since Montana no longer conducts state-wide CWD surveys, this funding will provide the resources necessary to acquire additional samples from the western half of the state. A lentivirus recently discovered in mule deer will be used as the parasite marker. Further analyses will be conducted to survey pathogens present in elk lymph nodes. Pending the discovery of a suitable virus in elk, a parallel study of elk will be conducted. Genetic estimates of connectivity within and among populations will be compared to a more intensive study of traditional tracking around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The long-term goal is to the develop broad-scale wildlife disease models that are built upon foundation empirical movement data, which can then be tailored to specific pathogens. Although our interests are focused on chronic wasting disease and Brucella abortus, we believe this research will also be applicable to future disease threats (e.g. tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth disease) and wildlife conservation and management problems. NoRock conducts research in support of natural resources management in the mountains and plains of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho. The Center produces and disseminates scientific information needed for decision-making in collaboration with Federal and State land management agencies, Native American tribes, academic institutions and organizations. Since 2001, NoRock has funded projects that advance the Center in producing strong and unbiased scientific information necessary for decision making. The Center will continue to support such projects.

Contact Information

  • Agency

    Department of the Interior

  • Office:

    Geological Survey

  • Agency Contact:

    Phone 703-648-7356

  • Agency Mailing Address:

    Contract Specialist

  • Agency Email Address:

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