Established in 1932 by J.N. "Ding" Darling (pictured) as a joint venture among Iowa State College (Iowa State University) and the Iowa Fish and Game Commission, the Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit in Iowa was the first in the nation. With the authorization of the Cooperative Units Act by Congress in 1960, 43 cooperative units have since been created at land-grant universities in 40 states.
While maintaining a commitment to traditional wildlife and fisheries research, the unit at Iowa State also addresses larger scale problems related to biodiversity, landscapes and ecosystems, urbanization, and restoration ecology. In addition to mentoring graduate students in fish and wildlife management, the unit offers technical assistance to its cooperators and to the public through lectures, workshops, conferences, and publications.
Scientists of the unit are faculty members and actively participate in Natural Resource and Ecology Management, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Environmental Science graduate programs. Most research projects are field oriented and conducted by graduate students.
Wildlife studies of the unit emphasize the impacts of agriculture on native species and the effectiveness of restoration programs in sustaining viable wildlife populations. The fishery studiesreflect both the nature of Iowa's resources and their use, the impact of agriculture on these resources, and the role of aquaculture in enhancing existing fisheries. Water quality has become an increasingly important issue over the years as waterways are significantly affected by agricultural and other human activities.
The cooperative unit concept was, and continu
es to be, successful as demonstrated by its 85 years of quality research, education, and public outreach.
Did you know?
The Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research unit is jointly sponsored by the U.S. Geological Survey, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University, and Wildlife Management Institute.