Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Headquarters
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Headquarters History



Northern Pintail Drake at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge

The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Program was conceived and initiated in Iowa by the cartoonist, political satirist, and conservationist J. N. "Ding" Darling. In the early 1930s, Darling was the commissioner of the Iowa Fish and Game Commission when he created the cooperative wildlife research unit as a joint venture of Iowa State College and the Iowa Fish and Game Commission.

In 1934, Darling was appointed director of the Federal Bureau of Biological Survey. In this position, Darling lobbied Congress for support of a nationwide cooperative wildlife research unit program. With commitments from land-grant universities, state natural resources agencies, and ammunition companies, units were established in nine states that represented the breadth of ecosystems across the country (Oregon, Utah, Texas, Iowa, Maine, Connecticut, Virginia, Alabama, Ohio).

The Cooperative Units Act (P.L. 86-686) was passed by Congress in 1960, which authorized the unit program as a separate budget item within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This act also established cooperative fishery units. The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Program has evolved over the years, including the addition of several new units. Other significant programmatic changes included combining disparate wildlife and fisheries programs into single units in the 1970s, and moving the unit program from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the U.S. Geological Survey in the 1990s.

The Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units are truly cooperative ventures of federal and state governments, and non-governmental organizations.


Name Completion Date Start Date Role
Cartagirone, Suzanne 2017 2004 Administrative Operations Assistant
Childs, Dawn None 2015 Headquarters Staff
Coulby, Shana None 2015 Administrative Officer
Croston, Brenda None 1998 Administrative Specialist
Dennerline, Don None 2000 Biologist
Fleming, Walker 2014 2007 Supervisor
Fleming, Walker 2007 1998 Deputy Chief
Geary, Derek None 2016 Administrative Program Specialist
Gelsomin, Amanda None 2016 Administrative Specialist
Goforth, Reid 1999 1983 Headquarters Staff
Grand, James None 2017 Supervisor
Grand, James 2017 1998 Unit Leader
Linton, Terry 2015 2000 Program Support Assistant
Margraf, F. 2016 2009 Supervisor
Margraf, F. 2009 1999 Unit Leader
Margraf, F. 1999 1996 Unit Leader
Margraf, F. 1996 1987 Unit Leader
Nichols, Lindsay 2009 2006 Headquarters Other
Organ, John 2019 2014 Chief
Oris, Nicholas None 2018 Administrative Specialist
Raines, Rita 2015 2007 Administrative Officer
Reis, Kathryn 2008 2005 Headquarters Other
Shanks, Bernard 2009 2004 Headquarters Staff
Sparrowe, Rollin 1983 1976 Headquarters Staff
Thode, Melissa None 2016 Program Analyst
Thompson, John None 2019 Chief
Thompson, John 2018 2014 Deputy Chief
Tome, Michael None 1992 Supervisor
Von Erden, Jennifer 2015 2010 Headquarters Staff
Weant, Shari 2010 2000 Headquarters Staff
Whalen, Kevin None 2013 Supervisor
Whalen, Kevin 2013 2006 Deputy Chief
Williams, Byron 2013 1997 Chief
Williams, Byron 1997 1990 Unit Leader
Winn, Nancy 2010 2007 Administrative Program Specialist