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Copper oxide clusters synthesized via atomic layer deposition on the nodes of the metal-organic framework (MOF) NU-1000 are active for oxidation of methane to methanol under mild reaction conditions. Analysis of chemical reactivity, in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy, and density functional theory calculations are used to determine structure/activity relations in the Cu-NU-1000 catalytic system. The Cu-loaded MOF contained Cu-oxo clusters of a few Cu atoms. The Cu was present under ambient conditions as a mixture of ∼15% Cu+ and ∼85% Cu2+. The oxidation of methane on Cu-NU-1000 was accompanied by the reduction of 9% of the Cu in the catalyst from Cu2+ to Cu+. The products, methanol, dimethyl ether, and CO2, were desorbed with the passage of 10% water/He at 135 °C, giving a carbon selectivity for methane to methanol of 45-60%. Cu oxo clusters stabilized in NU-1000 provide an active, first generation MOF-based, selective methane oxidation catalyst.