The Management Assistance Team (MAT) is the Association's most unique and diverse program. Located at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV, MAT is a consulting and training resource for all state fish and wildlife agencies.
More than a century ago, state fish and wildlife agencies were charged with management of the nation's fish and wildlife resources. Today, these agency professionals still maintain a healthy reputation for being the experts in the biological aspects required to conserve fish and wildlife populations and their habitats.
Continuing this legacy of fish and wildlife conservation success means using the best and latest resources available. That's where the Management Assistance Team steps in. To help with this continued learning process, MAT works to consult and train fish and wildlife professionals on a wide range of agency management challenges.
In 2005, MAT was charged by AFWA's Leadership and Professional Development Committee to help the state fish and wildlife agencies address the nearing retirement of large numbers of their baby-boomer professionals.
In research co-sponsored by the Association and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Steve McMullin of Virginia Polytechnic Institute estimated that two-thirds of state fish and wildlife leadership would retire between 2004 and 2014 risking the loss of leadership talent and institutional knowledge. MAT is tackling this problem through a two-pronged approach to develop tomorrow's conservation leaders including the “Leadership Development Toolbox” for state fish and wildlife agencies and National Conservation Leadership Institute.
MAT and the Association have played central and critical roles in establishing the National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI). This ground-breaking initiative is conservation's “ War College,” developing senior leadership talent from today's highest potential leaders. MAT is responsible for program development and administration.
For more information on the NCLI, visit www.conservationleadership.org.