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MAT’s 4-6 week online courses provide participants the opportunity to engage in an instructor-led, asynchronous, online learning experience via peer-to-peer discussion boards, assigned readings, and thought provoking assignments. The courses are robust and require about five (5-10) hours of classwork each week.

Online courses are also available upon request for individual state fish and wildlife agencies with a minimum of 16 participants required. 

Individual students may request a fee waiver by emailing 


Adaptive Leadership Principles (ALP-101)

4-week Online Course

Required Text: O’Malley, E., & Cebula, A. (2022). Your Leadership Edge. Kansas City, KS: Kansas Leadership Center.

This course is based upon the five leadership principles and four leadership core competencies outlined in Kansas Leadership Center’s Your Leadership Edge. During the four weeks of this course, you will learn about, experiment with, and reflect upon these principles and competencies.

Specific Course Learning Objectives Include:

  • Observe, explore and diagnose an issue from multiple perspectives
  • Increase self-awareness and the ability to do things differently in order to make progress on vital issues
  • Engage and motivate stakeholders with conflicting perspectives to work together with a shared purpose
  • Intervene purposefully and skillfully to advance adaptive work

Conservation Communication Strategies (CSS-101)

6-week Online Course

Optional Text: An Overview of the Public Relations Function by Shannon A. Bowen, Brad Rawlins and Thomas Martin, Business Expert Press, 2010.

This course is designed to help you gain an understanding and proficiency in using a standard planning approach to communication to ensure more positive results for your program and projects.

Participants will learn the necessary steps in this approach, from research and problem definition to expected outcomes and strategy development to evaluation and stewardship of communication results. This methodology works equally well for one person as it does for group use in addressing many types of opportunities and challenges. Students will apply principles of communication planning to a real problem of their choice, leaving the course with a completed draft communication plan.

Specific Course Learning Objectives Include:

  • Become familiar with a basic communication planning approach and understand how communication can help a State Fish and Wildlife Agency be successful in various initiatives.
  • Learn and apply the 5 steps by writing the relevant section of the communication plan that applies to an agency project through the weekly assignments.
  • Take away a completed communication plan outline that can be shared internally and implemented.

Leader as Communicator (LAC-101)

4-week Online Course

Required Text: Say It Right the First Time by Loretta A. Malandro, Ph.D., McGraw Hill Books, 2003.

The MAT course entitled Leader as Communicator will help state fish and wildlife agency participants understand and value communication as a tool of leadership. Students completing this course will have a greater awareness of the role of communication in getting things done. Applying the techniques in this course can help to create a culture of communication in their organization that changes how people talk with one another, develop presentations, gather input, address challenges and make commitments that get results in changing times. From staff meetings to public meetings, leaders must have the skill to create clear, persuasive messages.

Specific Course Learning Objectives Include:

  • Understand communication as a leadership necessity
  • Learn skills for improving your personal communication ability
  • Explore the role that credibility and values play in effective communication
  • Learn how you can contribute to a culture of communication at work

Reflections on Agency Management (RAM-101)

6-week Online Course

Required Text: Guynn, D. (2017). Beyond the Critters. Considerations for Managing and Leading State Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Helena, MT: Far Country Press.

Reflections on Agency Management is based upon the work of Dr. Dwight Guynn as captured in his book Beyond the Critters. Over a six-week period, you will get a glimpse into the real world of management life in state fish & wildlife agencies, learn how to be successful, and avoid known pitfalls.

This course is divided into six lessons. The lessons are arranged like a funnel, starting with the narrowly detailed specifics of managing a state fish and wildlife agency, such as how to use work plans to manage for accountability, build a defensible budget, and provide direction for a large agency. The course then expands to the broader subjects of changing the organization, leadership, and a look at the future of fish and wildlife management. The course is pragmatic and purpose-driven. Each week’s forums and assignments enable you to apply the concepts presented to real challenges back in your organization.

Specific Course Learning Objectives Include:

  • Illustrate how to develop work plans and leverage them as a management tool to achieve agency objectives and align budget decisions with agency priorities.
  • Describe the framework and its six components for managing the interdependencies of a state fish and wildlife agency.
  • Define principles and strategies for commissions and agencies that promote a positive system of governance.
  • Explain the process for successfully implementing change within an agency.
  • Describe how adaptive leadership helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive while facing complex challenges.
  • Identify ineffective and effective practices for communicating with the media and the public.
  • Characterize changes to land use and outdoor recreation that are impacting State Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

Visionary Leadership (VL-101)

6-week online course

This six week online course focuses on increasing your leadership effectiveness by learning about the powerful tool of visioning. The material will start you on a journey of practicing visionary leadership...a game-changer for you and your agency. Described as one of a leader’s primary functions, visioning will be taught and practiced in this interactive online course, enabling participants to become more comfortable and competent with developing and communicating visions.

The course will also cover the essential elements of visioning development and implementation. We will examine examples of powerful visionaries as well as visions from a variety of organizations. Ultimately, you’ll use the material as a springboard to generate both a personal and workplace vision. Through a number of practical, guided exercises participants will learn to use visioning as a tool for projects and programs. You will find that what you learn throughout the six weeks has broad applicability, not just at work, but in your personal life as well.

Specific Course Learning Objectives Include:

  • Define the essential components of Visionary Leadership and why each is important.
  • Learn why some visions succeed and others fail.
  • Gain experience with the creation, evaluation and implementation of visions.
  • Discover the key ingredient to successfully engage, motivate and enlist others to share your vision.

What Great Managers Know (GMK-101)

4-week online course

Just how does one select the best candidate for a position, then motivate them to perform at their full potential? Management of employees can be one of the most challenging yet rewarding activities in any organization. This course can help perspective managers gain the skills and knowledge to ensure effective supervision. Thanks to a Gallup survey of the world’s top 400 companies and 80,000 managers, the secrets of effective management have now been revealed.

In this course you will be introduced to the keys of effective management that many of the world’s great managers employ. Whether you are an experienced supervisor, or recently promoted to a supervisory role, this course will provide critical information and practical examples to enhance your skills as a manager.

Specific Course Learning Objectives Include:

  • Gain insight into the world’s great managers and how they cultivate excellent performance.
  • Identify the principles (4 keys) to successful organizations.
  • Learn practical techniques to implement the 4 keys to improve effective management.
  • Explore the difference between being a manager/supervisor and exercising leadership.

Please click below to see the 2024 schedule. 

2024 Online Course Schedule


Adaptive Leadership Principles; Conservation Communication Strategies; Reflections on Agency Management

Registration: April 8 – May 5, 2024 (or until filled)

Courses begin: May 13, 2024


Adaptive Leadership Principles; What Great Managers Know

Registration: June 24 – July 21, 2024 (or until filled)

Courses begin: July 29, 2024