Fundamentals of Western Conservation Leadership: Through the Looking Glass 2022-2023

This course will build the capacity of the western conservation community to collectively address complex wildlife management, natural resource, and landscape-scale challenges. We will create a looking glass through which a diverse set of perspectives examine, learn, and apply leadership practices to address the uncertainties found in western conservation issues, the rapid pace of change, and need for more cross-sector collaboration. The course is uniquely designed to bring global and national leadership expertise to participants, strengthening understanding and application of learning in systems thinking, adaptive leadership, coalition building, and empowering others. 

Application deadline extended through July 17, 2022

Course Dates:

  • Session 1: September 11-16, 2022 (in-person)
  • Session 2: February 6-10, 2023 (virtual in zoom)
  • Session 3: May 22-25, 2023 proposed date (in-person)
  • Required team and coaching sessions between trainings


Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp, outside of Dubois, Wyoming. The Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp sits within the Torrey Valley, and is owned by Wyoming Game and Fish Department. This unique location has introduced generations of campers to outdoor skills and world-class wildlife. The camp is rustic with cabins for accommodations. The nearest airport is Jackson Hole, Wyoming (78 miles) or Idaho Falls, Idaho (173 miles). 


Training includes:

  • 13.5 training days with renowned global and national experts in leadership development and conservation practice. 
  • One-on-one and team-based coaching support to create an immersive learning experience.
  • Networking and capacity-building within a western leadership community. 
  • Leadership development resources and materials for ongoing work. 


  • Adaptive work centered on western conservation issues
  • Nurturing self and others through conflict, resistance, and resentment
  • Partnering with authority
  • Applying systems thinking in collaboration
  • Creating western conservation community through trust and relationships

Cost: $8,500/participant plus travel costs 

Time Commitment: 

This course will require active participation in 13.5 days of in-person and virtual trainings as well as required meetings with coaches and team members; or the equivalent of a 20% commitment of work hours to create a meaningful experience. Participation in all aspects of the course is required to receive a certificate of completion. Applicants that are unable to devote their time and energy to the training are encouraged to consider other training dates or options.  


Here’s what graduates have to say about this course:

“Be prepared to practice leadership, be vulnerable, and actively participate!”

“This is not a series of powerpoints and readings. If you aren’t prepared to immerse yourself, then don’t bother.”

“If any part of the course description intrigues you, apply! This is the kind of course that will both transform your understanding of your work, your ability to make change, and the future that is possible for the West.”

“It was unquestionably life-changing.” 

“It’s all about you. If you don’t want to critically examine yourself and your role in leadership, this course is not the course for you. It’s a program, not a training, so manage your expectations (preconceived notions) coming in or be prepared to be disappointed.”