Apply for WCLDP

We are recruiting for a diversity of applicants that share a commitment to addressing large-scale change for the future of western conservation.

Courses bring together individuals that are self-motivated; demonstrate initiative and a commitment to learning; and interested in or actively taking responsibility for collaborative western conservation. Individuals that apply will need to demonstrate that they are interested in affecting change in conservation and will need to have the support of their agency, organization, or partnership.

Eligibility: Individuals that are active in western conservation representing: state and federal government agencies, Tribal Nations or Tribal organizations, private lands, non-profit 501c3 organizations, industry, and academic affiliates. Candidates will be involved in conservation work in one or more of the following US states, Canadian provinces, or their territories: Alaska, Alberta, Arizona, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northwest Territories, Oklahoma, Oregon, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Yukon.

Course List:
Emotional Agility and Adaptive Leadership: Coming soon!
Please let us know if you are interested.

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.”

– Chris Hadfield

Your application must include the following:

1) Completed statement of interest form. (click link below)
2) A support letter from your Director, CEO, or Supervisor *

  • No more than two pages.
  • Name the nominee and include the recommender’s name as well.
  • Illustrate the applicant’s ability in the following areas:
    • Leading organizational change
    • Appetite for innovation and experimentation
    • Appreciation of diverse perspectives
    • Building partnerships and/or coalitions
    • Resilience under pressure or conflict

3) A review of the time commitment and agreement to fully participate.

* Note: if you are a private landowner or Tribal representative, please seek a letter of support from a partnership-based group or the Tribal organization, in which you are a part, to provide additional perspective on your leadership qualities.

We are seeking participants with…

  • Natural resource conservation work experience
  • The desire to have a greater influence on conservation outcomes
  • Interest in increasing their capacity to lead organizational or system change
  • Experience with collaboration or coalition-building
  • Support from your organization, or community of practice to participate

In this course, we use a range of methods and tools to provoke the group and individuals to learn beyond their current thinking and actionWe believe that those with the most variation and flexibility are best able to respond to the complex situations they face (Fern and Johnstone, 2023).

We practice creating courageous spaces to do adaptive work in contrast to safe spaces with traditional teaching methods, technical facilitation, and associated rules of conduct. Provocation and teaching in this course ranges from gentler to more confrontational–in service to learning and as a means of disrupting the status quo.

We are seeking applicants that tend towards having a provocative mindset and are:

  • hungry to connect to a deeper sense of purpose and to one another;
  • ready to be challenged and in pursuit of deeper leadership learning;
  • willing to explore a diversity of perspectives;
  • bumping up against the edge of their own competence, finding that their repertoire of practices and behaviors is inadequate given current pressures and expectations;
  • reflective and open to exploring divergent diagnoses about the challenges they are facing;
  • willing to explore their own blind spots and the ways they might also be a part of the problems they are trying to solve;
  • willing to experiment with novel approaches to make progress on and amplify their work;
  • able to tolerate some level of stress as patterns in the self and system are uncovered.

NOTE: This course is not designed to process deep work on individual or organizational mental health or heal trauma. We recommend that anyone experiencing upheavals or other significant stressors in life/work consider talking with the Program Coordinator about their readiness to apply for the course as some have experienced the course as emotionally challenging. 

Western Conservation Leadership Development Program

Application Details

Applications must be received by COB May 12, 2023. If you work for USFWS Regions 1,2,6,7 or 8, please notify and work with your Assistant Regional Director/Regional Office for a formal application to the program.

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Stay Tuned for New Courses

WCLDP will be offering additional courses in the future that may be more applicable to conservationists in different stages of their careers and life-work with unique course designs.