Reflections on Agency Management (RAM-101)

6-week Online Course

Course Fee: $100 (includes cost of text) invoiced to students during the first week of classes.

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 will be facilitated by Dr. Guynn, and 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.


  • 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.