Spencer completed a couple of degrees in wildlife biology at Utah State University, where he was the first recipient of a NASA Fellowship at that university. His transition to the real world began in 1966 when he accepted a job as district biologist in the Blue Ridge country of North Carolina. He joined the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 1968 and spent about 5 years doing research at an isolated, 1‑man field station. Somehow, during that time, he became inflamed with the notion that there is more to the fish and wildlife business than just biology. Beginning in 1972, he dedicated himself to the idea that what fish and wildlife agencies needed most was to improve their ways of doing business. A variety of jobs helped solidify this initial notion, and provided perspectives from which to do something about it: an assignment with Congress, an internship with the International Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, a couple of staff assignments in the Secretary of Interior’s office, and a stint as Planning Director of the Kansas Department of Fish and Game. Spencer spent 1979-2002 in Fort Collins fooling around with various planning and decision support systems. The last assignment in Spencer’s 30+year career with the Service was as the leader of the Management Assistance Team (which he formed). This small group of about 20 folks served primarily as management consultants to state fish and wildlife agencies. Having started with animal behavior, he wound up specializing in human and organizational behavior.
A founding member of the Dynamic Solutions Group, LLC, after retiring from federal service, Spencer continued to help those agencies, organizations, and individuals seeking to improve their effectiveness. His main focus was on helping custom fit the principles of effective management to individual clients’ needs and on designing specific programs to meet these needs. He personally assisted more than 40 fish and wildlife agencies and organizations in their pursuits of better ways of doing business, and coached and mentored more than 150 individuals seeking to improve their own agencies or organizations from within. He is a trained, certified meeting facilitator, who was in high demand to help plan and conduct meetings and workshops around the country. After retiring a couple of times, Spencer’s interests now focus almost exclusively on fly fishing and on helping others find the satisfaction this relaxing pursuit can bring.