Every year, SCA provides training, tools and projects that place motivated teens and young adults in the field to effect changes great and small. How do we measure the effects? Sometimes its through decreased CO2 levels or by the tons of trash collected or in the number of trees planted. Our success is also measured by the lessons learned, the perspective gained and the lives we transform—today and into the future. Often when the SCA project is over, the success story is just beginning. Take a look at some of our most recent accomplishments.

by SCA Intern Jess Landis

Posted by Jess Landis | Wednesday, April 27, 2016
As a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Padre Island National Seashore, I’ve got to meet some pretty cool people. Recently I say down with Dr. Donna Shaver, Chief of Sea Turtle Science and Recovery at Padre Island. Given we’re both natives of New York, Cornell University grads and SCA alumni, we...

300 Volunteers Carry on a 12-Year SCA Tradition at Washington Park Arboretum

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In celebration of Earth Day, SCA brought together 306 volunteers from across the Seattle region for a Find Your Park Day of Service at Washington Park Arboretum.

Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

by Jimi Hightower, SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, April 22, 2016
I set my first career goal while in second grade: I wanted to be a voyager.
My father was a carpenter at the time. He’d travel from job to job and we wouldn’t see him for weeks. These extended separations eventually prompted my parents to buy a Winnebago so...

Earthsaver of the Month

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, April 21, 2016
SCA leader Aaron Gray pulls invasives at an SCA event in San Francisco

“I try to model a passion for service while working with new volunteers so that I can motivate them.”

Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

Earthsaver of the Month

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, April 21, 2016
SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Aurelia Casey welcomes volunteers in NYC

“SCA helped me realize that I had a lot of potential, and that I could help change my hometown for the better.”

Coasts & Water, Parks, People

How your little garden can make a big difference...

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, April 20, 2016

by Hannah Atkinson, SCA Monarch Intern for Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

Pollinators across the country need your help! There is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline. Healthy populations of monarch butterflies and bees are a reflection of the health of the American landscape and the...

What's it like to be a Grand Canyon National Park Ranger?

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Todd Nelson is the volunteer coordinator at Grand Canyon National Park. We asked him about his career, the National Park Service centennial, and the future of America’s Best Idea.

Why do you like working with volunteers?

What solidified it for me was working with college students on alternative [service] spring breaks. The...

Career Success, Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

383 Bay Area Community Members Join Together to Give Back

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SCA celebrated Earth Day and National Park Week joined by 383 community members from across the Bay Area.

Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

370 Volunteers Serve Urban Parks

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, April 19, 2016
370 volunteers gather below the Verrazano Bridge

In celebration of Earth Day and National Park Week, SCA brought together 370 volunteers in New York City for a Find Your Park Day of Service at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island.

Coasts & Water, Parks, People, Sustainability, Volunteer Opportunities

Patrolling the Beach for A Legendary Ancient Reptile

Posted by Jess Landis | Monday, April 18, 2016

by SCA Intern Jess Landis

SCA has helped tens of thousands of young people launch conservation careers, and Jess Landis will soon be one of them. Jess, an SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Padre Island National Seashore, just landed a seasonal position as a National Park Service guide at Gulf Islands...

A live(ly) online discussion that took place on 4.14.2016

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Monday, April 18, 2016

On 4/14/16 we helped host a live Twitter chat on volunteer service in national parks with @natlparkservice @goparks @interior @americanexpress and many, many guests.

By Liz Putnam, SCA founding president & Jaime Matyas, president & CEO

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, April 14, 2016


Emails don’t ordinarily stop me in my tracks but recently one did: a message from the Clinton Foundation that highlighted a comment from President Bill Clinton in response to this question from a student at UC Berkeley:

“What would you tell your 20-year-old self that many of us in the...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Thursday, April 7, 2016
Arianne Miller did some serious caving recently as part of a bat survey team she joined during her SCA Natural Resources Internship at Craters of the Moon National Monument. For more on the project, check out this fabulous profile on Idaho’s MagicValley.com. For Arianne’s personal take on a...

SCA Alumni Come Together for Spring Events in NYC, DC, and San Francisco

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, April 4, 2016
SCA alumni gathered in NYC

Over the past month, SCA brought together more than 70 alumni to ring in spring with SCA Alumni Events in New York City, the San Francisoco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.

Parks, People

...from Bee Expert Tim Stanley

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, March 29, 2016

When residents of New York’s Hudson Valley want to know something about bees, Tim Stanley is their go-to guy. He’s a beekeeper, and a veritable expert on the region’s wild bees (which, as you’ll learn, differ substantially from the bees we raise for honey).

We recently interviewed him in an attempt...

Animals & Wildlife, Education, Endangered Species, People, Science

Black footed ferrets were once believed extinct. USFWS is bringing them back.

Posted by Lauren Kurtz | Friday, March 25, 2016
A black footed ferret considers its new habitat.

by Lauren Kurtz, SCA intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s part of a monthly series featuring SCA interns writing about their experiences working...
Animals & Wildlife, Endangered Species, People

Your votes decided which park we'll feature on our 2017 calendar cover...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, March 24, 2016

We asked friends of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to vote for the cover of our 2017 Calendar, and you responded.

More than 3,600 friends and supporters of SCA cast their vote and we couldn’t be more pleased with the final result.

The winning photo features Olympic National...

...thru SCA's NPS Academy 2016

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, March 22, 2016

This month, a diverse group of young conservationists from all over Alaska gathered for a weeklong behind-the-scenes look at what goes into managing Kenai Fjords National Park. For the students involved, the event marked the beginning of their 2016 SCA-NPS Academy experience, which, in addition to this...

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, March 16, 2016

“Back then you heard, “You’re not thinking of having women as interns, are you?” Well… we did have women as interns in 1957 and many of them became park superintendents, and rangers and naturalists with the Service.”

SCA Excelsior Corps Members Share Best Moments & Biggest Surprises from Their First Projects in the Field

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, March 14, 2016
SCA Excelsior Corps project leaders gathered at their home base in SUNY Morrisville

SCA Excelsior Conservation Corps members have hit the field for their first hitches at park sites across New York State. Working in five teams of ten members each, the Corps tackles critical conservation projects from New York City to the Adirondacks. SCA Excelsior Project Leaders share some of the best moments — and biggest surprises — during their first days in the field…

Parks, People



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Meet some of the amazing women who blazed a trail with SCA

Our 2015 Summer Roadtrip takes you to amazing places and member stories around the country.

75000 Members have served with SCA

Throughout the Summer of 2014 we marked our 75,000th member with 75 stories of the women and men have served with SCA - read them here.

Read about the women and men who helped build America’s oldest and largest youth conservation service organization here

Member Bloggers

Rachelle Hedges
San Mateo County Parks
See Posts by Rachelle Hedges
Sarika Khanwilkar
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Sarika Khanwilkar
Elizabeth Braatz
St. Croix Wetland Management District
See Posts by Elizabeth Braatz
Noah M Schlager
National Trails Intermountain Region
See Posts by Noah M Schlager
Dakota McCoy
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Dakota McCoy
Ariel Lepito
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Ariel Lepito
Jessica Zamudio
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Jessica Zamudio

Staff Bloggers

Ann Pedtke
New York City
See posts by Ann Pedtke
Joseph Thurston
Washington, DC
See posts by Joseph Thurston

Alumni Stories

Where will SCA take you?

Todd Nelson is the volunteer coordinator at Grand Canyon National Park. We asked him about his career, the National Park...
SCA alum Lauren Ray, aka the Rapping Ranger, has written and performed hip hop odes to each park that she's worked at, starting with Arches National Park where she served as an SCA Intern.
SCA alum Lauren Ray reveals how her SCA internship with the National Park Service helped her discover her public-lands-loving hip hop alter ego, the Rapping Ranger.

New findings on SCA's youth impact - read about the Search Institute's study

A new multi-year study on SCA’s youth impact shows significant gains across a wide range of indicators.
Read about the Study here »

Michelle Bobowick, Interning with SCA in Yellowstone National Park, 1985
It was 1958, when our family affair with the Student Conservation Association began. Since, then our family has continued its commitment to improving the world around us through SCA.
During the summer of ’69, twenty students arrived at Great Smokey Mountains National Park ready to clear windfall damage in...
When Student Conservation Association (SCA) supporter and 1983 alumnus, Bob Kachinski, was fresh out of college, he went on what...

Browse our Photo Wall

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