"The best ideas are often inspired by nature. Mine came to me while I served as an SCA intern at Yosemite. Watch a video that shares my story of conservation and leadership.
SCA enabled me to understand the connection between myself and my impact on the land. And I gained the skills and confidence I needed to not only change my behaviors but help others change theirs."
- Jeff Chen, '06 Yosemite"
America’s parks have an eloquent champion in Jay Carter. As featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jay’s path from local SCA volunteer to Haleakala National Park is a compelling vote for preserving our parks. Read Jay's Op-Ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Interview and Photo by Lauren Freedman, SCA Staff
From the time she finished her first internship at Rocky Mountain National Park, Shannon Quist (Rocky Mountain ’00, Channel Islands ’04) has stayed actively involved with SCA. As an alumni ambassador, she shared her stories with anyone who would listen, and she is now the newest alumni member of the SCA Board of Directors. Currently on the staff of the National Museum of the American Indian, Shannon is continuing the work she started as an SCA intern.
Q: What are your favorite memories of your SCA experience?
A: It’s so hard to choose! My two SCA internships were so varied. Perhaps the one thing that ties all my memories together is the people. In Rocky Mountain National Park I remember the visitor who sent a letter thanking me for my help when I didn’t realize I had done anything at all and the volunteer who openly shared so much of her life story. And I’ll never forget the colleagues and friends who spent hours on the trails with me introducing the plants, animals, waters, mountains, and stars.
For my Congressional National Parks Internship Program, I was on Capitol Hill and at Channel Islands National Park. The dedicated staff in Congresswoman Anna Eshoo’s office offered guidance, support, and Washington insider tips on exploring the Nation’s Capital. As for Channel Islands National Park,my best memories are of working with members of the Chumash community to better understand their relationship with the park and then hiking the islands with the knowledge that my feet never fell where someone had not been before.
Q: How did you make your way to the Museum of the American Indian?
A: My undergraduate work focused on Indigenous communities and environmental affairs. Through the SCA position at Channel Islands National Park and a National Science Foundation Summer Research program, I broadened my professional experience working with Native communities. While participating in the Congressional National Parks Internship Program I watched the construction of the museum located on the National Mall and learned that the museum worked closely with Indigenous communities throughout the hemisphere. I began in the Office of Education and now work in Community and Constituent Services, the department that focuses on outreach to our Native and non-Native constituents.
Q: What inspired you to continue your involvement with SCA?
A: I see SCA as an organization that strives to empower young people to take positive action and share our voices in the conservation of our world. My continued involvement with SCA stems from the hope that, through sharing my experiences, others may learn about the variety of opportunities available and discover SCA as a resource.