Todays Profile

Dr. Donna Shaver

SCA 1980, Padre Island National Seashore

“It was the first time I saw the ocean or a sea turtle,” says Donna Shaver, recalling her SCA internship at Padre Island National Seashore nearly 35 years ago. “It changed my career and my...Read more




Instagram pix from SCA’s storied history

Restoration at Cowles Bog #SCAflashback #tbt

Cause we build bridges with pulaski's and our bare hands! #SCAflashback

75,000+ SCA alumni! That's how many we'll have after 2014. Huge, right? To mark this major milestone, we're celebrating alumni all summer long! ...

There is just so much greatness going on in this photo. #tbt first #summer with the #NPS #manassas #150th #rangerlife

The summer 2013 Lake Quinault bridge building crew in Washington state! #tbt #SCAflashback

The summer 2013 Lake Quinault bridge building crew in Washington state! #tbt #SCAflashback

Restoration at Cowles Bog #SCAflashback #tbt

Restoration at Cowles Bog #SCAflashback #tbt

Oh, to be an adventurous fifteen year old again. #StudentConservationAssociation #SCA #SCAFlashback #ThrowBackThursday #TBT #JohnMuirWilderness #CaliforniaBackPacking #WhereWasMarquise?

Featured This Week

Each day this summer, we’ll be featuring one of the 75,000. Check back every day to see the diversity and extent of our member’s impact.

Ernie Wong

SCA 1974 North Cascades National Park

“I applied to SCA as an option to jail or death.” Whether he was looking for trouble or it was seeking him, Ernie Wong encountered more than his share growing up in Chicago in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. At age 15, his environmental teacher confronted him. “He recommended I apply to SCA as an option to jail or death,” Ernie recalls.Read more

Sarah Logan Beasley

SCA 2007, 2008, 2009

Sarah’s been here before. Seven years ago, she was SCA’s 50,000th member, attended EarthVision – SCA’s 50th anniversary national youth summit – and was featured on the NBC Nightly News. Today, she’s pursuing her J.D. and hopes to practice environmental law. “I’m interested in defending the environment and people who need a healthy environment to make a living,” she says. We asked Sarah about her SCA experiences.Read more

Serah Washington

SCA 2011-Present

Serah is studying international business and Spanish, and one day hopes to become ambassador to a Spanish-speaking nation. But this summer the 19-year old is working as an SCA apprentice crew leader in her hometown of Milwaukee. Having previously served on three SCA crews, and with three brothers who also have SCA experience, Serah is well acquainted with the drill and is introducing other local teens to the great outdoors and community service.Read more

Mike Madalena

SCA 2012-2014, Veterans Fire Corps

After three months as a member of SCA’s Veterans Fire Corps, Mike declared “this program should be waiting for every vet when they get home” and re-upped for two more hitches as a corps leader before leaving SCA earlier this year to start his own wildland fire mitigation company.Read more

Previously Featured Alumni

Nicole Catino

I believe that climate change is the greatest moral issue of our time and I want to do my part to make the world a better place. Naturally, being a conservationist is a fitting solution and directly in line with my values.Read more

Jay Chu

Growing up in L.A., SCA member Jay Chu rarely ventured outside and felt little connection to nature. A summer in Oregon with SCA — and a chance landing by a little brown bat —...Read more

AmaRece Davis

Rece Davis has two older brothers who are serving life terms in prison, but he’s determined to break the cycle and be a role model for youth in Pittsburgh’s...Read more

PaHoua Lee

From a young age, I had spent all of my free time outdoors, participating in outdoor sports, biking and hiking, farming and gardening, and just enjoying the beauty of nature. It finally dawned on me that I wanted to be part of the movement that took care of natural areas so others could also enjoy its beauty and resources as I had.Read more

Amosh Neupane

The joy I experience when I realize what I’m doing isn’t for me, but is for every single living and non-living object of this planet. Conservation is giving ode to previous generations for helping mother Earth live and at the same time safeguarding the Earth for future generations.Read more

Jeff Chen

The best ideas are often inspired by nature. Mine came to me while I served as an SCA intern at Yosemite. 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.Read more

Jessica Martineau

In 1994, at 17, Jessica Martineau joined an SCA trail crew at Glacier National Park. Since then, she’s earned degrees in dance and anthropology from the University of Michigan, performed on stages from New York to Vegas, and faced down a life-threatening illness. Jessica now helps others cope with their own genetic disorders.Read more

Margaret Mary Meagher

Yellowstone National Park contains more than 1,100 miles of trail and among the most impressive is the one blazed by Dr. Mary Meagher. A first-year SCA alumna (Olympic NP, ‘57), Mary is widely credited with paving the way for women scientists in the park service. “Agencies did not hire women at that time, at least with my training and interests,” she says. “That’s just how things were.”Read more

Jesse Alton

“Once I got skis on my feet, I knew this was it! SCA has taught me the importance of sustainability and the ethical responsibility to be part of the solution and not the problem. My relationships from SCA are still with me today and have opened doors I never thought possible.”Read more

Monique Dailey

Monique began her career with SCA in high school as a DC Community Programs member, going on to the Junior Ranger program in Rock Creek Park and eventually participating in a National Crew at Salmon Challis National Forest in Idaho. After college and a few years of globe-trotting (just Peace Corps in the Philippines, nbd) she returned to DC to run the very SCA program she’d started in. Get the whole amazing story below in an essay she wrote for the Huffington Post in September of last year.Read more

Russ Aguilar

Russ Aguilar likes to tell stories. This summer, Russ is in his fourth interpretive position with SCA, this time at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Alaska. “I want to become an educator or an interpreter for a conservation agency,” he says. “SCA not only opened my eyes to the world of conservation but convinced me that I would like to do it for the rest of my life.”Read more

Bob Unsworth

“I’d had a lot of outdoor experience before SCA,” he notes, “but what I didn’t have was focus, discipline. I didn’t have the sense that there were careers in nature that I could make a living.”Read more

DevDharm Khalsa

SCA member Devdharm Khalsa celebrates nature with his formidable photography skills. “Great photo stories become symbols of landscapes & species worth protecting, show the important work scientists & researchers are doing to make this happen, & encourage the public to care about the environment…”Read more

Sara Barnard

Sara was just 15 when she first joined SCA as a trail volunteer in New Mexico. “I was in a wonderful environment with wonderful people,” Sara recalls. “It was the most influential summer of my life.” Much of what she learned that year and through two subsequent SCA internships is evident in her writing as well as her ongoing conservation efforts. “SCA enabled me to develop a great appreciation and respect for Mother Nature,” says Sara, now 31. “I credit with shaping who I am today.”Read more

Jordan Chow

For 17-year-old SCA alum Jordan Chow, serving a three-week stint with SCA was just the beginning. After his 2012 summer crew position at Allaire State Park in New Jersey, Jordan came home and took a closer look at conservation volunteer opportunities in his own community in Chappaqua, New York.Read more

Jay Carter

Jay Carter started with SCA in September of 2005 when he was a freshman at City Charter High School, and has remained very active with SCA ever since. He began volunteering as a member of the TRRO Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) joining the alumni of that program known as “Trailblazers”. He went on to attend summer national crews on the Appalachian Trail in Maine (2007), Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania (2008), Haleakala National Park in Hawaii (2009) and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee (2012). He also attended SCA’s EarthVision event in Washington, D.C. (2008), Power-Shift Conference in Washington, D.C. (2009), and completed an SCA Conservation Internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Rice Lake Refuge in Minnesota (2011).Read more

Don Macänlalay

Since a 2009 SCA internship at Shenandoah National Park, Don Macänlalay has gone on to do social media for The Nature Conservancy, the largest environmental nonprofit in America, and one of the most trusted. He began at their national headquarters in Arlington, VA , focused on Tumblr and Instagram, but soon moved on to managing all social media for their Washington state office in Seattle.Read more

Keith Nyitray

Exactly 25 years ago, accompanied only by his wolf dog Smoke, Keith Nyitray recalibrated our understanding of adventure and his own understanding of life by trekking 1,500 miles across the Arctic Brooks Range, from the Yukon Territories to the Northwest coast of Alaska. Along the way, he encountered fierce blizzards, menacing grizzlies, and temperatures of 60 degrees below zero.Read more

Eliot Putnam

The diary of the first-ever SCA crew tells of “15 young woodsmen” who built a new trail along the Elwha River in Olympic National Park, “swapped yarns” and vied in “glissading marathons” in their off-time. Then 16-year old Eliot Putnam started his journal exactly 57 years ago today. Eliot would go on to travel the world with the Peace Corps, CARE, Pathfinder International and the National Council for International Health (where he served as president) promoting family and reproductive health programs in developing countries.Read more

Qiana Patterson

This year the Northwest Community program is celebrating 30 years of community programming and conservation service to the Puget Sound area. We’re reaching out to our SCA members throughout...Read more

Help us get to the next 75,000!

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Today's Question: “If nature were a product, what would its slogan be?”

 "Not for sale." --Akiva Lichtenberg

Don't break it, don't buy it! --Sara Al-Azem

 "Keep her alive, she will provide." --Jerick Alegarbes

 The Universe's Best Place to Live --Seven Generations Ahead

100% Natural. always was always will be.--Jeff Paulin

Reciprocity not Tyranny --Sharleen Spahiu

I dislike this idea of mashing consumerism with nature...--Heather Laine Kranz

Handle with care!! --Tammy Jackson

Where you belong --Dan Kahn

"Get off the couch and get outdoors" --Leonard Ward

Don't just clean your house, clean up our home(earth) --Caleb Fowler

Good for the body, good for the soul. --Angela Hill

 All you will ever need. --Tessie Rodriguez Kerslake

All natural! --Reston James Phillips

Like a Rock --Choice Concepts

Yesterday's question: What’s one thing you learned from your SCA experience that applies to your everyday life?

We must believe in order to see the possibilities. Protecting our environment through hands on and grassroots movement has helped me to open my heart to the world in saving it. Thanks to the fabulous and awesome SCA experiences it has given me the secret ingredient, called love. Give back and you'll not regret it. ~ Jay Carter

I did three different summers! Never give up - Chelsea Montgomery Gonzalez

I loved SCA. Brings back great memories. Learned a lot about the biology, geology and people of the area. Learned a lot about myself too. Once in a lifetime experience that I would highly recommend! - Julie Walker

I spent the summer of 2000 at Bodie SHP.... It was 2,500 miles from home, I was 19.... It was the most memorable summer of my life! I can not wait to bring my kids back to the area and relive it with them... --Allison Schmidt Schwaegel

Everything.Tatum - Clinton-Selin

Never turn down an opportunity because your scared. My first SCA was 3000 miles away from home and it turned into the most incredible summer I've ever had. - Alisabeth Merlo

That life can be simple and rewarding without all of the chaos we think we need to survive - Tracey Holt

Take the long way home, and soak up the experience.- Benjamin Lamb

It always helps me clear my mind and brings me peace.- Shirley Kinney

Last Week's Question: What is the most amazing thing you've seen in the great outdoors?

A herd of ostriches running in the Sahara Desert while I was on a camel trek as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger, West Africa. The males had bright red necks. -- Cece Reoux

I saw a black bear running down a fire road through the Great Dismal Swamp NWR where the Lateral One wildfire burned 5 feet of peat lowering the water table and turning a forest into a lake. Surrounded by blackened trees with exposed roots where the ground disappeared from below, the bear was frantically trying to find a place to escape back into the woods but had water on both sides. This happened yesterday. - Erik Wright

A great white shark attack an elephant seal (Southeast Farallon Island)...or a sea turtle laying her eggs. -Alexandra Gulick

A meteorite enter the atmosphere hit the Puget sound on a crystal clear night while I was building a snowcave on Mt.Baker.-Kevin Devine

a porcupine running at full speed!! - Kelly Cox

saw a baby Bald Eagle crash land when we were building trails in Maine. The bird was just learning how to fly and didnt know how to land. It got up and flew down the trail after that. I was on an island in the atlantic that day and missed it...but I saw a sweet sunset. - Chris Oswalt

Pronghorn antelope running 60+ mph and sliding under barbed wire fence - Nelson Mills

Remains of pottery, food, and clothing in several hundred year old, abandoned Ute ruins in a secluded canyon on Cedar Mesa, UT. - Stephanie London

SCA students moving giant rocks. - Andrew Warner

A bald eagle grappling with a goose, midair, at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. There was lots of spiraling about. Didn't end well for the goose. - Joe Thurston

Mountain Lion at the Chiricahua National Monument, July 2006. So awesome. - Josh Nard

A decent looking privy.... - Hailee Malins

Shouldn't that be the rarest thing? - Timothy Dillon

I have witnessed so many amazing things. Each time I think of one, another comes to mind. (a curse of aging, or a blessing??) I visited Grand Teton and Yellowtone in 2010. The herd of bison were amazing. I watched a large male lower his massive body to the ground and proceed to roll like a horse in a dirt bath. That was very amazing. I also came face to face (literally) with another bison as I exited a latrine in Yellowstone. That was amazing in an entirely different way. - Nancy Hemmer Bishop

Working as a fire effects monitor and canoeing to work everyday across lake chelan stehekin!!! - Justin Duncan

An osprey, after Jessica Thompson and I had freed it from a traumatic-looking treetop tangle of fishing line, came back and perched within about ten feet of us as if to say "thanks," then flew off across the reservoir towards the rising sun. - Dan Kahn

Full moon rising over Bryce Canyon just after sunset with a Native American flute playing in the background. -Michelle Malloy NEUDECK

Yellowstone. The whole thing is simply amazing! - Julie Walker

Wildfire! - Timothy Dillon