NPS Academy 2014

Hundreds of Students have converged on four National Parks

SCA’s NPS Academy 2014 is off and running! Hundreds of college students have converged on four national parks to get a first-hand view of what careers in the National Park Service (NPS) are all about. 

This year, more than 120 students from diverse backgrounds are visiting Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains, Alaska’s Kenai Fjords and National Parks of New York Harbor.  But, as most SCA NPS Academy members will tell you, they are really learning much more than professional possibilities.

“With all the experiences we shared with one another, we soon became a family of multicultural people with a common desire to find a sense of belonging, a powerful experience that is etched in our hearts for days to come, and a career related to our passion with the environment – and this was just the first day!”

– Christopher Fahim, SCA-NPS Academy 2014 Great Smoky Mountains

NPS Academies happening the week of March 16th:

The National Parks of New York Harbor:

Twenty students from across the country gathered in the Big Apple to kick off the first ever NYC-based SCA-NPS Academy. They will explore cultural, historic and natural resources throughout the city and gain a better understanding of how these resources are connected to and affected by the economy, climate change, recent storm events and public awareness. Resiliency will be a big theme this week, as the NYC Park staff work hard to bring NY back after Superstorm Sandy.

This group’s commute looks a little different than our other NPS sites.But, as we all know, conservation doesn’t end when the pavement begins.

See more photos from NYC

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee 

In its third year hosting SCA-NPS Academy members, Great Smoky Mountain NP has experienced the full impact of this program – not only hosting a spring orientation session but also welcoming a number of summer interns to the park for the powerful hands-on experience these students are looking for.

This week, students will explore the natural and cultural wonders of the park and its surrounding communities. Students will not only gain a deeper understanding of the ecology of the park but they will also walk away with an understanding of the role that people, history and community play in the Great Smokies.

See more photos from the Smoky Mountains

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

For the second straight year, this NPS Academy will focus on Alaska Native youth, providing a week-long insider's guide to career paths Kenai Fjords National Park. Students will explore Alaska’s unique culture, history and ecology and gain a better understanding of how critical it is to connect a park with its people and its roots. Students will also explore how climate change is affecting the park and their home state.

Highlights from the week will include a behind-the-scenes tour of the Alaska Sea Life Center, a boat ride into Resurrection Bay with Major Marine Tours, & several workshops with representatives from NPS & Alaska Native Heritage Center.

See more photos from Alaska