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.

Recommendations from SCA's Gear Guru

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, December 9, 2015
The Modular Hauler Outdoor Gear Organizer would make a great gift for any gear-loving conservation adventurer.

Shopping for a true lover of the great outdoors can be tough. More than anything, they’ll appreciate gifts that make getting out and connecting with nature easier, lighter, and more seamless, but they likely have high standards when it comes to such things. How do you make sure your gift...

SCA Alums Gather for Fall Events in NYC, DC, San Francisco & Chicago

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, December 8, 2015
SCA alumni explore Pullman National Monument in Chicago

Over the past month, SCA brought together more than 100 SCA alums in a series of fall alumni engagement events across the country. From New York City to San Francisco, from Chicago to Washington DC, SCA alums gathered to reconnect and spend time together enjoying the spectacular public lands in...

A Brief History of the Patch & Its Designer

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, December 3, 2015
A hand-painted version of the original Student Conservation Association (SCA) logo.

Prior to the adoption of the much celebrated and now defunct “Space Eaglelogo in the 1980’s, SCA was represented by an earthbound eagle on a shield patch that intentionally nodded to the National Park Service’s Arrowhead insignia.

Below you’ll find a brief history of that logo...


SCA Intern Alex Kirk's Summer Removing Non-native Brook Trout from the White River National Forest

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, December 2, 2015
SCA Intern Alex Kirk uses an electro-shocker to stun non-native brook trout in the White River National Forest

This past summer I had the opportunity to work with fisheries biologist Matt Grove along with my two crew leads Mark and Graham in the heart of the Rocky Mountains within the White River National Forest. At the beginning of my internship, I heard foreshadowing stories from the guys about...

SCA Crews Support the NYC Parks 2015 Urban Street Tree Census

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, December 1, 2015
SCA members survey NYC street trees

As fall foliage peaked in New York City this season, SCA members hit the streets to support TreesCount! 2015 — a NYC Parks initiative to map and catalogue every street tree on every block in NYC.

Forests, Parks, People, Sustainability

A Message of Thanks from Jaime Matyas, CEO and President, SCA

Posted by Staff | Monday, November 23, 2015

A message of thanks from Jaime Matyas, CEO and President

A Parent's perspective on the SCA experience

Posted by Staff | Friday, November 20, 2015
SCA Alum Parker Davis seen in his Crew days at Mount Rainer in 2010 and at his college graduation this year.

Parker Davis is a four-time alumnus of SCA’s Seattle community crew program. When an SCA staff member saw the announcement of Parker’s college graduation in June 2015, he sent a note Kit Lewis, Parker’s mother. Kit’s response was powerful and poignant, and as you’ll see she’s...

Career Success, People

Getting DC National Parks Ready for Winter

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, November 17, 2015
SCA Volunteers Gather for Veterans Day service in DC

SCA joined forces with Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to celebrate Veterans Day this past weekend in Washington, DC. Over 130 volunteers of all ages came together to honor veterans who have risked their lives to protect America’s freedoms, continuing their legacy of service with hands-on volunteer work in their local community.

Volunteers Work in San Francisco's Oldest Park

Posted by Staff | Monday, November 16, 2015
Union Bank employees spreading hay along the steep slopes to help prevent erosion

On November 14th, 20 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner Union Bank gathered at Buena Vista Park in San Francisco to help prevent erosion control as part of their Global Volunteer Month. 

Buena Vista Park, located in the center San Francisco, is named for the spectacular views from its upper slopes. The...

An Intense & Beautiful Wildlife Survey for SCA Forest Service Intern Mia Callahan

Posted by Staff | Sunday, November 15, 2015
A Forest Service wildlife surveyer triumphantly (and delicately) displays the object of her search, a Sacramento Mountain Salamander.

by SCA Intern Mia Callahan

It’s a Wednesday morning, and we five members of the Smokey Bear Ranger District wildlife crew (well, two members, two interns, and me, a Student Conservation Association recreation intern tagging along for the adventure) are in our office for the week: the Sacramento Mountain Wilderness. In...

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Forests, Wildfires

Volunteers Protect New York City Wetlands

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, November 9, 2015
MUFG volunteers gather for service on Randall's Island NYC

On November 7th, over 40 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner MUFG Union Bank gathered on Randall’s Island to restore New York City’s freshwater wetlands as part of MUFG’s National Employee Volunteer Month.

Coasts & Water, Invasives

Liz Putnam Attends a Hudson Valley Homecoming

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, November 9, 2015
Liz Putnam with NYSOEA President Tim Stanley and SCA Hudson Valley Corps Program Director Josh Hunn

For Liz Putnam, the weekend was something of a homecoming. The SCA founder keynoted the annual conference of the New York State Outdoor Education Association (NYSOEA) in Fishkill, NY, just a few miles from Vassar College, where 60 years ago Liz used her senior thesis to construct an “SCA.”

Education, People

SCA intern Jennifer Bright on Conservation and Education at NAS JAX

Posted by Staff | Monday, November 9, 2015
SCA Intern Jennifer Bright teaches conservation to children at the Jacksonville Naval Base

I never expected to be responsible for live and static exhibit care of an interpretive center when I first saw the advertisement for the SCA intern position at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS JAX). Interpretive Centers are run by the state or non-profits; they are not the responsibility of a...

Education, Kids, Sustainability

SCA Member Wesley Adams reflects on Veterans opportunities

Posted by Staff | Monday, November 9, 2015
SCA Veterans Fire Corps team at a prescribed burn in Florida, 2015

Above: SCA Veterans Fire Corps members Wesley Adams, Benjamin Pattyson, Andrew McFarland, Laren Nowell, Demetric Wade, and Ramon Delgado at a prescribed burn in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge near Tallahassee, Florida.

Transitioning from the military is quite the culture shock. Some Veterans struggle as they figure out what they want...

From Textiles to Edison at Lowell National Historical Park

Posted by Staff | Friday, November 6, 2015
Boott mill, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, Massachusetts

The Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts offers a vivid regional perspective on the Industrial Revolution. But inside these former textile mills you can also find the fabric of America. 

Lowell NHS is headquarters to the National Park Service’s Historic Architecture, Conservation, and Engineering Center. This is...


SCA Crew puts California trails on the map.

Posted by Rachelle Hedges | Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Two SCA Crewmembers in San Mateo County California undertaking a GIS project

VIDEO: GIS Mapping in San Mateo County. SCA’s first full-time GIS Summer Crew puts California trails on the map.

Parks, People, Science, Trails and Hiking

SCA members teamed with NOAA to remove an insane amount of marine debris

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, October 29, 2015
An SCA crew walks along an empty beach in Olympic National Park's coastal wilderness. They worked with NOAA to clean up marine debris in the area.

by Dana Wu, SCA Marine Debris Project Coordinator

This summer, a NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Community-Based Removal grant enabled the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to assemble four debris removal crews at Olympic National Park. This Park works with partner agencies such as the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) to protect...

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Coasts & Water, Parks

A Life-Changing Summer Living & Working in a Desert Wilderness

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, October 28, 2015
SCA Desert Restoration Corps member Jonathan "Jay" Fennell checks out the view during an off day hike with his crew.

ABOVE: Jay Fennell checks out the view on an off-day hike during his summer living and working in the Mojave with SCA’s Desert Restoration Corps.

by Desert Restoration Corps Member Jay Fennell

I spent the summer of 2015 living and working in the heart of the Mojave, tackling critical conservation projects with...

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Diversity, People, Trails and Hiking

That time I got to interview 94-year-old Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin

Posted by Allison Joyce | Monday, October 26, 2015

by Allison Joyce, SCA NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassador

ABOVE: Ranger Betty Reid Soskin at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Education Center.

A few weeks ago I was lucky to be able to sit down with Betty Reid Soskin, a Park Ranger at Rosie the...

Career Success, Diversity, Education, History, Parks, People

3 SCA Vermont State Park Interns Enjoy an Inspiring Lunch with Liz Titus Putnam

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On a beautiful fall morning, Liz Putnam, her husband Bruce, colleague Gary King and I drive to Lake St. Catherine State Park in Poultney, VT to rendezvous with three SCA interns.  Vermont is Liz’s home state, the relationship with Vermont state parks is brand new, and Liz loves to hang...

Education, Parks, People



Staff Bloggers

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

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
Dana DeSousa
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Dana DeSousa

Alumni Stories

Where will SCA take you?

On Wednesday, July 27th, SCA joined the National Parks Conservation Association for a joint networking happy hour.
As a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Padre Island National Seashore, I’ve gotten to meet some pretty cool people. Recently I...

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...

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.

Browse our Photo Wall

Recent Video

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