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.

110+ exotic plant species in Southeast Alaska

Posted by Staff | Monday, August 31, 2015
SCA Exotic Plant Management Team Intern Kevin Hauser teaches youth about invasive plant, bladder campion (Silene vulgaris) at Skagway's 7th Annual Community Weed Pull.

by Kevin Hauser

Sometimes, when you least expect it, doors that you never knew existed can open right in front of you. 

It was one of our first hikes of the season. I had just made it to Skagway, Alaska for my internship with SCA, and some friends and I wanted to...

Education, Endangered Species, Science, Sustainability

Perhaps this Yellowstone Visitor Should Have Just Gone to the Zoo

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Friday, August 28, 2015

If this Yellowstone National Park comment card were a Yelp review, the headline might read, “One star. Poorly trained bears.”

Apparently a park visitor recently left the following feedback at the lodge where they stayed while visiting the park, as evidenced by the photo below:

“Our visit was wonderful, but we never...

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, History, Parks

Ayomide Sekiteri on how she found her park

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, August 26, 2015

“If it was based solely on statistics, I shouldn’t be standing here. I shouldn’t be here talking to you about our National Parks because I am not your typical national park visitor. The typical visitor is over the age of 50 and white. As you can see…that’s not me.I am 22, African-American, the daughter of two Nigerian-born and raised parents - Making me 1st generation American. No, I am not the typical National Park visitor.”

Adventures, Diversity, Parks, People

Wishing NPS a Happy 99th Birthday on the National Mall

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, August 26, 2015

by Kyle Yarusso

What do you do for a good friend for their birthday? Throw them a party, of course!

SCA has been a close friend and partner of the National Park Service (NPS) for almost 60 years. And so, like a good friend, SCA, along with American...

Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Courtney Butler

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, August 25, 2015
SCA Cape Cod Crew working at the National Seashore

This July, eight anxious, nervous, and excited high school students arrived here at Cape Cod National Seashore. They, along with their two crew leaders, were selected to be part of an SCA National Crew – and they were lucky enough to spend their time and energy here at the beautiful...

Coasts & Water, People, Science, Sustainability, Trails and Hiking

Elusive Avocets Teach What it Takes to Become a Wildlife Biologist

Posted by Sara Prussing | Monday, August 17, 2015

“I hop out of the truck, net in hand and wader boots pounding the ground. The chicks scatter in different directions to thwart me, but my attention is entirely focused on the farthest of the three. It runs freely above the sulfurous mud, and I follow with a galumphing stride. I start to close the gap and reach out my net, closer, closer… SCHLUMP!”

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Career Success, Endangered Species, People, Wetlands

Coming Together to Save a Beloved Butterfly

Posted by Elizabeth Braatz | Monday, August 17, 2015

Community (n):
1. A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood) 1
2. A group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc. 1
3. A group of nations1
4. A group of actually or potentially interacting species living...

Animals & Wildlife, Climate, Diversity, Endangered Species, People, Volunteer Opportunities

SCA Intern Jessica Zamudio's job at Yosemite was to Photograph the Stunning Landscape

Posted by Jessica Zamudio | Monday, August 17, 2015

“While the towering granite mountains and amazing waterfalls and rivers were like nothing I’ve ever seen, I personally got an unexpected and wonderful amount of gratification and fulfillment from working with the youth programs in the park.”

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Diversity, Education, Parks, People

The Santa Fe Trail: Untamed But Not Untrammeled

Posted by Noah M Schlager | Thursday, August 13, 2015

“It is our job as modern conservationists to see the wildness we so value in all places and peoples.”

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Education, History, Parks, People, Trails and Hiking

An internship is like a cheese curd for SCA's Ariel Lepito

Posted by Ariel Lepito | Tuesday, August 11, 2015

“Starting off my summer with the FWS was, hear me out on this, sort of like biting into a cheese curd for the first time. I’ve had jobs (and cheese) before, and on paper I knew I would enjoy it.”

Education, Kids, Wetlands

“The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.”

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, August 5, 2015
wildflowers and rainbow at Big Cypress National Preserve. Photo courtesy of BigCypressNPS
by Joshua Kezar, Centennial Volunteer Ambasssador, Big Cypress National Preserve

I ate breakfast this morning on my screened porch overlooking a small pond behind my building.  As I blindly and repeatedly stuck my right hand down toward the bottom of the bag of powdered donuts in my lap, gazing out at...

A Buck Island National Monument Photo Update from Justin Kemp

Posted by Justin Kemp | Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Justin Kemp helps the National Park Service collect field data on endangered sea turtles as an SCA Sea Turtle Intern at Buck Island National Monument. When he’s not sleeping the very odd hours required by night patrol duty (most sea turtle nesting activity takes place under cover of darkness) he spends his free time exploring (and snapping photos of) his temporary island home and its tropical environs.

Check out these photos from his latest adventures.

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Coasts & Water, Endangered Species, Parks, People

Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Allison Joyce

Posted by Allison Joyce | Tuesday, August 4, 2015
The iconic Rosie the Riveter poster alongside a real Rosie at work in Nashville 1943

It all started on Monday when our Superintendent Sue approached me and asked for help with the Rosie Rally. What on God’s Green Earth is a Rosie Rally? Well, hang on to your hats. I’m in my sixth week as an SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at the Rosie the Riveter...

History, Parks, People

Helicopter, Airboats & Wildlife Make for an Exciting Day of Water Quality Monitoring

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | Monday, August 3, 2015

I have a confession to make: I’m an adrenaline junkie. The feeling of epinephrine released into my blood—That increased heart rate and heightened sense of awareness as part of an innate response to perceived danger—is euphoric. I’m also a science junkie, and I chose an SCA biology internship because...

Adventures, Career Success, Coasts & Water, Diversity, People, Science, Wetlands

Alaska Field Dispatch by Montana Napier

Posted by Montana Napier | Monday, August 3, 2015
SCA Intern Montana Napier overlooks Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska through the haze of a wildfire

“The preparedness level of Alaska was 5 out of 5, meaning that “resistance to control is high to extreme and resistance to extinguishment is high.” At the junction between McCarthy and Kennecott, a Smokey the Bear sign sits outside the area’s volunteer fire department headquarters, informing the public of general fire risk. I have watched the sign bounce back and forth between “High” and “Extreme” all season.”

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Climate, Forests, Parks, People, Wildfires

Cristina Ramirez, Centennial Volunteer Ambassador

Posted by Staff | Monday, August 3, 2015
School Children visiting Valley Forge National Park. Photo credit: Valley Forge National Park

“What battle was fought here?” It’s a question that a lot of the rangers get here at Valley Forge National Historical Park. I’ve never been asked, since as a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador I play a more behind-the-scenes role working with the volunteer coordinator and our Volunteers-In-Parks (VIPs).  But I was...

History, Parks

Posted by Staff | Monday, August 3, 2015

Hitch 7 is tough. Us corps members are tired out from a long few months of trail work. The heat and humidity at the end of July is oppressive. Bugs are stinging, ticks are embedding, poison ivy is thriving. We can’t help but think about the future; it’s tough to...

SCA Intern Ariel Lupito grapples with Wisconsin Wildlife

Posted by Ariel Lepito | Friday, July 31, 2015
SCA Intern Ariel Lepito identifying an endangered Wild Lupine

“I soon noticed a pattern in the naming process: trait + body part + animal = common name. For example, there’s the red-winged blackbird, the redheaded woodpecker, the large-mouth bass, the yellow-faced bee, the white-tailed deer… They really tell it like it is!”

Animals & Wildlife, Education, Endangered Species, Sustainability, Wetlands

Elizabeth Braatz wants to help you save the Monarch

Posted by Elizabeth Braatz | Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Today, Elizabeth Braatz checks in from St. Croix Wetland Management District in Wisconsin. She’s part of the Career Discovery Internship Program, a collaboration between SCA and USFWS that’s strengthening the next generation of conservation leaders by connecting culturally and ethnically diverse college students to wildlife-focused career opportunities.

Early on in my SCA internship at St. Croix Wetland Management District, I learned three interesting facts about monarch butterflies.

1. Monarchs journey up to 3,000 miles between Mexico and the northern United States and Canada. each year, and this annual epic journey is actually undertaken by four generations of butterflies.

Endangered Species, Sustainability

Endangered species just minutes from downtown Philadelphia

Posted by Staff | Friday, July 24, 2015
SCA Interns tracking Great Egrets at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

by Bianca Perez

Great Egrets are a common sight right now at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia, PA. We are America’s First Urban Refuge which means that we are not in a far-away area secluded in the wilderness, but are actually 993 acres of fresh water tidal...

Animals & Wildlife, Coasts & Water, Endangered Species, Science

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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.

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

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?

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...

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