Follow Me: SCA member blogs from the field

Follow Me is the place to read field dispatches from SCA members serving the planet all over the USA.

Just in case you missed the last one, RCW’s are red cockaded woodpeckers, an endangered species. Big Cypress National Preserve is a huge place, so to try and find these RCW homes (specific pine trees) is quite a challenge. Being out in the wilderness in Big Cypress is like being out in a maze; every direction looks the same!

The cohort after a great buggy ride out to the worksite.

From our early ancestors’ use of lightning strikes for ignition, to the discovery of the flint, to the modern-day advancements of spark plugs and lighters, fire has, and will always be, a cornerstone to human civilization.

We as humans depend on fire for cooking. We rely on fire to keep us warm in the harshest of climates.

ASB crew members hard at work. Back (left to right): Nick, Chris, Tom. Front: Kenneth.

Officially, Big Cypress is a National “Preserve”, but why should we be so bland? Why not call it what it really is? After all, we have national forests, national grasslands, national seashores, national lakeshores, etc., etc., etc. The benefits of these descriptive names are many.

Big Cypress National Swamp

Tamiami Trail

Today was a very eventful day! After another chilly breakfast we headed straight out to our designated work sites. We split up into groups so we were all assigned different tasks.

Photo: Only 25% of tents are pictured.

Meeting 35 new people at once is never easy. Never mind getting to know them in the dark of night.

Wrapping up the first full day of ASB with the Student Conservation Association has been a blast! Here is a quick round up of my past 24 hrs: Flew into Ft.

Photo: Air plants

So today was our first day waking up at the campsite in Collier Seminole Park. I must say
it is a bit chillier than I anticipated, or packed for. After waking up and eating breakfast we played a couple games and got to know the friendly faces we have the pleasure of sharing this experience with.

Hello Readers!

Welcome to my little space on the SCA’s Follow Me Blog. I am thrilled that I’ll be serving as your ASB reporter for the week, from the depths of Florida’s immense Big Cypress National Preserve.

SCA’s Alternative Spring Break 2013 kicks off this week at Big Cypress National Preserve in Southern Florida.

Follow along right here as three members of the preserve’s 30-person crew provide daily accounts of their week-long conservation adventure, brought to you by SCA and American Eagle Outfitters.

Look for updates all month, with fresh bloggers every Monday, as this is just the first of

Hello! Greetings from Ohio!

As I prepare all my gear for each trip that I head out on I find myself reflecting specifically on those that I have had before. I find myself wondering, what is in store for me in southern Florida on this alternative spring break with the SCA? I am excited to meet a large group of my peers from all different walks of life.

Andrea Willingham | February 28, 2013

What kind of natural environment did you grow up in? Have you ever considered how it might have affected the way you see the world today?

Andrea Willingham | February 21, 2013

Andrea’s been in Nome, Alaska since this summer, serving as the SCA Multimedia and Graphic Design Intern for Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

Andrea Willingham | February 6, 2013

Andrea’s been in Nome, Alaska since this summer, serving as the SCA Multimedia and Graphic Design Intern for Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

Andrea Willingham | February 6, 2013

Andrea’s been in Nome, Alaska since this summer, serving as the SCA Multimedia and Graphic Design Intern for Bering Land Bridge National Preserve. We’ll be posting her accounts of her adventures in this remote, near-Arctic region over the next couple weeks.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had my sights set on Alaska.

Okay. So. Now that I have obtained the pictures to prove it, I will tell you all about the awesome outreach project I’ve worked on for much of my internship… a project which has finally been project-ed onto some kids!
You see, the brain behind my internship was Jeff Heys, formerly a Habitat Restoration Biologist at the Anchorage Fish and Wildlife Field Office.

Jarred Shaw | December 31, 2012

Here’s Jarred’s crew mate, Leah Cantor, with her take on the SCA Sandy Relief Corps experience. PHOTO: Jennica Tamler and Leah Cantor (L-R)

Mother Nature can be a powerful and heartbreaking force. The neighborhood I was born and raised in was completely wrecked.

Jarred Shaw | December 19, 2012

My crewmates and I had good reason to look forward to our arrival in Hunterdon County.

Jarred Shaw | December 15, 2012

Our first day on post-Sandy restoration duty at Cheesequake State Park began with a foggy morning. Dave Donnelly, park superintendent, met us bright and early, outfitted for the damp weather with bright yellow rubber boots. When we told him that two of our chainsaws were on the disabled list, his gracious response was to lend us a couple spares from Cheesequake’s own gear cache.

Jarred Shaw | December 11, 2012

Hurricane Sandy rolled in on October 29th, 2012, just two days after I returned home to Matawan, New Jersey. I had been in California, serving with an SCA leader crew in Sierra National Forest. As soon as the storm subsided, I emailed my contacts at SCA, requesting assistance for the local cleanup effort. My own efforts began just five minutes from my house, at Cheesequake State Park.

Let me start off by saying that the oh so creative name of this lake and town in Alaska only makes sense for one of those things. Take a look at this picture I took of my handy map and you will see what I mean. That blue blob is the lake and that tiny place to the right of it is the town. While Big Lake has over 50 miles of shoreline and is well…

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