Travel Grant Policy
The following criteria will be used to determine the funding awarded to SCA Conservation Interns for travel to and from the sites where they work. Please note that internships don't begin until an intern arrives at the site and end as soon as an intern leaves the site to return home. Interns are expected to pay for their own travel to their work site. SCA reimburses them for their travel expenses, provided their paperwork is complete. Reimbursement is deposited onto a Chase card and is immediately available for their use.
Interns who leave their positions before completing their scheduled term of service are liable to forfeit their return travel grant and may be required to return travel funds already received
Wild land Fire Duty
Wild land firefighting provides interns a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of conservation and preservation. Occasionally, agency partners have an urgent need for fire fighters and request that interns be allowed to assist.
It is the policy of SCA to allow members to suspend their internship for a maximum of 14 days, inclusive of travel, for the purpose of fighting wild land fires. Per SCA Field Operations Standards, SCA interns may not be involved in wild land firefighting activities as a member of SCA; they may however, engage in wild land firefighting activities as a member or employee of another agency. In order to fight wild land fires the SCA intern must be approved to take leave from their term of service. This approval must come from their agency supervisor; the SCA Partner Services Coordinator must be notified prior to suspension of the internship. Once on leave from their term of service, the member will no longer be covered by SCA’s liability or Worker’s Compensation insurance policies. However, the hosting agency must continue to cover the cost of intern benefits, including housing and health insurance and administrative fees.
For interns enrolled in AmeriCorps, since the member’s internship is suspended the member is not serving in AmeriCorps during this time. Members cannot accrue service hours for time spent in paid wild land firefighting activities.
In order to avoid potential health risks and damage to property, it is the policy of SCA that animals are not to be kept in SCA-leased housing. When housing is provided by the hosting agency, or if housing is not leased by SCA, the intern must obtain written permission from their agency supervisor and/or landlord. SCA will not be responsible for any animal-related damages.
SCA understands that adults of legal drinking age may choose to consume alcohol after work hours and off program time during their term of service with SCA. Instead of prohibiting this activity, SCA strives to foster a culture of personal and professional responsibility where the consumption of alcohol by legal adults may be done in a responsible manner. With this in mind, alcohol consumption while an SCA member is a privilege and not a right. If the consumption of alcohol becomes a management or safety issue, SCA may revoke this privilege.
As part of SCA’s ongoing commitment to a safe and healthy workplace as well as to comply with many of our partnership agreements, we maintain a drug-free workplace policy. Any staff member who reports to work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol runs the risk of endangering his or her safety and the safety of others, destruction of or damage to personal or organization property, and a loss of productivity and workplace morale.
All staff and volunteers of SCA are required to understand and comply with the organization’s drug-free workplace policy. Any failure to comply with the guidelines of this policy can result in immediate termination of employment. Staff members and volunteers either in our offices or conducting business on behalf of our organization regardless of location are prohibited from all the following:
Staff members who violate the drug-free workplace policy may, at the discretion of management, be required to attend a rehabilitation or drug abuse assistance program as an alternative to disciplinary action, including discharge. Staff members given this opportunity must satisfactorily participate in the program as a condition of continued employment.
Alcoholic beverages served in moderation, in conjunction with an SCA authorized event are an exception to this prohibition.
Use of Personal Vehicle for Official Duty
SCA will not award travel reimbursement to a participant for the use of a personal vehicle in the performance of official duties assigned by the cooperating agency at the duty station. SCA expects the cooperating agency to provide transportation for the performance of official duties or full reimbursement for the use of personal vehicles for such purposes.
Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Advisory
The following has been given to Conservation Interns:
We are confident that in your upcoming term of service, you will meet resource management and conservation professionals of the highest personal and professional integrity. Some of these people will inspire you, serve as mentors, and have a lasting effect on the rest of your life. You will come to value and treasure your opportunity to work side by side with these experienced professionals.
Even in a workplace as professional as those of our cooperating agencies, discrimination can occur. It is the policy of all of our partner agencies to maintain a workplace environment free from any type of discriminatory conduct, including making statements or jokes, or committing acts regarding a person's race, color, national origin, religion, gender, physical condition, age, marital status or sexual orientation that are offensive, derogatory, or harassing. Nonetheless, over the years, a small number of our volunteers have reported that they were victims of violations of this policy. Therefore, we feel that it is our responsibility to advise you that there is a possibility, however remote, that you could be confronted with discriminatory behavior.
Most of us immediately recognize the more overt forms of discrimination. There is one kind of discrimination that sometimes takes subtle and insidious forms, namely, sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not merely defined as sexual advances and/or requests for sexual favors that are unwelcome. It is also verbal comments, gestures and/or physical contact which is deliberate, repeated, unwanted and unsolicited.
Sexual harassment can sometimes be so subtle that it is not readily recognized at first. It may take the form of unwelcome verbal comments, jokes, suggestions or derogatory remarks based on sex; unwelcome physical touching, pats, squeezes, repeated brushing against or the impeding or blocking of one's movement; unwelcome visual harassment, sexually suggestive or derogatory pictures, drawings or cartoons; unwelcome communications, notes, phone calls or e-mail. This may include words or actions that the initiator intends to be "harmless", benign or playful, but which may not be so perceived by the recipient or an onlooker.
From your perspective, you should take seriously and not tolerate any conduct that makes you feel uncomfortable, degraded or intimidated. Also, do not ignore offensive behavior because it occurs outside of work hours. Inform the initiator that his/her words and/or actions are unwelcome and state that they should not be repeated and will not be tolerated. If the behavior continues, or if you do not feel safe or comfortable confronting the individual directly, please report the situation immediately to your supervisor or, if this is not appropriate, to any other management representative of your choice.
Many of our hosting sites have Personnel Directors or Equal Employment Opportunity Representatives who are trained to deal constructively and professionally with incidences of harassment. We urge you to consider contacting these officials. They will make sure that your concerns are dealt with in confidence to the extent consistent with a full and fair investigation. Oftentimes, they are experienced enough to resolve the difficulties you may be experiencing through informal discussions. However, they will also know when more formal measures are called for which they will advise you of, but will not take without permission (with the rare exception of serious assault).
These measures could involve conducting a thorough investigation of your allegations, interviewing others who may have witnessed the behavior which has caused you discomfort, identifying any areas of factual dispute, and eventually reaching a conclusion as to whether the alleged conduct constituted a violation of agency policy or federal or state law. If this is indeed the case, they will know the next steps to take to invoke remedial action or sanction. They also will ensure that there will be no retaliation of any kind as a result of your utilization of their complaint procedures. No action will be taken against any individual who makes a good faith complaint or against any individual participating in the investigation or enforcement of this policy. However, any individual who knowingly makes a false claim of sexual harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
We all have a responsibility for maintaining high standards of conduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment has no place in it and should never be condoned. Most importantly, for your own well-being, we urge you to not tolerate it and to take the steps outlined above, if necessary. Please remember that our agency partners will not be able to take remedial action to correct problems or individuals if they do not know that inappropriate behavior is occurring. Think of the next person who will be in the position you are in and allow our agencies to send out the message that sexual harassment is simply unacceptable.
Agency Partners: login to access your existing account or create a new account.