Phoenix Field School

SCA Phoenix Field School Member earning Chainsaw Certification

The Phoenix Field School is a 16-week education and training program for young adults ages 18-21. The program was created through a partnership of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arizona Call-a-Teen Youth Resources (ACYR), and Phoenix College (PC).

SCA Certified: Conservation Field Specialist CertificationThe Field School provides opportunities to gain meaningful, hands-on conservation experience through a variety of field-based projects, trainings, and certifications. The crews work on important conservation projects in Arizona, including trail construction and repair, riparian habitat restoration, biological monitoring, and invasive plant management.  In addition to the field work and trainings, the youth also earn 12 college credits through PC by taking classes in areas related to conservation and career development.

Throughout the 16 weeks, crew members gain the necessary skills and experience to become successful and employable in natural resource careers, while making a substantial contribution to Arizona’s natural and cultural treasures. Students gain networking connections with land agencies including the BLM, USFWS, NPS, and USFS.

Students are primarily based out of Phoenix, but the program includes conservation projects around Arizona which require camping in the field for 4-5 days at a time.

Field School graduates earn SCA certification as Conservation Field Specialists. 

Additional trainings offered include: 

  • CPR Certification
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • SCA Conservation Work Skills Training – Trails
  • Federal Chainsaw Certification – S-212
  • Wildland Firefighting Training – S-130/190

Eligibility Requirements: 

If you are between the ages of 18 and 21, able to pass a background check, have a high school diploma or GED, and are a resident of the City of Phoenix or Maricopa County, you are eligible to apply for this program! If you are interested, please contact Jessica Proehl at

Related Posts & Program Information

Over the past few weeks, we focused on trail building and maintenance. Dan Robinson, SCA Workskills Instructor, met with our crew at Copper Mountain to show us the basics of building a long-lasting trail. After planning where the trail would go, we removed the vegetation in the way and leveled the ground so that water would run off the path and down the mountain (not down the trail). In four days, we constructed close to 600 feet of durable trail.


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The 2015 Spring Semester of the Phoenix Field School has begun! The five new crew members are off to a great start. Here is their account of their first two weeks.


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the crew at vulture peak

more photos from the first half of the semester, showing the work we’ve been doing

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Here’s a recap of weeks 3 through 7:


week 3: workskills at Copper Mountain with Steve Hester! Trail work at its finest, in 110 degrees on a hillside made of rock. The students learned a lot and worked their hardest, developing muscles they didn’t know they had. We also saw the results of the biggest monsoon rain in Arizona history.

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Week two of the Field School Fall 2014 season found us going backpacking for two days to get certified as Leave No Trace Trainers, going to the Grand Canyon to get certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid. Five days, three certifications. Pretty impressive, no?

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