The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a supportive, inclusive community of young adults leading the way to a more sustainable world.

In partnership with the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, SCA empowers young Americans from all backgrounds by offering formative conservation internships and proven professional pathways. We also ensure that people of all cultures and identities see themselves in our shared natural heritage by helping federal resource management agencies achieve greater workforce diversity.

Imagine aiding endangered species, preserving ancient artifacts, or captivating audiences with key moments from our nation’s history…at some of the most amazing places you’ll ever see…while receiving a weekly living allowance, free housing and health insurance, and many other benefits. SCA internships are available in a wide range of disciplines, throughout the year, in all 50 states.

With more than 70% of SCA alumni currently working or studying in the environmental field, SCA offers effective and fulfilling routes to eco-employment. Conservation begins here – and so does your career.

Please review the opportunities below and APPLY NOW, When applying use the promo code PO-00697341 so SCA can support you in finding the ideal position.


Coinciding with this year’s 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, SCA is fielding 100 Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors who will lead their parks’ efforts to connect people to national parks, monuments, and historic sites – often, though not exclusively, in or near leading metropolitan areas throughout the US.

Ambassadors will engage in community outreach and organize service events in association with the Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program

“We are excited that young people, including our Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors, are stepping up as the next generation of conservation leaders. I know that their contagious passion will inspire many others to do the same.” – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis

Centennial Volunteer Ambassadorships are year-long positions. Responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating and hosting volunteer projects on major service days including Earth Day, National Trails Day, National Public Lands Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and September 11th
  • Developing local events and supporting recurring group service opportunities  
  • Utilizing traditional and social media to build connections with the community


The Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program is for rising seniors and recent college graduates who are interested in a conservation career. You’ll attend an orientation in May or June and work alongside FWS professionals in a summer fellowship in biological sciences, natural resources or refuge management. Eligibility for a permanent position in the FWS is linked to the successful completion of your fellowship and/or degree requirements.

“I will always be in the business of wildlife conservation and the USFWS has helped me develop a very new and diverse set of skills. I will never forget this experience.” – Joey Peters, 2015 Fellow

“A critical part of my vision for the Service is to have a more diverse and inclusive organization. It’s important that we foster an organization where individual ideas and perspectives from diverse backgrounds are heard, and we empower our employees to deliver their best work.” -Daniel M. Ashe, Director, U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service

“It was an amazing experience in which I learned so much about USFWS, what it takes to conduct research of this nature, and how much I want to work for USFWS.”  – Mark Cancellare, 2015 Fellow

Benefits include:

  • Housing in select areas/locations
  • Living allowance, paid bi-weekly
  • Travel allowance
  • Orientation at the FWS National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV
  • Potential eligibility for permanent FWS employment after successfully completing your fellowship and/or degree requirements


  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an undergraduate (rising seniors) or graduate degree program, or a recent graduate who has completed a four-year or higher degree program no earlier than December 2014. GPA must be 3.0 or higher for undergraduates, graduates and recent graduates
  • Available for 12 weeks beginning in mid-May or mid-June
  • Able to pass a criminal background check
  • Demonstrated interest or experience in the conservation field
  • While the DPF program is open to men and women, male applicants born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, must be registered with the Selective Service System (unless exempted)

Please note that the application deadline for this program is 2/15/2016.


This award-winning workforce development initiative, launched by SCA and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 2008, has introduced hundreds of first and second-year college students to fulfilling conservation careers. Participants attend a stimulating, week-long orientation in May before serving in summer internships tailored to various USFWS career tracks including visitor services, education, resource management and many more.

“I now know an agency exists that matches both my love of conservation and my need for an engaging workday. I love the USFWS and I love my job!” — Jessica Jia

“Being plucked out of the city and placed in the middle of a marsh everyday was pretty shocking, but I learned a lot about myself. SCA impacted my career by uncovering potential I didn’t know I had!” — Brianna Patrick

 Benefits include:

  • Weekly Living Allowance
  • Travel Allowance
  • Housing or Housing Allowance
  • Assigned FWS Mentor
  • Hands-On Experience
  • AmeriCorps Education Award (subject to eligibility)
  • Application fee waived upon request

The ideal candidate:

  • Is a US citizen and/or permanent resident
  • Is a current college freshmen and sophomores
  • Is available for a 12-13 week summer internship beginning in May
  • Is open-minded and has an adventurous spirit
  • Does not necessarily have experience in conservation
  • Is eager to act as an ambassador for SCA and the USFWS
  • Is a licensed driver
  • Is able to provide references with an application


SCA’s National Park Service (NPS) Academy was launched in March of 2011 by SCA and the NPS to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to career opportunities within the NPS. 

This innovative program employs a four-phased approach:

1. A week-long spring break orientation at a national park

2. A summer-long internship at one of America’s leading national parks

3. A semester-long ambassadorship focusing on community outreach

4. Career preparation through a range of future placements with NPS and SCA 

To date, hundreds of SCA-NPS Academy graduates have emerged with the professionalism, work ethic, and knowledge required to start productive park careers.

“I tell people all the time that my closet has two sections: NPS green and gray and SCA blue!” –  Millie Jimenez, 2013 SCA-NPS Academy grad and Grand Teton National Park ranger

“Serving with SCA in NPS Academy is a way to give back while learning my future career field. I hope to become an environmental engineer and an advocate for a more sustainable environment.” – Justin Duncan, SCA-NPS Academy 2014

“Even as a diverse group, we found that what we have in common–a commitment to preserving the environment–far outweighs our differences.” – Apoorva Mahajan, SCA-NPS Academy, 2014

Benefits include:

  • Weekly Living Allowance
  • Travel Allowance
  • Housing or Housing Allowance
  • Assigned NPS mentor
  • Hands-On Experience
  • Additional Career Preparation and Ongoing Support
  • AmeriCorps Education Award (depending upon eligibility)

The ideal candidate:

  • Is a US Citizen
  • Is aged 18-35 
  • Is a current undergraduate or graduate student
  • Is available for one week in March and twelve weeks in the summer
  • Is open-minded and has an adventurous spirit
  • Is nearing the end of a college career and has some work experience
  • Is not necessarily experienced in conservation or National Parks
  • Is eager to act as an ambassador for SCA and the NPS
  • Is a licensed driver
  • Is able to provide references with an application

Although the application period for the 2016 Academy is now closed, please consider the many other career-oriented internships SCA offers and submit your application today.

If any, or all, of these programs sound interesting to you, APPLY NOW. When applying, use the promo code PO-00697341 so SCA can support you in finding the ideal position.