Formed in 2007 to mark SCA’s 50th Anniversary, the SCA Alumni Council’s mission is to organize alumni in support of SCA and SCA’s Alumni Engagement Plan. Whether through in-person service days or on SCA’s social media pages, the Alumni Council assists in keeping SCA alumni connected and engaged.
Each year, current council members select new recruits from young alumni nationwide for a two year term. With a diversity of SCA service backgrounds – from former high school crew members, to special initiative interns, to year long conservation corps programs – the Alumni Council represents the wide range of SCA’s programs and members. Each member is equipped to represent and connect with SCA’s over 75,000 alumni.
Specifically, the Alumni Council goals are to:
- Support SCA service projects and alumni focused social events
- Contribute to SCA’s online content in the form of blog posts, social media sharing, and editorial writing
- Strengthen the SCA’s reputation as the nation’s preeminent youth conservation movement among partner organizations, agencies, and the general public
- Serve as a source of counsel for SCA staff and board members, as requested
Email Alumni Council Chair Jean Barthlomew at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the council.
Alumni Council Bios
Sara Brostrom, Seattle, WA
For Sara, exploring parks, trails and beaches near her childhood home in Washington sparked an early interest in the great outdoors.
She learned about Student Conservation Association as a high school student and, the summer before her senior year, spent 5 weeks in Alaska’s beautiful Kenai National Wildlife Refuge serving on National Crew that focused on trail work. The experience broadened her understanding of conservation and deepened her fascination with the natural world. Four years later, Sara returned to the Kenai as an SCA Intern, collecting data on seasonally migrating sockeye salmon. Three years later, Sara served as an SCA National Crew Leader in Vermont.
Outside of SCA, Sara has 5 years of experience as a science educator in Baltimore, Seattle, and Olympic National Park. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Biology from Western Washington University. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Marine Affairs degree at the University of Washington while working as a teaching assistant.
Ben Dunphey, Bar Harbor, ME
Ben grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. His parents instilled a wonderful sense of adventure and a love for the outdoors with family vacations to Acadia National Park in coastal Maine. His ﬁrst experience with SCA was in 2006 on a high school crew in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan where he spent one of the best months of his life on a wilderness island in Lake Michigan. He did 2 more crews in North Cascades NP in WA and along the Connecticut River in VT and attended SCA’s EarthVision Conference in DC.
Ben graduated from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) with a B.S. in Environmental Science with focuses on mapping and recreation and resource management. During his time at ESF, he was a trails intern with the US Forest Service and then led his own HS crews in Denali NP and North Cascades NP.
After graduation in 2012, he ventured out to the beautiful state of Idaho for the SCA Idaho AmeriCorps Program. During this program, he met some of his closest friends and explored some of the US’s most remote places. He then participated in SCA’s Lake Berryessa Leader Development Crew in Napa, CA and led a crew in the Sierra NF in CA. Ben currently works on Acadia NP’s trail crew.
Cori Rendon, Everett, WA
Cori grew up in the border city of Laredo, TX and became a conservation rock star in 2013 when she participated in SCA’s NPS Academy. Through the Academy, she was able to spend three months at Great Smoky Mountatins National Park as an interpretation intern. The following year she returned to the Acamedy as a peer mentor and as a leader in 2015.
Cori studied Natural History Interpretation at the State University of New York: Environmental Science and Forestry with a minor in Recreation Resources and Protected Area Management. Through SCA she was able to find her dream career protecting public lands by educating and engaging the public. After her internship, she worked at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in her home state of Texas and Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area on the Oregon coast.
Currently, Cori is the Youth and Community Engagement Coordinator at Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in western Washington. She works with a variety of partners (like SCA!) coordinating and leading youth and community programs throughout the Forest. When Cori isn’t enjoying the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest she likes to try new recipes, sing karaoke, read and drink chai lattes.
Jean Bartholomew, San Francisco, CA
Jean is an overly proud native Pittsburgher. She began with the SCA as a high school student on a national crew 15 miles in the backcountry of Yellowstone, aka her version of paradise. In college, she participated in Alternative Spring Break at the Grand Canyon which reinvigorated her love of national parks and trail work. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Political Science, she discovered that while she loves writing she has a disdain for cubicles. Jean worked brieﬂy at REI, replenishing her gear supply before heading back to SCA to lead national crews. In her ﬁrst stint as a ﬁeld leader, Jean had the wonderful opportunity to serve in Yellowstone again, in the same region of the park with the same agency contact.
Jean has gone to on become immersed in the SCA world, working on leader crews and national crews - from Denali to the Virgin Islands, and leading volunteer events in cities across the country. She is now the Seasonal Community Services Educator at the Crissy Field Center for the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco. With this role, she uses the skills and values she gained with SCA to teach placed-based environmental education.
Jeremy Taitano, Philadelphia, PA
Jeremy is a current student at Temple University in Philadelphia who began his SCA experience as a high school member of the Washington DC Conservation Learning Corps.
Jeremy first developed a passion for conservation while living on Saipan, a 12x5 mile island in the south pacific from where his father’s family comes. Spearfishing on the islands reefs and spending time on the island’s beaches gave him an appreciation for climate change and sea level rise through first-hand experience.
Jeremy began his SCA experience as a high school member of Washington DC’s Conservation Learning Corps, since then he has served on two community crews, participated in an alternative spring break program and in two National Park Service Academies. He continues to stay active with SCA through several community service events in the Washington DC area.
Since moving back to the mainland, his original curiosity towards nature and caring for the environment has turned into a passion for youth empowerment through connecting with and working within the great outdoors and public spaces.
Erin grew up canoeing Florida’s creeks and exploring its beaches, while visiting national parks around the country each summer. She attended the University of Florida to study environmental science, and recently completed her JD at Georgetown Law. Erin has benefited from two empowering experiences serving with the Student Conservation Association. During her first summer of college she worked in Pisgah National Forest, NC, monitoring hiking trails, assisting with prescribed burn preparation, and employing new techniques to battle invasive species. At her second SCA position, Erin coordinated the Children in Nature program for Delaware State Parks, promoting outdoor opportunities for kids around the state.
While in law school, Erin worked for environmental organizations and agencies such as Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund and the EPA. For the next year, she will clerk for Justice Hjelm on the Maine Supreme Court, and looks forward to practicing public interest law to promote conservation and a cleaner, safer environment.
Growing up in the Bay Area, Daniel developed a passion for environmental conservation from an early age, and involvement with Boy Scouts catalyzed his desire to explore the natural beauty of his native California.
His SCA journey began in high school as a member of a National Crew in Alaska’s White Mountains National Recreation Area. After a summer of constructing trail on the mosquito-infested tundra, Daniel was hooked. Through SCA NPS Academy, he went on to serve as a Digital Media Intern for the largest urban national park in the U.S., Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, gaining valuable insight into the fundamental challenges of urban environmentalism: access and coexistence.
Having recently earned a double major in Marketing and International Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Daniel currently works as an Account Manager for GlassView, a digital advertising start-up based in New York City.
Outside of the oﬃce, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, volunteering with the Student Conservation Association, and playing soccer. His passions include sustainable development, travel and, all things sport.
Christopher Fernandez, Washington, DC
Christopher grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. in Northern Virginia where he developed a passion for environmental conservation through meaningful experiences in local parks, the Smithsonian Institution, and the SCA.
In 2014 and 2015, Christopher was involved in SCA’s Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP) through which he spent two summers doing field work at the Long Island and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Complexes. Christopher has stayed involved with the SCA through community service events and mentorship and outreach to other students.
As he finishes his studies in Environmental and Conservation Biology at George Mason University, Christopher is working on campus to help build a community of stewards interested in trail blazing the conservation movement. Through this and with his seat on the SCA Alumni Council Christopher intends to further his passion for uplifting and empowering others to explore nature and cultivate care for the environment and their communities.
Tina Walsh, New York City, NY
Much like the island she grew up on, Tina was shaped by her experiences with water. A childhood on Long Island brought fascination with many of the animals living off the shore, especially horseshoe crabs and sharks. This magnetic quality of water remains to be a driving force in her life. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry from St. John’s University in Queens where she fell in love with the energy and endless possibilities that New York City brought.
Environmental education and conservation are vital pieces to the changing landscape of New York City. Her first position was a part of SCA’s Hudson Valley Corps as an Environmental Educator with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. From there Tina went on to work at various non-profit groups such as the Beczak Science Center in Yonkers and the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park.
Today she is an Environmental Educator at Hudson River Park in New York City, which encompasses 4 miles of reconstructed piers along Manhattan’s West Side. The park’s mission of access, awareness, and stewardship resonate strongly with Tina and make for a perfect fit. With this position, Tina also has the unique opportunity to supervise SCA interns, a great way to be inspired by and connect with the next generation of conservation leaders.