Alumni Council

SCA Alumni gather on Governors Island NYC

Formed in 2007 to mark SCA’s 50th Anniversary, the SCA Alumni Council has a mission to organize alumni in support of SCA and SCA’s Alumni Engagement Plan. Whether through serving as volunteer leaders at service days, helping to organize outreach events, or contributing content to SCA’s blog and 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 – Alumni Council members represent the wide range of SCA’s programs and locations. Each member is equipped to represent and connect with SCA’s 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 SCA’s reputation as the nation’s preeminent youth conservation organization 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 Co-Chairs Tina Walsh at twalsh@thesca.org or Jean Barthlomew at jbartholomew@thesca.org if you have any questions about the council.
 

Alumni Council Bios

CO-CHAIR: Tina Walsh, New York, NY

Contact: twalsh@thesca.org

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 at St. John’s University in Queens where she fell in love with the energy and endless possibilities of New York City.

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 nonprofit groups including the Beczak Science Center in Yonkers and the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

Today she is Assistant Director of Environmental Education at Hudson River Park in New York City, which encompasses four 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.

 

CO-CHAIR: Jean Bartholomew, San Francisco, CA

Contact: jbartholomew@thesca.org

Jean is an overly proud native Pittsburgher. She began with SCA as a high school student on a national crew 15 miles in the backcountry of Yellowstone, a.k.a. her version of paradise. In college, she participated in SCA’s 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.

 

Sara Brostrom, Seattle, WA

Contact: sbrostrom@thesca.org

For Sara, exploring parks, trails, and beaches near her childhood home in Washington sparked an early interest in the great outdoors. 

She learned about SCA as a high school student and, the summer before her senior year, spent five weeks in Alaska’s beautiful Kenai National Wildlife Refuge serving on an SCA National Crew 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 five 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 BS 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. 

 

Daniel Dryburgh, New York, NY

Contact: ddryburgh@thesca.org

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’s NPS Academy, he went on to serve as a Digital Media Intern for the largest urban national park in the US, 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

Contact: cfernandez@thesca.org

Christopher grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC 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 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.

 

Erin Murphy, Portland, ME

Contact: emurphy@thesca.org

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.

 

Cori Rendon, Everett, WA

Contact: crendon@thesca.org

Cori grew up in the border city of Laredo, Texas 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.

 

Jeremy Taitano, Philadelphia, PA

Contact: jtaitano@thesca.org

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 Leadership Corps.

Jeremy first developed a passion for conservation while living on Saipan, a 12x5 mile island in the south pacific where his father’s family comes from. Spearfishing on the island’s reefs and spending time on the island’s beaches gave him an appreciation for climate change and sea level rise through firsthand experience.

Since his first SCA experience with Washington DC’s Conservation Leadership Corps, Jeremy has served on two SCA community crews, participated in an Alternative Spring Break program, and attended two SCA National Park Service Academy programs. He continues to stay active with SCA through community service events in the 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.