Every year, SCA provides training, tools and projects that place motivated teens and young adults in the field to effect changes great and small. How do we measure the effects? Sometimes its through decreased CO2 levels or by the tons of trash collected or in the number of trees planted. Our success is also measured by the lessons learned, the perspective gained and the lives we transform—today and into the future. Often when the SCA project is over, the success story is just beginning. Take a look at some of our most recent accomplishments.

Black footed ferrets were once believed extinct. USFWS is bringing them back.

Posted by Lauren Kurtz | Friday, March 25, 2016
A black footed ferret considers its new habitat.

by Lauren Kurtz, SCA intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.

This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s part of a monthly series featuring SCA interns writing about their experiences working...
Animals & Wildlife, Endangered Species, People

Your votes decided which park we'll feature on our 2017 calendar cover...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, March 24, 2016

We asked friends of the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to vote for the cover of our 2017 Calendar, and you responded.

More than 3,600 friends and supporters of SCA cast their vote and we couldn’t be more pleased with the final result.

The winning photo features Olympic National...

...thru SCA's NPS Academy 2016

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, March 22, 2016

This month, a diverse group of young conservationists from all over Alaska gathered for a weeklong behind-the-scenes look at what goes into managing Kenai Fjords National Park. For the students involved, the event marked the beginning of their 2016 SCA-NPS Academy experience, which, in addition to this...

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, March 16, 2016

“Back then you heard, “You’re not thinking of having women as interns, are you?” Well… we did have women as interns in 1957 and many of them became park superintendents, and rangers and naturalists with the Service.”

SCA Excelsior Corps Members Share Best Moments & Biggest Surprises from Their First Projects in the Field

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, March 14, 2016
SCA Excelsior Corps project leaders gathered at their home base in SUNY Morrisville

SCA Excelsior Conservation Corps members have hit the field for their first hitches at park sites across New York State. Working in five teams of ten members each, the Corps tackles critical conservation projects from New York City to the Adirondacks. SCA Excelsior Project Leaders share some of the best moments — and biggest surprises — during their first days in the field…

Parks, People

...which stunning nature photo to feature on our calendar cover.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Monday, March 14, 2016

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is busy selecting images for our 2017 Calendar, and we want YOU to help us choose the cover!

Simply select one of the three stunning photographs below before March 22…

Five Green Facts and Fables for St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, March 14, 2016
St. Patrick's Day shamrocks

1.       According to ancient legends, St. Patrick was an early – and accidental – arborist. He is said to have carried a walking stick made with wood from an ash tree. As he traveled, Patrick would often evangelize and would start by driving his walking stick into the ground. During...

And they're in Grand Teton for SCA's 2016 NPS Academy...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Friday, March 11, 2016

Members of a new generation of American conservationists, as diverse as the nation from which they hail, began a year-long exploration of National Park Service careers this month with the launch of SCA’s 2016 NPS Academy. In its sixth year, the program brings together college students from all regions...

Career Success, Diversity, Parks

SCA AmeriCorps Members Nationwide Share Why They Serve

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, March 8, 2016
AmeriCorps members get things done with SCA across the country

Over the past 24 years, thousands of SCA members have rendered millions of hours of conservation service through AmeriCorps programs. To commemorate AmeriCorps Week, we spoke to dozens of SCA-AmeriCorps members to showcase their work and their commitment to serving their communities.

Education, Kids, Parks, People

Game character Luna also loves salsa dancing...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Friday, March 4, 2016

It’s finally happened.

It only took about 6 decades, but we can now say that there is a conservation-themed video game that features an SCA participant as its Earth-saving hero.

The game? “Save The Park,” developed by Games For Change and funded by NPS partner and SCA sponsor American Express. ...

On Interior Sec. Sally Jewell’s Order Promoting Access to America’s Public Lands for Under-Resourced Youth:

Posted by Jaime Matyas | Friday, March 4, 2016
The Student Conservation Association is encouraged by Secretary Jewell’s leadership to reduce the barriers between connecting America’s young people and our public lands. As the national leader in youth conservation, SCA knows that nature provides young people with essential physical and emotional benefits, and studies involving SCA members further...

...connects NPS with a new generation of conservationists.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, March 3, 2016

SCA’s NPS Academy aims to better ensure the future of U.S. public lands by building a National Park Service workforce that truly reflects the diversity of America.

Career Success, Diversity

Help study & conserve the best kept secrets of America's public lands.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, March 2, 2016
The Copper River Delta in Chugach National Forest. Photo source.

Serve somewhere unexpected with one of our “Under the Radar” Conservation Internships…

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

Serve somewhere unexpected...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This long exposure shows stars streaking across the night sky at International Dark Sky certified park Natural Bridges National Monument.

These “clandestine” conservation service opportunities are located at some of the best kept secrets of America’s public lands system.

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Staff | Friday, February 26, 2016
SCA Founder Liz Putnam meeting with some of the Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors in Washington DC

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, six Washington DC-based SCA NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors—there are 70 serving nationwide—joined SCA Founder Liz Titus Putnam on stage for a presentation at the Garden Club of America’s annual meeting in the nation’s capital.

They spoke—and embodied—the National Park Service’s Centennial year commitment to connecting with...

SCA Alum Lauren Ray has a rap for every NPS site she's worked

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, February 25, 2016
SCA alum Lauren Ray, aka the Rapping Ranger, has written and performed hip hop odes to each park that she's worked at, starting with Arches National Park where she served as an SCA Intern.

SCA alum Lauren Ray reveals how her SCA internship with the National Park Service helped her discover her public-lands-loving hip hop alter ego, the Rapping Ranger.

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, People

Your perfect nature photo could win you a round-trip flight for two.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, February 25, 2016

What does conservation mean to you? What inspires you to visit the parks, forests, and refuges where nature is allowed to thrive? What inspires you to celebrate them? What inspires you to fight to keep them wild and untrammeled always and forever?

Whether it’s the look on a loved one’s face...

Posted by Staff | Thursday, February 25, 2016
SCA Founder Liz Putnam presented the Robert Marshall Award from the Wilderness Society

“When it comes to getting kids outdoors, no one has done more over the past sixty years than Liz Putnam,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, as he presented Liz with the Society’s Robert Marshall Award at a VIP-studded ceremony in Washington, DC.

In bestowing the award, named for...

SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Sally Goldman Takes an Inside Look at the History of Little Rock Central High School

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Wednesday, February 24, 2016
SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Sally Goldman surveys Little Rock Central High with NPS staff

Sally Goldman is an SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas. Central High became the site of violent protests during the 1957 Desegregation Crisis, when nine African American students began attending the all-white school. As Black History Month comes to a close, Sally shares an inside perspective on the school that is her alma mater, her workplace, and an icon of the Civil Rights movement.

Diversity, Education, History

...and we interviewed the Park Ranger who created them

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Katmai National Park LEGO set vignette designed by Park Ranger Gavin Gardner.

When Gavin Gardner submitted a set of three national park vignettes to the LEGO Ideas website last spring, he was hardly prepared for the huge and overwhelmingly positive response he got.

Now Gardner’s idea for a set of LEGOs that celebrates America’s national parks has gotten the 10,000 votes it needed...

Adventures, Career Success, Kids, Parks, People

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Meet some of the amazing women who blazed a trail with SCA

Our 2015 Summer Roadtrip takes you to amazing places and member stories around the country.

75000 Members have served with SCA

Throughout the Summer of 2014 we marked our 75,000th member with 75 stories of the women and men have served with SCA - read them here.

Member Bloggers

Rachelle Hedges
San Mateo County Parks
See Posts by Rachelle Hedges
Sarika Khanwilkar
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Sarika Khanwilkar
Elizabeth Braatz
St. Croix Wetland Management District
See Posts by Elizabeth Braatz
Noah M Schlager
National Trails Intermountain Region
See Posts by Noah M Schlager
Dakota McCoy
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Dakota McCoy
Ariel Lepito
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Ariel Lepito
Jessica Zamudio
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Jessica Zamudio
Dana DeSousa
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Dana DeSousa

Staff Bloggers

Ann Pedtke
New York City
See posts by Ann Pedtke
Joseph Thurston
Washington, DC
See posts by Joseph Thurston

Alumni Stories

Where will SCA take you?

On Wednesday, July 27th, SCA joined the National Parks Conservation Association for a joint networking happy hour.
As a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Padre Island National Seashore, I’ve gotten to meet some pretty cool people. Recently I...

New findings on SCA's youth impact - read about the Search Institute's study

A new multi-year study on SCA’s youth impact shows significant gains across a wide range of indicators.
Read about the Study here »

Michelle Bobowick, Interning with SCA in Yellowstone National Park, 1985
It was 1958, when our family affair with the Student Conservation Association began. Since, then our family has continued its commitment to improving the world around us through SCA.
During the summer of ’69, twenty students arrived at Great Smokey Mountains National Park ready to clear windfall damage in...
When Student Conservation Association (SCA) supporter and 1983 alumnus, Bob Kachinski, was fresh out of college, he went on what...

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