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.

Sarika Khanwilkar Finds Her Niche at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | Thursday, February 5, 2015
Student Conservation Association Member Sarika Khanwikar with an endagnered Gopher Tortoise

Sarika Khanwilkar spends her mornings with a skunk named Mango, and her afternoons watching out for endangered Gopher Tortoises. Learn more about her life as an SCA intern in her first field dispatch from Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge.

Animals & Wildlife, Coasts & Water, Education, Endangered Species, Parks

Making a Difference with GIS by Rachelle Hedges

Posted by Rachelle Hedges | Wednesday, February 4, 2015

In December of 2010 I left a career in advertising to go back to school for a degree in natural resources management. One of the main reasons for making this change, was that I needed a job in which I could work outside. I love being outside. I love hiking....

Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Career Success, Coasts & Water, Forests, Parks, Science

Ospreys versus Civic-Minded Citizens

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Saturday, January 31, 2015

Everyone (that we asked) is in agreement. This year’s superbowl will be decided by which team is more in tune with conservation, nature, and the great outdoors.

Now, obviously you’re thinking, “You guys. One team has a formerly endangered, sea-faring bird as its mascot, while the other has, what? A Revolutionary...


CDIP Capstone Project

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Isaac Coleman served as a CDIP (Career Discovery Internship Program) Intern at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. This video is his capstone project.

CDIP Capstone Project

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shevika Mitchell served as a CDIP (Career Discovery Internship Program) intern at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This video is her capstone project.

CDIP Capstone Project

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Samantha Smith summarizes her experiences during her internship at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Samantha participated in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP), in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA).


Preserving Ecosystems Through Smartly Deployed Flames

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Above: SCA Veterans Fire Corps members Wesley Adams, Benjamin Pattyson, Andrew McFarland, Laren Nowell, Demetric Wade, and Ramon Delgado.

Here we have a photo of one of our Veterans Fire Corps crews all geared up and ready to go for a prescribed burn at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge...

Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Career Success, Forests, Wildfires

What You Need to Know to Get Published on SCA's Blog

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Monday, January 26, 2015

Thank you for your interest in blogging for SCA. Your experience and the work you do as a conservationist is what SCA is all about. Here are some tips that will help you put that experience into words. Follow them, and you just might find your...

SCA Alum Jessica Wonyee Sanchez on Serving as a Citizen Scientist for MLK Day 2015

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Friday, January 23, 2015

This past Monday we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday by participating in the “California King Tides” citizen science project. This event was hosted by Acterra, a Peninsula-based environmental non-profit in the SF Bay Area. We had a great turnout (close to seventy people!), at the East Palo Alto Bay...

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Diversity, Education, History, Kids, Parks

1000+ SCA Volunteers Rally for MLK Day

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SCA recognized the MLK National Day of Service with 8 major volunteer events coast to coast, with projects in NYC, DC, Pittsburgh, Houston, New England, and the Bay Area. Over 1000 volunteers pitched in, including Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Joins SCA Volunteers to Clean Up the Anacostia River

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Despite freezing temperatures, over 450 DC-area residents rallied together at Anacostia Park to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service through a morning of volunteering on the riverfront. Among the volunteers in attendance were special guests Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and SCA President and CEO Jaime Matyas.

History, Kids, Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

Leah Duran, NPS Park Guide & SCA Alum, on Serving in the Wilderness & the City

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Leah Duran is a three-time SCA alum who just finished a three-year stint on SCA’s Alumni Council. Soon after serving with SCA she began working for the National Park Service, first at Lassen Volcanic National Park, then at John Muir National Historic Site, and now at San...
Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Career Success, Forests, History, Parks, Trails and Hiking

by SCA Member Alyssa Stegmaier

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, January 20, 2015
This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service....
Animals & Wildlife, Education, Kids, Parks, Wetlands

CDIP Capstone Project

Posted by Staff | Friday, January 9, 2015
Mary Nghe, CDIP Intern with the Student Conservation Association  showing off natural wonders at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

This video is SCA Member Mary Nghe’s capstone project for the Fish & Wildlife Service’s CDIP (Career Discovery Internship Program) at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

Mary’s roles at Heinz ranged from biological research to visitor services, but the pharmacy major wasn’t sure how they’d fit into her own career...

Quincy Swatson Feeds Fish, Minds, & Even Dreams with Aquaponics

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sometimes opportunity knocks. Other times it swims and poops, providing nutrients for the plants growing atop its aquarium. SCA alum Quincy Swatson is determined to establish the latter, more rarefied kind of opportunity in the place where he grew up, Pittsburgh’s often troubled Manchester neighborhood.

Quincy’s childhood coincided with Manchester’s ’90s...

Working Together to Strengthen the Future of Conservation

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Monday, December 15, 2014
SCA Alternative Spring Break program in Ventura CA 2013 - Volunteer planting native grasses

SCA and its members are Moving Conservation Forward. What does that mean? It means they’re gaining the experience they need to be tomorrow’s conservation leaders. It means they’re finding new ways to tackle our biggest environmental challenges. It means they’re forging ahead, realizing their goals to improve the world...

Passing on a passion for the wild

Posted by Staff | Monday, December 15, 2014
Members of the Weaver family, all in service with the SCA: Kathy and Scott, two of their children: Johanna and Travis, and Johanna, right

The Student Conservation Association has been a part of my family since the day I was born. Indeed, I truly was an SCA baby: my mom and dad met working in Yosemite National Park back in the ‘70s, and eventually wound up leading SCA crews every summer in the backcountry....

An Adventure in Duck-Banding with SCA Intern Stacey Kinney

Posted by Staff | Thursday, December 11, 2014
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 to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States.
Today’s featured blogger, Stacey Kinney,...

Student Conservation Association in the field

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SCA members working on projects large and small, urban and rural in and around Houston and the Gulf Coast. In this short clip, youth serving with SCA relate their experiences.

SCA ConSERVE NYC Volunteers Brave Wintry Weather to Restore NYC Beaches

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, December 8, 2014

SCA ConSERVE NYC volunteers aren’t scared of a little rain! This weekend, 50 dedicated volunteers gathered at Jacob Riis Park in Queens, braving intermittent showers and near-freezing temperatures to help restore one of New York City’s most beloved beaches.


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

75000 Members have served with SCA

Over 75,000 women and men have served with SCA - read some of their stories here.

Read about the women and men who helped build America’s oldest and largest youth conservation service organization here

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

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

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?

“Something different” is what Jessica Aronson Cook was looking for when she first joined the Student Conservation Association (SCA) as...
Mary Nghe and Stacey Kinney -- two CDIP Interns with the Student Conservation Association
Growing up in Houston, Stacey Kinney says she only saw ducks on office park ponds. Now, here she was at...

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...

Browse our Photo Wall

Recent Video

Donate today to the Student Conservation Association and help build the next generation of conservation leaders.