Hey everyone! I met a few alumni recently who are decidedly cool enough to deserve their own entries here, but I haven't updated lately so I'm going throw my good-hearted commentary about them in one big post!
West Virginia University  has my unofficial distinction of having the hilliest campus in the US, and walking across it was roughly equivalent to hiking a leg of the AT . The students know it, too; the student center is called the "Mountainlair ," and it looks like a medieval fortress but with less catapults.
SCA receives a tremendous number of applications from Mountaineers, and has quite a few alumni. One of those alums is Dave Dyre, a senior and forestry major. Dave served with the SCA in '05 in Chaco Cany , New Mexico, working as an interpretation intern and helping patrol the park with NPS Rangers. Experiencing the desert in summertime  with the gorgeous Rockies on two sides was "just a great place to be," Dave says. After graduating this spring, he hopes to do another SCA internship  "somewhere out west." Good on ya, Dave!
I was delighted to reconnect with Sarah Goodwin, a graduate student at The University of Delaware . Sarah and I went to high school together in New Hampshire, and while I spent most of my summers mowing lawns, Sarah took the initiative in 99 to work on a summer crew in West Texas, at Guadalupe Mountains National Park .
A backcountry hitch, Sarah and five other students strapped together 4 weeks' worth of supplies & equipment ("My backpack was well over half my weight," Sarah recalls) and hiked for eight hours to their worksite. There, they performed valuable trail maintenance  and Sarah got to experience a part of the country that she had never seen. "It was a great opportunity to travel, and be outdoors," Sarah says.
These days, Sarah is a masters' candidate in wildlife ecology at UDel, and is also working for the National Park Service , investigating multiple human impacts on community structure in birds. I asked if her SCA experience  in high school was any kind of catalyst for her interest in the outdoors and work in the natural sciences. "It's true!" she said, "it sounds cheesy, but it's really true."
Jim Monahan, now a senior at Rutgers University , is an SCA alumni-star. While in high school, Jim spent two summers volunteering with the SCA, first as a member of the NJ Green Team , and then as part of a restoration crew at Denali National Park  in Alaska. Jim re-upped again in summer '06, spending 12 weeks with a crew on the Pacific Crest Trail Project.
Jim's conservation work extends beyond his SCA commitments (and the US!); he has also worked for the Irish National Park and Wildlife Service, GIS mapping  along the River Shannon . After graduating this spring with a double major in Sociology and English, Jim will be rejoining the SCA for the fourth time, interning for six months as a member of the Fire Education Team in North Carolina. Way to go, Jim!
There are so many great people that have served with the SCA, and every person has a story. One of the best parts of my job is hearing others talk about their SCA experiences with pride and zeal and the certainty that they did something positive for themselves and for the earth. Remember alums: it's never too late to answer the call again .
These three stellar alumni are telling their friends and colleagues about EarthVision, which is barely a month away! If you haven't registered yet, do it! Come to DC and be a part of SCA history in the fifty-first year of this amazing organization. See you there !!