Phoenix Field School

SCA Phoenix Field School Member earning Chainsaw Certification

The Phoenix Field School is a 16-week education and training program for young adults ages 18-21. The program was created through a partnership of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arizona Call-a-Teen Youth Resources (ACYR), and Phoenix College (PC).

SCA Certified: Conservation Field Specialist CertificationThe Field School provides opportunities to gain meaningful, hands-on conservation experience through a variety of field-based projects, trainings, and certifications. The crews work on important conservation projects in Arizona, including trail construction and repair, riparian habitat restoration, biological monitoring, and invasive plant management.  In addition to the field work and trainings, the youth also earn 12 college credits through PC by taking classes in areas related to conservation and career development.

Throughout the 16 weeks, crew members gain the necessary skills and experience to become successful and employable in natural resource careers, while making a substantial contribution to Arizona’s natural and cultural treasures. Students gain networking connections with land agencies including the BLM, USFWS, NPS, and USFS.

Students are primarily based out of Phoenix, but the program includes conservation projects around Arizona which require camping in the field for 4-5 days at a time.

Field School graduates earn SCA certification as Conservation Field Specialists. 

Additional trainings offered include: 

  • CPR Certification
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • SCA Conservation Work Skills Training – Trails
  • Federal Chainsaw Certification – S-212
  • Wildland Firefighting Training – S-130/190

Eligibility Requirements: 

If you are between the ages of 18 and 21, able to pass a background check, have a high school diploma or GED, and are a resident of the City of Phoenix or Maricopa County, you are eligible to apply for this program! If you are interested, please contact Jessica Proehl at

Related Posts & Program Information

Over the past few weeks, we focused on trail building and maintenance. Dan Robinson, SCA Workskills Instructor, met with our crew at Copper Mountain to show us the basics of building a long-lasting trail. After planning where the trail would go, we removed the vegetation in the way and leveled the ground so that water would run off the path and down the mountain (not down the trail). In four days, we constructed close to 600 feet of durable trail.


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I am Charles Koehler. There are a number of reasons that I wanted to work with the Student Conservation Association. I found Phoenix Field School while looking for an internship opportunity with the SCA. The Field School seemed like a perfect stepping stone to get me from where I was to where I wanted to be. Where I want to be is in the field, hands-on working to help conserve what’s left of this beautiful planet we call home.

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My name is Justin Montefalcon and I was made aware of the SCA by a friend who was once a part of the Field School program. I’m a biology major at ASU, and I’m taking the semester off from ASU in order to get work experience in the field I have been studying over the last few years. I’m hoping to use this program to land a job in conservation while I finish my degree at ASU.

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My name is Danny Ayala, I’m 19 years old and am enrolled in the Field School Program. I was a gymnast for 11 years of my life. I go camping every year and love the outdoors. I learned about this program through Ron at ACYR, he told me that I would be perfect for the job! What I want out of this program is to get some of the credits needed to become a Wildland Firefighter.

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My name is Gregory Decker, I am 18 years old and just recently moved to the Phoenix area. I heard about this program from a teacher I had while attending Phoenix College. I feel extremely fortunate to have found this program and to have met the requirements to be a part of it. I feel this program will really help me get to where I want to be in terms of a career field.

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Parents Corner

Your child is about to embark on a life-changing experience, where they will have the opportunity to meet new friends, explore potential careers, gain leadership skills, and accomplish hands-on conservation work that will have a lasting impact on the planet.