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

While average citizens were at home enjoying their day off for Labor Day, the SCA crew was hard at work developing their skills in Wilderness First Aid. We met our Aerie Backcountry Medicine instructor Shawn who taught us all of the basics of caring for a sick or injured person while in the field. From hypothermia to anaphylactic shock to stomach bugs, we covered it all.

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Our four new students came together to begin getting to know each other and to learn all about the SCA and the Field School program. Mel and Trevor introduced the history of the SCA, as well as the Field Operation Standards – the bible of SCA policies. We talked about what makes a good crew member and played some games to get the crew working together.

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The final week of the program found the crew at Agua Fria - Riverbend site. It was timber work skills week for the crew. SCA Alum and work skills instructor, Tanya Henderson, taught the team the finer points of working with timber. Hopes were high as we set out to built a timber retaining wall to stop soil erosion. The juniper provided a tough obstacle as far as getting the wall built.

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This week found the team going back to Copper Mountain where we started building trail there earlier in the season. We went back to finish what we started and then some. We built a good section of trail our first day out. Almost double the amount of trail we were building at teh begining. We also came accross a mine on our way back to camp. It was fenced, but we were able to look down into it.

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This week we went to Ajo,Arizona to visit the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. On our first day there, we met up with our contacts from Fish and Game and went out to a wild life water tank where the endangered Senoran pronghorns can drink. There was still heavy equipment tracks everywhere from the installation of the watering hole.

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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.