Alumni Council

Since our Alumni Council was formed in 2007, our mission is to organize alumni in support of SCA and SCA’s Alumni Engagement Plan. Whether through assisting as volunteer leaders at service days, helping organize outreach events, or contributing content to SCA’s blog and social media pages, the Alumni Council works to build community and engagement among SCA alumni.

Each year, current council members select new recruits from alumni nationwide for a two-year term. With a diversity of SCA service backgrounds – from former high school crew members, to special initiative interns, to year-long conservation corps programs – Alumni Council members represent the wide range of SCA’s programs and locations. Each member is equipped to represent and connect with SCA’s 100,000 alumni.

Specifically, the Alumni Council goals are to:

  • Support SCA service projects and alumni-focused events including social, professional development and continued learning opportunities
  • Contribute to SCA’s online content in the form of blog posts, social media sharing, and editorial writing
  • Build support for, and strengthen, SCA’s reputation as the nation’s preeminent youth conservation organization among partner organizations, agencies, and the general public
  • Serve as a source of counsel for SCA staff and board members, as requested

Email [email protected] if you have any questions about the council or if you are interested in being considered for the AC. Recruitment of new members begins in November each year.

Alumni Council Bios

CHAIR: Tony Gurzick, Denver, CO

Name: Tony Gurzick

Current Location: Denver, CO

SCA Program(s) Served: National high school trail crew Rocky Mountain National Park (1985)

Current Position: After 30 years with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Tony retired in 2021 and is now working as a private consultant.

Education Background: B.S. Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University; Masters of Public Administration, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Certified Wildlife Biologist, The Wildlife Society

VICE CHAIR: Deidra Goodwin, Asheville, NC

Name: Deidra Goodwin

Current Location: Asheville, NC

SCA Program(s) Served: Grand Teton National Park Service Academy (2016), Environmental Education Intern New River Gorge National River (2016 NPSA position), Historical Interpretation Intern Minuteman National Historical Park (2016), Grand Teton National Park Service Academy Peer Mentor (2017)

Current Position: ACE EPIC Member Coordinator for the NPS division (overseeing National Park Service Academy)

Education Background: B.A. Integrated Studies (Florida Gulf Coast University); M.S. Recreation & Sport Administration (Western Kentucky University); M.S. Experiential & Outdoor Education (Western Carolina University; expected 2023)

SECRETARY: Elyria R Little, Medina, OH

Name: Elyria R Little

Current Location: Medina, OH

SCA Program(s) Served: Pacific Crest Trail Roving Backcountry Crew (2004), Randolph Mountain Club Trail Crew (2006)

Current Position:Consultant and small business owner at Home Harmonizers, LLC; Programming & Communications Manager with Michelle Belanger, LLC

Education Background: B.A. in Environmental Studies (Vassar College) & M.S. in Environmental Management and Sustainability (IIT), LEED AP

Celeste Arista Glover, Dallas, TX

Name: Celeste Arista Glover

Current Location: Dallas, TX

SCA Program(s) Served:Summer Work Crew at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park (2000); Summer Work Crew at Yellowstone National Park (2002); Intern at NOAA National Marine Fisheries Santa Rosa, CA (2008)

Current Position: Senior Community Philanthropy Officer at Communities Foundation of Texas

Education Background:B.A. in Biology (University of Texas at Austin) and M.A. in Community Development and Planning (Clark University, Worcester)

Kelly Burnett, Houston, TX

Name: Kelly Burnett

Current Location: Houston, TX

SCA Program(s) Served:Centennial Volunteer Ambassador, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (2015-2016)

Current Position: Activation & Volunteer Manager, Houston Parks Board

Education Background:B.S. in Natural Resource Ecology and Management from Oklahoma State University; currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University

Christine Chung, Frazier Park, CA

Name: Christine Chung

Current Location: Frazier Park, CA

SCA Program(s) Served: Native Revegetation Project (2019), SCA Alumni Trail crew (2019), US Fish and Wildlife Service: Conservation Internship Program (now CDIP – 2009, 2010), Alternative Spring Break Grand Canyon (2009), US Forest Service Bear Management Intern (2008)

Current Position: Fire Apprentice, U.S. Forest Service

Education Background: B.S. in Environmental Sciences: Wildlife Conservation (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Igor DaCruz, San Diego, CA

Name: Igor DaCruz

Current Location: San Diego, CA

SCA Program(s) Served: High School Crew, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests (2005)

Current Position: Managing Director, Life Sciences at Runway Growth Capital

Education Background: B.S. in Finance (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Karissa DeCarlo, Colorado Springs, CO

Name: Karissa DeCarlo

Current Location: Colorado Springs, CO

SCA Program(s) Served: High School Conservation Crew: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (1997), High School Conservation Crew: Ouachita National Forest (1999), Conservation Intern/AmeriCorps (2001): Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Current Position: Partnerships & Philanthropy Specialist at the National Park Service

Education Background: B.S in Environmental and Sustainable Resources (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) & M.S. in Recreation, Parks and Tourism (West Virginia University)

Jonathan Fennell, Olympia, WA

Name: Jonathan Fennell

Current Location: Olympia, WA

SCA Program(s) Served: Historic Preservation Corps, Delaware Water Gap, NJ (2014); Desert Restoration Corps, Ridgecrest, CA (2014-2015); Havasu Wildlife Refuge Chainsaw Leader Team, Mohave Valley, AZ (2015)

Current Position: Hydrogeologist, Water Quality Program Specialist, Washington Department of Ecology

Education Background: B.S. Geology, Mining Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

David Kurapka, Berkeley, CA

Name: David Kurapka

Current Location: Berkeley, CA

SCA Program(s) Served: Acadia National Park national high school crew, Assateague Island National Seashore internship

Current Position: Writer/Editor

Education Background: B.A. in English, with minor in Natural Resources, University of the South

Lou Lunte, Picabo, ID

Name: Lou Lunte

Current Location: Picabo, ID

SCA Program(s) Served: 1977 national high school crew in North Cascades and 1978 Sherpa crew in Olympic National Park

Current Position: After 31 years with The Nature Conservancy, Lou has come full circle to once again be the Silver Creek Preserve Manager for the Idaho Chapter. With his partner and wife, Cindy, as a volunteer, they are sharing the wonders of nature with others every day.

Education Background: B.S. Bacteriology, University of Idaho

Patricio Portillo, Coachella, CA

Name: Patricio Portillo

Current Location: Coachella, CA

SCA Program(s) Served: Massachusetts Conservation Corps (2013), Pittsburgh Community Crew Leader (2014)

Current Position: Senior Advocate at Natural Resources Defense Council

Education Background: B.B.A. in International Business & M.A. in International Economics

Amie Schiller, St. Paul, MN

Name: Amie Schiller

Current Location: St. Paul, MN

SCA Program(s) Served: National Park Service Academy: Grand Teton National Park (2015), Biological Technician: Invasive Species Management: Mt. Rushmore National Monument, Trails Partnership Intern: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (2015-2016), GIS Specialist: National Park Service Headquarters- Washington D.C. (2017-2018)

Current Position: Stewardship Coordinator, Minnesota Land Trust

Education Background: B.S. Wildlife Biology, minor in Geospatial Technology (GST), University of Vermont

Tommy Sheridan, Cordova, AK

Name: Tommy Sheridan

Current Location: Cordova, AK

SCA Program(s) Served: Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association Conservation Intern (2002)

Current Position: Independent fisheries consultant and educator

Education Background: B.S. in Environmental Studies (Florida State University), Undergraduate Certificate in Fisheries Technology (University of Alaska Southeast), Graduate Certificate in Fisheries Management (Oregon State University), & M.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration (Oregon State University)

Michiko Squires, Chico, CA

Name: Michiko Squires

Current Location: Chico, CA

SCA Program(s) Served: Interpretation and Outreach Intern, Biscayne National Park (2006), Environmental Education Intern, Great Smoky Mountains National Park (2011)

Current Position: Regional Data Manager and GIS Specialist, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Education Background: B.S. in Biology, B.S. in Computer Science (University of Miami); M.S. in Forest Resources and Conservation with a concentration in Geomatics (University of Florida)

Kyle Yarusso, Washington, DC

Name: Kyle Yarusso

Current Location: Washington, DC

SCA Program(s) Served: Centennial Volunteer Ambassador intern (2015-2016)

Current Position: Volunteer and Youth Programs Coordinator at the National Park Service (Rock Creek Park)

Education Background: B.S. in Applied Ecology and Environmental Science, minor in Communications

Student Conservation Association