SCA 1978 Chaco Canyon
Bob Unsworth admits he wasn’t familiar with Chaco Canyon when he accepted his SCA crew placement 35 years ago.
“We filled in ruins that had been excavated in the 1920s. The park was afraid they were going to fall down when the uranium trucks started rolling through,” he says. And while reinforcing those thousand-year old structures, Bob suddenly saw his future.
“I’d had a lot of outdoor experience before SCA,” he notes, “but what I didn’t have was focus, discipline. I didn’t have the sense that there were careers in nature that I could make a living.”
Over the next few years, Bob earned forestry degrees at the State University of New York and Yale; he also met his wife, Lisa, while at university. Today, Bob is a leading environmental economics expert, often called upon to assess ecological impacts and their benefits or damages.
“A lot of what I do is recovering reparations for the federal government – oil spills and forest fires,” he says, “and much of that falls into restoration, work that SCA members could do.”
Bob has long had an eye out for advancing SCA. He started giving to the organization while still in college and remains an active and generous contributor. He’s also visited the SCA National Conservation Center to inform crew leaders of the influence they have on crew members and to recommend they further explore careers in conservation.
“You reach a stage in life you want to give back to the organizations and individuals who contributed to your success and happiness in life,” he notes. “And when you’re old enough that the crew leaders start looking like the crew participants, it’s probably time!”
The Unsworths split their days between Massachusetts and Vermont. Both Bob and Lisa, the chief marketing officer for Arnold Worldwide, an international advertising and marketing firm, are eager to help SCA extend its message to more supporters and are spearheading an SCA philanthropic initiative in the Northeast. Bob has also just been seated on the SCA board of directors.