Featured Earthsaver, SCA Alumni Council
SCA Alumni Council member Daniel Dryburgh is a strong believer in the transformative power of outdoor immersion and conservation service. Having served in SCA’s National Crew, NPS Academy, and Conservation Internship programs, he has personally experienced that power many times over.
Now he hopes to use his digital media chops and conservation community connections to help make powerful nature experiences truly accessible to people from all backgrounds and communities. He really is the type of leader that America needs now more than ever.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO TAKE ACTION THAT SERVES YOUR PLANET, YOUR COUNTRY, YOUR COMMUNITY?
In order to create impactful progress, it’s imperative to establish a shared dialogue that is diverse and equitable. By serving our planet through conservation-based projects, I’m able to connect with a broad array of community-minded activists while simultaneously driving sustainable environmental action.
Growing up in the Bay Area, I developed a passion and connection to the outdoors from an early age. I’m a firm advocate for the lasting mental and physical benefits resulting from consistent exposure to nature. As such, my motivation to serve stems from the belief that all communities deserve equal opportunity and access to our planet’s natural wonders.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE POSITIVE IMPACTS OF THE WORK YOU’RE DOING NOW?
An important aspect of my role on the SCA Alumni Council is to lead service events, facilitate enjoyable volunteer experiences, and share my SCA story. This position offers me the chance to connect with like-minded environmentalists and educate them on the wide assortment of conservation initiatives being undertaken by the SCA. By engaging young people through environmental service, our goal is to empower the next generation of conservation leaders.
I also serve as the Account Manager & Global Team Lead at GlassView, a digital advertising start-up based in NYC. Through my role at GlassView, I’m able to leverage our product offerings to benefit nonprofits and environmental action alike. Most recently, we ran a digital advertising campaign exposing an environmental crisis in the Caribbean island of St. Barths. We mobilized powerful allies to the cause, ultimately influencing change in the halls of government and leading to over €1,000,000 in environmental donations.
WHAT WAS THE POSITIVE IMPACT OF THE WORK YOU DID WITH SCA?
Working as the Digital Media intern for the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area gave me the unique opportunity to chronicle two of the fundamental challenges of modern environmentalism: equal access and coexistence. Tasked with managing the park’s social media outlets and curating online content, I utilized my platform to highlight the importance of equal access to open spaces and techniques for living in harmony with our environment.
Although much work remains to be done, it’s incredibly motivating to see historically underrepresented communities gaining traction in environmental roles through programs such as the LA Conservation Corps.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GAIN HANDS-ON LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE EARLY ON?
The ambiguity of our country’s future environmental policy further underscores the importance of leaders who care deeply about sustainable development and environmental conservation. By introducing leadership opportunities at an early age, the SCA facilitates the formation of confidence, adaptability, and decisiveness.
Being confident enough to make a decision and adaptable enough to pivot in a dynamic environment are both invaluable skills curated through hands-on leadership experience.
HOW DID THE EXPERIENCE OF SERVING WITH SCA HELP YOU GROW AND TRANSFORM?
Serving with the SCA has instilled within me a conservation ethic and deep connection to the natural world. Every opportunity that I’ve pursued with the SCA, ranging from my service with a National Crew in Alaska to my leadership of volunteer service events in NYC, has heightened my connection with the environment, catalyzed my desire to serve, and empowered me as a leader.
I’ve been an eyewitness to the benefits of hands-on environmental service and feel a responsibility to pay it forward for future generations.
WHAT’S THE MOST AMAZING THING YOU’VE EVER EXPERIENCED IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS?
I’ll never forget speeding through the streets of Downtown Los Angeles, tracking and studying the behavior of Los Angeles’ urban coyote population during my SCA internship with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Although often overlooked by the casual observer, the importance of urban ecology can no longer be ignored. At our current rate of development and the resulting habitat reduction, an uptick in wildlife encounters is inevitable. We need to acknowledge the fact that we live in a shared community and ensure we take the appropriate steps to promote safe wildlife interaction.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PARK OR OTHER OUTDOOR SPACE?
The Sierra Nevada mountain range in Northern California is my go-to outdoor space for backpacking, hiking, and all things ecotherapy. Having grown up exploring these mountains through Boy Scout campouts, backpacking trips with friends, and family excursions, the Sierra Nevadas never fail to amaze me.
With jagged mountain peaks and pristine glacial lakes, this mountain range serves as a magnificent reminder of our planet’s natural beauty.
WHAT’S YOUR NEXT EARTHSAVING GOAL?
I want to continue to leverage my roles on the SCA Alumni Council and with GlassView to promote an intelligent, shared dialogue surrounding equal access and coexistence with wildlife. As a vocal proponent of the lasting health benefits stemming from consistent exposure to the outdoors, my Earthsaving goal is to ensure that all communities have the opportunity to enjoy our natural world for generations to come.