Sara Barnard


SCA 1998, 2003, 2004

Sara BarnardAuthor | Odessa, TX

SCA 1998, Santa Fe National Forest

SCA 2003, Carlsbad Caverns National Park

SCA 2004, Eagle River, AK


“My children] are the inspiration for almost everything I do.  I just can’t wait for them to be old enough to join SCA!”

When we spoke with Sara in 2012, she was preparing to publish The ABCs of Oklahoma Plants: Edible, Medicinal and Just Plain Fun Plants Right Outside Your Door, a children’s book filled with fascinating flora from A: the (Stinking) ash to Z: Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, better known as Hercules’ club. The book’s dedication turned out to be just as lovely as the flowers featured on its pages: “My heartfelt admiration and appreciation to the SCA for fostering my love for the outdoors at an early age.”

Sara was just 15 when she first joined SCA as a trail volunteer in New Mexico.  “I was in a wonderful environment with wonderful people,” Sara recalls. “It was the most influential summer of my life.”

Much of what she learned that year and through two subsequent SCA internships is evident in her writing as well as her ongoing conservation efforts.  “SCA enabled me to develop a great appreciation and respect for Mother Nature,” says Sara, now 31. “I credit with shaping who I am today.” 

Her website states “The pull of adventures just waiting to be had coupled with her love and admiration for nature and the wilderness kept Sara on the move during her teenage summers with the Student Conservation Association.  From Alaska to New Mexico, Sara has piloted small aircraft, counted bats, tracked mountain lions, relocated snakes, hiked with black bears, and fallen in love over and over again with the roads less traveled.”

Sara, who has also written a series of historical novels as well as some non-fiction pieces on military life, lives with her husband, Jerry, a teacher and former Army paratrooper who saw extensive time in Afghanistan, and the couple’s four young children.

“They are the inspiration for almost everything I do,” Sara says. “I just can’t wait for them to be old enough to join SCA!”

Read an interview with Sara – conducted by her mom, author Ann Swann – to learn more about Sara’s SCA days and what keeps her “from going crazy.”

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