Serve Somewhere Unexpected
ABOVE: Jewel Cave looking all cavey and whatnot.
Sure. You could spend a few months serving the planet with SCA at a world famous national park, working around tourists, instagramming thoroughly oggled geysers in your spare time. Your friends back home will check their phones and be all like, “Oh. Look at that. Dylan’s hanging out at Yellowstone or something. That’s cool.”
Apply early enough and often enough, and it’s possible that we can make that happen.
Or, you can snag one of our many, many under the radar internships; clandestine conservation service opportunities located within some of the best kept secrets of America’s national public lands system. You’ll get the same kind of Earth-saving, life-changing, resume-expanding experience that you would at the Grand Canyon or Yosemite, but when you post the photos your friends will be like, “What?? Where is that??”
So? What do you say? How do you prefer your adventures in conservation? Middle of the road? Or off the beaten path?
Check out our Top Ten Under the Radar Internships and let us know on your application. 😉
5. Miles from anything but pine forest and scrubland, nestled under a spectacularly arching cliff in Arizona’s Upper Sonoran Desert, you’ll find the well-preserved ruins of a stone-walled compound that was last occupied over 500 years ago. As an SCA Interpretation Intern at Tonto National Monument you’ll help guide visitors as they experience these dwellings, and introduce them to the customs and artifacts of the ancient Native Americans who built them: the Salado Culture. Fascinated by the people and cultures of pre-Columbian North America? This might be the internship for you. APPLY.
4. As an SCA Preserve Assistant for The Nature Conservancy’s West Lake Erie Basin Project, you will help return 2300 acres of northeast Indiana to a pre-agricultural state of wild. In other words, you’ll be just like Doc in Back to the Future, but instead of helping Michael J. Fox travel through time in a Flux Capacitor-equipped Delorean, you’ll be helping land owned by the Nature Conservancy roll back the clock through invasive species removal, reforestation, the hydrological restoration of ephemeral and perennial wetlands, and the installation of native wetland plants. Also, you’ll learn how to use a chainsaw. APPLY.
3. Your job as a member of the SCA Resources Inventory Corps Team in the BLM California Desert District will be to venture through 11 million acres of desert and gather information that the Bureau of Land Management needs to update their inventory of “public lands with wilderness characteristics.” What? Basically you’ll be examining various parcels of land for signs that they are (or aren’t) wilderness by answering questions like “Does this area provide Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude OR Primitive, Unconﬁned Recreation?” Doing so will require you to spend days at a time living in the backcountry “exposed to all types of weather,” with at-most minimal access to facilities such as electricity and potable water. You’ll need to be dedicated, tough, and experienced with ArcGIS. APPLY.
2. Jewel Cave, with over 175 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, is the third longest cave in the world. That’s a lot of cave!! As the National Monument’s SCA Natural Resource Management Intern, your duties will include eradicating harmful invasive plants from the area surrounding the cave, and monitoring the cave itself by testing water quality and mitigating visitor impacts. Recreation opportunities abound, so between work and all the rock-climbing, hiking, fishing, and spelunking you’ll be doing, you may not have much free time… APPLY.
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Easy on the eyes, right?
1. Are you the type of person who’s always wanted to reach into a river and yank out a fish with your bare hands? You may just realize this dream as an SCA Fisheries Intern at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Work days, rain or shine, will be spent roaming the refuge in a pontoon boat, assisting biologists by checking fish traps, sampling aquatic vegetation, implanting PIT tags, and measuring, netting, trapping, releasing, and tracking carp as part of study being conducted by a local graduate student. By the end of the gig, you will most definitely be an expert in handling and identifying native and invasive aquatic species, and operating fish traps of both the manual and motorized variety. There will be plenty of scenic hiking and birding opportunities to take advantage of during your off hours, though given the wild kind of work you’ll be doing, you may just want to kick it in the nearby hot springs. APPLY.