Every year, SCA provides training, tools and projects that place motivated teens and young adults in the field to effect changes great and small. How do we measure the effects? Sometimes its through decreased CO2 levels or by the tons of trash collected or in the number of trees planted. Our success is also measured by the lessons learned, the perspective gained and the lives we transform—today and into the future. Often when the SCA project is over, the success story is just beginning. Take a look at some of our most recent accomplishments.

...which stunning nature photo to feature on our calendar cover.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Monday, March 14, 2016

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is busy selecting images for our 2017 Calendar, and we want YOU to help us choose the cover!

Simply select one of the three stunning photographs below before March 22…

Five Green Facts and Fables for St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, March 14, 2016
St. Patrick's Day shamrocks

1.       According to ancient legends, St. Patrick was an early – and accidental – arborist. He is said to have carried a walking stick made with wood from an ash tree. As he traveled, Patrick would often evangelize and would start by driving his walking stick into the ground. During...

And they're in Grand Teton for SCA's 2016 NPS Academy...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Friday, March 11, 2016

Members of a new generation of American conservationists, as diverse as the nation from which they hail, began a year-long exploration of National Park Service careers this month with the launch of SCA’s 2016 NPS Academy. In its sixth year, the program brings together college students from all regions...

Career Success, Diversity, Parks

SCA AmeriCorps Members Nationwide Share Why They Serve

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, March 8, 2016
AmeriCorps members get things done with SCA across the country

Over the past 24 years, thousands of SCA members have rendered millions of hours of conservation service through AmeriCorps programs. To commemorate AmeriCorps Week, we spoke to dozens of SCA-AmeriCorps members to showcase their work and their commitment to serving their communities.

Education, Kids, Parks, People

On Interior Sec. Sally Jewell’s Order Promoting Access to America’s Public Lands for Under-Resourced Youth:

Posted by Jaime Matyas | Friday, March 4, 2016
The Student Conservation Association is encouraged by Secretary Jewell’s leadership to reduce the barriers between connecting America’s young people and our public lands. As the national leader in youth conservation, SCA knows that nature provides young people with essential physical and emotional benefits, and studies involving SCA members further...

Game character Luna also loves salsa dancing...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Friday, March 4, 2016

It’s finally happened.

It only took about 6 decades, but we can now say that there is a conservation-themed video game that features an SCA participant as its Earth-saving hero.

The game? “Save The Park,” developed by Games For Change and funded by NPS partner and SCA sponsor American Express. ...

...connects NPS with a new generation of conservationists.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, March 3, 2016

SCA’s NPS Academy aims to better ensure the future of U.S. public lands by building a National Park Service workforce that truly reflects the diversity of America.

Career Success, Diversity

Help study & conserve the best kept secrets of America's public lands.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, March 2, 2016
The Copper River Delta in Chugach National Forest. Photo source.

Serve somewhere unexpected with one of our “Under the Radar” Conservation Internships…

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

Serve somewhere unexpected...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This long exposure shows stars streaking across the night sky at International Dark Sky certified park Natural Bridges National Monument.

These “clandestine” conservation service opportunities are located at some of the best kept secrets of America’s public lands system.

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Staff | Friday, February 26, 2016
SCA Founder Liz Putnam meeting with some of the Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors in Washington DC

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, six Washington DC-based SCA NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors—there are 70 serving nationwide—joined SCA Founder Liz Titus Putnam on stage for a presentation at the Garden Club of America’s annual meeting in the nation’s capital.

They spoke—and embodied—the National Park Service’s Centennial year commitment to connecting with...

Your perfect nature photo could win you a round-trip flight for two.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, February 25, 2016

What does conservation mean to you? What inspires you to visit the parks, forests, and refuges where nature is allowed to thrive? What inspires you to celebrate them? What inspires you to fight to keep them wild and untrammeled always and forever?

Whether it’s the look on a loved one’s face...

Posted by Staff | Thursday, February 25, 2016
SCA Founder Liz Putnam presented the Robert Marshall Award from the Wilderness Society

“When it comes to getting kids outdoors, no one has done more over the past sixty years than Liz Putnam,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, as he presented Liz with the Society’s Robert Marshall Award at a VIP-studded ceremony in Washington, DC.

In bestowing the award, named for...

SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Sally Goldman Takes an Inside Look at the History of Little Rock Central High School

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Wednesday, February 24, 2016
SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Sally Goldman surveys Little Rock Central High with NPS staff

Sally Goldman is an SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas. Central High became the site of violent protests during the 1957 Desegregation Crisis, when nine African American students began attending the all-white school. As Black History Month comes to a close, Sally shares an inside perspective on the school that is her alma mater, her workplace, and an icon of the Civil Rights movement.

Diversity, Education, History

SCA Alum Lauren Ray has a rap for every NPS site she's worked

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, February 24, 2016
SCA alum Lauren Ray, aka the Rapping Ranger, has written and performed hip hop odes to each park that she's worked at, starting with Arches National Park where she served as an SCA Intern.

SCA alum Lauren Ray reveals how her SCA internship with the National Park Service helped her discover her public-lands-loving hip hop alter ego, the Rapping Ranger.

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, People

...and we interviewed the Park Ranger who created them

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Katmai National Park LEGO set vignette designed by Park Ranger Gavin Gardner.

When Gavin Gardner submitted a set of three national park vignettes to the LEGO Ideas website last spring, he was hardly prepared for the huge and overwhelmingly positive response he got.

Now Gardner’s idea for a set of LEGOs that celebrates America’s national parks has gotten the 10,000 votes it needed...

Adventures, Career Success, Kids, Parks, People

Climate-Focused Intern Makes her Mark

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, February 12, 2016

Can a college senior turn back the clock on climate change? No, but Christie Merino did help a national park revamp its entire climate game plan.

Climate, Parks, People, Science, Sustainability

1970s SCA Alumna, 1980s Pro Tennis Star

Posted by Staff | Thursday, February 11, 2016
SCA Alum and former Tennis Pro Leslie Allen at the New York Open

“I liked the fact that, early on, SCA was committed to offering outdoor experiences to a diverse mix of people, and I loved the idea of other girls from all across the country working together toward common goal.”

Career Success, Diversity, History, People

This Presidents Day, get the inside scoop on presidential history from SCA members at the source!

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, February 9, 2016

From Abe Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky to the White House in DC, SCA members help to interpret the legacies of US Presidents at National Parks and Historic Sites all over the country. Along the way, they’ve picked up some unexpected presidential stories and gained a new view of the nation’s...

History, Parks, People

Posted by Staff | Friday, February 5, 2016
Red Ant Pants founder and SCA Alum Sarah Calhoun

SCA alumna Sarah Calhoun (SCA 2002, ’03, ‘04)  – the founder of Red Ants Pants, a specialty line of women’s workwear – was recently featured in The Huffington Post and on Silicon Valley start-up expert Steve Blank’s popular podcast. In each, Sarah shares her story of...

Career Success

Bond Over a Mutual Love for the Great Outdoors

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, February 4, 2016
Bond with your Valentine's Day sweetheart over a mutual love for the Great Outdoors with these 10 perfect hiking dates.

Next time you’re planning to spend some quality moments with a loved one, whether it’s a longtime sweetheart, an old friend, or somebody you’re just getting to know, take it outside and make it a hike!