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.

A Message of Thanks from Jaime Matyas, CEO and President, SCA

Posted by Staff | Monday, November 23, 2015

A message of thanks from Jaime Matyas, CEO and President

A Parent's perspective on the SCA experience

Posted by Staff | Friday, November 20, 2015
SCA Alum Parker Davis seen in his Crew days at Mount Rainer in 2010 and at his college graduation this year.

Parker Davis is a four-time alumnus of SCA’s Seattle community crew program. When an SCA staff member saw the announcement of Parker’s college graduation in June 2015, he sent a note Kit Lewis, Parker’s mother. Kit’s response was powerful and poignant, and as you’ll see she’s...

Career Success, People

Getting DC National Parks Ready for Winter

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, November 17, 2015
SCA Volunteers Gather for Veterans Day service in DC

SCA joined forces with Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to celebrate Veterans Day this past weekend in Washington, DC. Over 130 volunteers of all ages came together to honor veterans who have risked their lives to protect America’s freedoms, continuing their legacy of service with hands-on volunteer work in their local community.

An Intense & Beautiful Wildlife Survey for SCA Forest Service Intern Mia Callahan

Posted by Staff | Sunday, November 15, 2015
A Forest Service wildlife surveyer triumphantly (and delicately) displays the object of her search, a Sacramento Mountain Salamander.

by SCA Intern Mia Callahan

It’s a Wednesday morning, and we five members of the Smokey Bear Ranger District wildlife crew (well, two members, two interns, and me, a Student Conservation Association recreation intern tagging along for the adventure) are in our office for the week: the Sacramento Mountain Wilderness. In...

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Forests, Wildfires

Volunteers Work in San Francisco's Oldest Park

Posted by Staff | Saturday, November 14, 2015
Union Bank employees spreading hay along the steep slopes to help prevent erosion

On November 14th, 20 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner Union Bank gathered at Buena Vista Park in San Francisco to help prevent erosion control as part of their Global Volunteer Month. 

Buena Vista Park, located in the center San Francisco, is named for the spectacular views from its upper slopes. The...

Volunteers Protect New York City Wetlands

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, November 9, 2015
MUFG volunteers gather for service on Randall's Island NYC

On November 7th, over 40 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner MUFG Union Bank gathered on Randall’s Island to restore New York City’s freshwater wetlands as part of MUFG’s National Employee Volunteer Month.

Coasts & Water, Invasives

SCA intern Jennifer Bright on Conservation and Education at NAS JAX

Posted by Staff | Monday, November 9, 2015
SCA Intern Jennifer Bright teaches conservation to children at the Jacksonville Naval Base

I never expected to be responsible for live and static exhibit care of an interpretive center when I first saw the advertisement for the SCA intern position at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS JAX). Interpretive Centers are run by the state or non-profits; they are not the responsibility of a...

Education, Kids, Sustainability

SCA Member Wesley Adams reflects on Veterans opportunities

Posted by Staff | Monday, November 9, 2015
SCA Veterans Fire Corps team at a prescribed burn in Florida, 2015

Above: SCA Veterans Fire Corps members Wesley Adams, Benjamin Pattyson, Andrew McFarland, Laren Nowell, Demetric Wade, and Ramon Delgado at a prescribed burn in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge near Tallahassee, Florida.

Transitioning from the military is quite the culture shock. Some Veterans struggle as they figure out what they want...

Liz Putnam Attends a Hudson Valley Homecoming

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Saturday, November 7, 2015
Liz Putnam with NYSOEA President Tim Stanley and SCA Hudson Valley Corps Program Director Josh Hunn

For Liz Putnam, the weekend was something of a homecoming. The SCA founder keynoted the annual conference of the New York State Outdoor Education Association (NYSOEA) in Fishkill, NY, just a few miles from Vassar College, where 60 years ago Liz used her senior thesis to construct an “SCA.”

Education, People

From Textiles to Edison at Lowell National Historical Park

Posted by Staff | Friday, November 6, 2015
Boott mill, Lowell National Historical Park, Lowell, Massachusetts

The Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts offers a vivid regional perspective on the Industrial Revolution. But inside these former textile mills you can also find the fabric of America. 

Lowell NHS is headquarters to the National Park Service’s Historic Architecture, Conservation, and Engineering Center. This is...


3 SCA Vermont State Park Interns Enjoy an Inspiring Lunch with Liz Titus Putnam

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Tuesday, November 3, 2015

On a beautiful fall morning, Liz Putnam, her husband Bruce, colleague Gary King and I drive to Lake St. Catherine State Park in Poultney, VT to rendezvous with three SCA interns.  Vermont is Liz’s home state, the relationship with Vermont state parks is brand new, and Liz loves to hang...

Education, Parks, People

SCA Crew puts California trails on the map.

Posted by Rachelle Hedges | Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Two SCA Crewmembers in San Mateo County California undertaking a GIS project

VIDEO: GIS Mapping in San Mateo County. SCA’s first full-time GIS Summer Crew puts California trails on the map.

Parks, People, Science, Trails and Hiking

SCA members teamed with NOAA to remove an insane amount of marine debris

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, October 29, 2015
An SCA crew walks along an empty beach in Olympic National Park's coastal wilderness. They worked with NOAA to clean up marine debris in the area.

This summer, a NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Community-Based Removal grant enabled the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to assemble four debris removal crews at Olympic National Park. This Park works with partner agencies such as the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) to protect its unique habitats, such as its coast, which is not exempt from the effects of marine debris, despite its remote character and location.

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Coasts & Water, Parks

A Life-Changing Summer Living & Working in a Desert Wilderness

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, October 28, 2015
SCA Desert Restoration Corps member Jonathan "Jay" Fennell checks out the view during an off day hike with his crew.

ABOVE: Jay Fennell checks out the view on an off-day hike during his summer living and working in the Mojave with SCA’s Desert Restoration Corps.

by Desert Restoration Corps Member Jay Fennell

I spent the summer of 2015 living and working in the heart of the Mojave, tackling critical conservation projects with...

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Diversity, People, Trails and Hiking

That time I got to interview 94-year-old Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin

Posted by Allison Joyce | Monday, October 26, 2015

by Allison Joyce, SCA NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassador

ABOVE: Ranger Betty Reid Soskin at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Education Center.

A few weeks ago I was lucky to be able to sit down with Betty Reid Soskin, a Park Ranger at Rosie the...

Career Success, Diversity, Education, History, Parks, People

From the Highest Peak to the Lowest Tide Pools with SCA Sara Gabel

Posted by Staff | Thursday, October 15, 2015
SCA intern Sara Gabel offers a fun, laidback tour of Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, from its highest peak to its sea life filled tide pools.

SCA intern Sara Gabel offers a fun, laidback tour of Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, from its highest peak to its sea life-filled tide pools.

These shots took top prize in the Summer 2015 Capture Conservation Photo Contest

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Grand Prize winner of SCA's 2015 Capture Conservation Photo Contest: "Me and Mobius Arch"

For the Capture Conservation Photo Contest, we asked you to share images that might inspire others to prioritize conservation as much as you do. 

The thousands of stunning entries that we received in response made for a tough decision when it was time to choose the winners, but we...

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Parks, People, Trails and Hiking

SCA Member Jeremy Taitano on The North Face "Never Stop" blog

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, October 13, 2015
SCA member Jeremy Taitano engaged in various outdoor and conservation-related activities: surveying salamanders, doing a back-flip, hiking. The North Face chose to honor Jeremy in their NEVER STOP campaign because of his relentless commitment to realizing a world where conservation is a priority for everyone.

This is a post from The North Face Neverstopexploring blog. SCA Member Jeremy Taitano has been recognized for outstanding commitment to the environment by The North Face Never Stop national campaign.

After spending his childhood spearfishing, diving and...

Domtar Employees Give Back at Cameron Park

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Saturday, October 3, 2015
Domtar and Student Conservation Association youth volunteers conserve parks in Waco, Texas.

On October 3rd, over 80 Domtar employees and their families woke up early on a Saturday morning to plant trees, repair fencing, move loads of mulch, and combat invasive plants at Cameron Park.

Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

Exploring American Indian culture--historic & contemporary--on the Santa Fe Trail

Posted by Noah M Schlager | Thursday, October 1, 2015

by Noah M. Schlager

ABOVE: Contemporary American Indian artist Justus Benally and Amanda Beardsley at the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look...

Adventures, Diversity, History, People, Trails and Hiking