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.

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Friday, December 27, 2019

As the season officially transitions from fall to winter in the United States, the country’s scenic landscapes go through their own spectacular changes as well. While temperatures can drop to a frightfully bitter level, many parks transform into winter wonderlands with an abundance of activities and pastimes that anyone can...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, December 16, 2019

by Miles Starr Radin, SCA Intern

“Are we gonna see a gorilla?!” one student asks as she steps off the bus. For most, it is their first time at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) at Tinicum in Philadelphia.

As Ranger Kelly Kemmerle reminds them that they are not that far from...

Posted by Lukas Miller | Monday, December 16, 2019

On December 16, 2019 the SCA partnered with Timberland, RootDown LA and NBA in Los Angeles to restore a community garden space at local middle School. In total, there were 102 volunteers and SCA alumni leaders who supported several urban greening projects, while Timberland and NBA Cares outfitted middle school...

Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Thursday, November 21, 2019

Thanksgiving is considered a time for reflection and an opportunity to really recognize all we are grateful for. We are constantly surrounded by nature’s beauty, and without the passion and dedication of individuals who care so strongly about the environment, the lands we adore would not be protected. While there...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Wednesday, November 6, 2019
by Miles Starr Radin, SCA visitor services intern

The young boy practically jumps out of the car. “Don’t forget the arrows!” he shouts to his dad as he races to the gate.

It is still dark at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) at Tinicum. Gold and red


Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Started in 2010, the SCA Veterans Fire Corps trains and engages teams of recent-era military veterans in wildland fire mitigation and forestry. Projects include fuels reduction, fire effects monitoring, educational outreach, pre-fire preparation of burn units, and participation in prescribed fires. 
Since August, an SCA team of veterans...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Monday, November 4, 2019

Sarika Khanwilkar is a Student Conservation Association alumnus and currently a PhD student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) department at Columbia University. She works closely with Pooja Choksi, a fellow PhD student, doing research in central India. They wrote about their latest summer below:

Our Summer of...

Posted by Cecilia Aleman | Tuesday, October 29, 2019

America’s National Parks have always been home to wildlife species, plants, water bodies, and natural wonders of many kinds. But these are not the only inhabitants of countless outdoor spaces across the country. For years, both hikers and park rangers have reported and witnessed spooky encounters with spirits, unexplained events,...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, October 25, 2019

Amber Flowers is a bat monitoring intern at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. With Halloween on the horizon, we just had to ask what it’s like to hang around with bats. (See what we did there?)

SCA: So what does a bat monitor actually do?

Amber: My job is to hike...

Posted by Lukas Miller | Friday, October 18, 2019


Between October 18 and 19, SCA worked alongside Domtar employees to host two separate events in Bennettsville, SC. The weekend kicked off with Employees from the Marlboro Mill and Tatum Converting Center helping SCA Community Ambassadors to host a seed ball quick touch...

Education, People, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Lara Provance | Friday, October 18, 2019

(Pictured above: SCA Gulf Corps crew members ripped up a dilapidated boardwalk that ran through a coastal pine savanna on Dauphin Island, AL. Fire-certified members helped burn the area and then members rebuilt this 1,000-foot-long boardwalk. See more amazing tansformations below.)

Last year SCA members improved more than 3,000 miles of...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Tuesday, October 15, 2019

by Tony Gurzick

Do you have a vocation? Not just a job you have or a role you play in your life but a true calling?

I count myself blessed as I found my vocation, in part, through the SCA and have been able to pursue it as a career for over...

Posted by Lukas Miller | Saturday, October 12, 2019

We had the opportunity this October to work with one of the Student Conservation Associations longtime partners, Domtar, a paper manufacturer with an office located in Kingsport, TN. On October 12, we worked with volunteers from the Kingsport Paper Mill, and Ridgefield’s Converting Center, at Warriors’ Path State Park. In...

by Lou Lunte, SCA alumnus

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Lou Lunte has spent his career in the environmental field and for the past 30 years has been deputy state director of The Nature Conservancy in Boise, Idaho. In April, he returned to SCA to serve on our Alumni Council. This is just one of his many SCA stories…

Susan and...

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Loggerhead Sea Turtle by SCA Intern Kayla Silva

Photos and information provided by Kayla Silva, an SCA intern at Cumberland Island National Seashore. Note: Please do not handle sea turtles. Only those with permits (like Kayla) can do so.

Cumberland Island National Seashore consistently has the most sea turtle nests of any beach in Georgia. Miles

Animals & Wildlife, Coasts & Water, Endangered Species, Parks

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Wednesday, September 11, 2019

At first, it may sound counter-intuitive. I mean, to forge a more inclusive conservation community, does it really make sense to exclude roughly 50% of the population?

SCA has fielded a female-only conservation crew in and around Chicago every year since 2013. The women, eight-to-12 in number between the ages of...

Posted by Staff | Sunday, August 18, 2019
Hudson Valley Corps

By Hannah Long, SCA’s Program Coordinator for the Hudson Valley Corps.

Every year, thousands of students from New York Harbor to Troy collect and share scientific information to see how their piece of the Hudson River fits into the larger estuary ecosystem. The SCA’s Hudson Valley...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge
As summer internships go, combing the beaches of Cape Cod is not a bad gig. That’s why Crystal Bradley, a 19-year-old from Kentucky, jumped at the opportunity to serve at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge in Chatham, MA. 
There was just one problem.

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, August 12, 2019
by David Kurapka, SCA 1980 (Acadia National Park) and 1982 (Assateague Island National Seashore)
For most people, the month of August brings to mind lazy hot days, lying on the beach, or perhaps a barbecue with friends. For me, it reminds me of counting least terns, tracking ponies, and...

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Canyon de Chelly

SCA began fielding Native American crews at Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona in 2011. Canyon de Chelly, located on Diné, or Navajo, tribal lands, is a vast expanse of 800’ precipices, jaw-dropping cliff dwellings, and prehistoric rock art. In fact, there are more archaeological artifacts at...

Adventures, Diversity, Parks, People