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 Staff | Friday, May 18, 2018
Ranger Karen Garthwait at Arches National Park by Andrew Kuhn

Many children dream of becoming park rangers, and the career retains the allure of the romantic. But what does it take to turn that dream into action? To find out, we tracked down SCA alumni who have gone on to become successful park rangers and asked them precisely that. In...

Career Success, Parks, People

Sony Springing into Action for Tompkins Square Park

Posted by Ally Ratliff | Friday, May 18, 2018

On Tuesday, May 15th, Sony employee volunteers joined SCA to conserve Tompkins Square Park. They met early in the morning to get fueled up for a full day of spreading seed, laying soil, and cleaning up the park. Before getting their hands dirty, the group gathered up for the morning...

Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

Hearts in Action Across the Nation

Posted by Kelly McSween Runzel | Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is proud to call Southwest Airlines its most LUV’d partner, especially after SWA “Cohearts” participating in the airline’s spring company-wide initiative, fueled a record-setting SCA Earth Month celebration in April. Together, we mobilized a record-setting 4,000 volunteers to serve the planet, and conserved over 136,000...

History, Kids, Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Bobcat Wanders Through a Backyard in Washington

We all want to see wildlife. I travel to Great Smoky Mountains National Park to find salamanders and Bombay Hook Wildlife Refuge for avocets and bald eagles. But we forget that cities are complex ecosystems with perhaps unexpected levels of biodiversity. 

Animals & Wildlife

Posted by Staff | Monday, May 14, 2018
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Ranger Hat by Cynthia Mitchell

At the age of 13, Nancy Rogers already knew she wanted to be a park ranger. And for upwards of four decades she’s followed that dream, first as an intern in the Student Conservation Association (SCA), then seasonally in the National Park Service, and finally as a permanent ranger in...

Career Success, Parks, People

SCA Spring Cleaning at Kirkwood Park with Domtar

Posted by Kelly McSween Runzel | Saturday, May 12, 2018

It seems like the entire country had a long winter.  The ripple effects took a toll on more than our moods; our parks needed a whole lot of work to recover and prepare for summer.

SCA and more than 100 Domtar HDIS employees and family members tackled that need in...

Forests, Invasives, Kids, Parks, People, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, May 11, 2018
“It was one of the coolest moments ever!”
Not everyone would attach those words to the impending arrival of an historically calamitous Category 5 hurricane, but Cassie Holden has her reasons, which we will get to shortly. But first, some introductions.
May 18th is Endangered Species Day. Cassie...

Posted by Staff | Friday, May 11, 2018

There’s no question that birds in every habitat need our attention. It’s estimated that one-third of all North American bird species require urgent conservation action. As a result, biologists are busy gathering data to better understand what can be done to stop the decline.

From the federally endangered Hawaiian...

Animals & Wildlife, Endangered Species

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Spring came late to much of the country this year, including Vermont and its only national park: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. With a unique focus on conservation history and land stewardship, Marsh-Billings plays host to numerous SCA interns each year. 
Katie Kull (above left) traveled here from North Carolina...

SCA alum Rick Kuyer is now a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service!

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Yosemite Toad by Rick Kuyper, USFWS

Rick Kuyper did an internship with the Tongass National Forest through SCA and is now Sierra Cascades Division Chief with the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office. He offers a glimpse into activities underway to monitor this threatened toad.

Site visits are critical to helping Sacramento...

Animals & Wildlife, Career Success, Endangered Species

Posted by Staff | Friday, May 4, 2018
National Park Service Rangers at the National Mall in DC

We often picture park rangers in forested national parks, rescuing hikers or handing out trail maps. And while those are important roles, there are so many others that we rarely hear about. We had a chance to sit down with Jason Cangelosi, the Volunteer Program Manager for the National Mall...

Career Success, Parks, People

Posted by Dani Tinker | Thursday, May 3, 2018
National Park Service Helicopter

The National Park Service’s aviation branch helps find stranded hikers, manage fires, and conduct wildlife and vegetation surveys. To learn more, we met with Aviation Branch Chief (and SCA ALUM!) Meg Gallagher.

We’re thrilled when we can teach students about leadership or stewardship of the land. But often times,...

Backcountry & Wilderness, Career Success, Forests, People, Wildfires

Posted by Staff | Thursday, April 26, 2018
Bureau of Land Management Employee

Sarah Spragg, park ranger for the Bureau of Land Management in Marina, California, sums up her job in five words: “Being available for the public.” In addition to her outreach duties, she also helps maintain the bureau’s facilities and provides special recreation permits for use on public lands. She is...

Career Success, People

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, April 20, 2018
For outdoor advocates, April is an active month, encompassing everything from Earth Day to National Volunteer Week and National Garden Month. And from 4/21-4/29, we celebrate National Park Week.
Although today’s SCA volunteers serve a wide array of federal, state, and municipal lands, we got our start in national...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Thursday, April 19, 2018

Like grandchildren rummaging through an attic trove of photographs, Student Conservation Association interns at Yosemite National Park recently began to sort, scan, and share decades-old photos from the park’s past. The Yosemite Conservancy spotlights their efforts in this video, and the excerpted Q&A below. 


Posted by Staff | Thursday, April 19, 2018
Two People Work Together to Plant a Tree in the Garden
Earth Day 2018 is right around the corner: a day dedicated to giving back to the planet that sustains all of us. In last week’s post we offered five digital ways to help save the Earth, right from your own computer or cell phone. This week...
Sustainability, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Thursday, April 12, 2018
As the saying goes: “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Apparently, that applies to parks and volunteers, too.
Earlier this week, SCA and Southwest Airlines organized a service project at Barnacle Historic State Park in Miami as part of SCA’s Earth Month. Among other jobs,...

The brilliance of the Milky Way isn’t the only reason to protect dark skies. So what else is at stake?

Posted by Dani Tinker | Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Night Sky in Arizona at Coconino National Forest

Every time I’m out in the darkness of a wilderness area, I look up at the starry sky and think to myself, wow, we don’t see stars like this in the city.  There’s an awe in rediscovering the night sky, and it’s one of the many reasons I go backpacking...

Backcountry & Wilderness, Parks, Trails and Hiking

Interview with Andy Webster about his transformative SCA experience and how it inspired his latest project.

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Andy Webster is in the back row wearing a maroon shirt during his SCA/AmeriCorps program at Kenneth Dubuque State Forest
Andy Webster is an SCA alum who completed the 10-month AmeriCorps program in Hawley, Massachusetts in 2001. We caught up with Andy this month to discuss how his SCA experience helped him find his way to The Walden Project — a school he is starting in upstate New York that...
Career Success, Education, Forests, People

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Monday, April 9, 2018
SCA Earth Month Volunteers at Metro Atlanta Urban Farm
Metro Atlanta Urban Farm is a five acre parcel in the city’s College Park section. Its certified naturally-grown crops are raised and harvested by a small staff and volunteers, and on Saturday the farm hosted one of SCA’s first Earth Month service projects, drawing close to 40 people despite threatening...