Follow Me: SCA member blogs from the field

Follow Me is the place to read field dispatches from SCA members serving the planet all over the USA.

Posted by Dakota McCoy | July 21, 2015

ABOVE: A black bear wets its whistle at Yosemite National Park. NPS photo by SCA intern Dakota McCoy.

Yosemite National Park in California is one of the most visited parks in the entire National Park Service system, receiving approximately 4 million visitors each year. Out of those 4 million people, more than 50,000 of them come to Yosemite ready to head into the backcountry to experience what Yosemite is truly about — wilderness.

Posted by Noah M. Schlager | July 21, 2015

“I thought such an expanse of flatness would be about as stimulating as a parking lot, but instead some part of my brain that remembers itself to be a savannah ape was switched on. The slope of the land and color of grass stood out in my mind like a living Van Gogh painting. It was one of the most beautiful and alien spaces I have ever encountered.”

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | July 7, 2015

Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Martin County gathered at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge with Sarika Khanwilkar for a marine debris beach clean-up.

All of us live on Earth, but nowadays the natural world is hard to find. Most of us spend the day surrounded by asphalt roads, cement sidewalks, landscaped yards and business fronts, artificial lighting, and traffic noise; a constructed reality.

Posted by Elizabeth Braatz | June 29, 2015

A field dispatch from SCA member Elizabeth Braatz, currently serving as a Career Discovery Internship Program intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | May 26, 2015

“People Protect What They Love” - Jacques Cousteau

This is my favorite quote from one of the most iconic and recognizable names in conservation. These five words describe my own journey towards becoming a Student Conservation Association intern. I have fallen in love with discovering the diversity that inhabits this planet, and being immersed in the natural environment.

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | April 8, 2015

An invasion is occurring right now, all over the country. Lining roads, populating waterways and lurking in your own backyard, non-native plants and animals have hitched a ride with humans and spread across continents. Whether they were transported intentionally or as cargo ship stowaways, in ecosystems where these new species flourish to the detriment of native plants and animals, they are invading.

Posted by Rachelle Hedges | February 23, 2015

I had just witnessed first-hand that using technology and spending time outdoors is not an either/or proposition. One does not inherently exclude or lessen the value of the other, and just because we have a generation that loves their phones, doesn’t mean we won’t have a generation of conservationists too. I believe the marrying of technology and nature will help to better both, making each more valuable, more accessible and healthier. And I believe that students like the ones I worked with today will be the driving force behind this marriage for many years to come.

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | February 23, 2015

I was picking up trash the other day on the West edge of Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, where old pizza boxes, beer cans, plastic bags and other miscellaneous, unidentifiable objects are scattered across the landscape. Most of this litter is cast from cars zipping by on US Highway 1. As the Florida sun continued beaming, I got an eerie gut feeling that I was being watched, like something had snuck up on me.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | February 12, 2015
This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s part of a monthly series featuring SCA interns writing about their experiences working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States.
Posted by Rachelle Hedges | February 12, 2015

Well, I really left you hanging last time, didn’t I? I got you all excited about GIS and the amazing things it can do, but I never told you what you would do if you worked in GIS. So, what does a day in the life of a GIS Manager, Specialist or Technician look like? Well, I don’t know.

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | February 5, 2015

Sarika Khanwilkar spends her mornings with a skunk named Mango, and her afternoons watching out for endangered Gopher Tortoises. Learn more about her life as an SCA intern in her first field dispatch from Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge.

Student Conservation Association Member Sarika Khanwikar with an endagnered Gopher Tortoise
Posted by Rachelle Hedges | February 4, 2015

In December of 2010 I left a career in advertising to go back to school for a degree in natural resources management. One of the main reasons for making this change, was that I needed a job in which I could work outside. I love being outside. I love hiking. I love building trails, measuring trees, using tools, and all of the other wonderful things that for the last four years I’ve gotten to do under the guise of “work”. (Including leading two amazing SCA crews!)

Posted by Joseph Thurston | January 27, 2015

Above: SCA Veterans Fire Corps members Wesley Adams, Benjamin Pattyson, Andrew McFarland, Laren Nowell, Demetric Wade, and Ramon Delgado.

Here we have a photo of one of our Veterans Fire Corps crews all geared up and ready to go for a prescribed burn at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge last week near Tallahassee.

Posted by Ann Pedtke | January 20, 2015

Despite freezing temperatures, over 450 DC-area residents rallied together at Anacostia Park to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service through a morning of volunteering on the riverfront. Among the volunteers in attendance were special guests Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and SCA President and CEO Jaime Matyas.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | January 20, 2015
This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s part of a monthly series featuring SCA interns writing about their experiences working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States.
Posted by Emily Bowles | September 5, 2014

Where to begin? How many 22 year-old lumberjacks can say that they have cut down a blowdown with a congressman, the Secretary of the Interior, President of the Wilderness Society and the Director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service? My head is inflating just thinking about it. But after yesterday my crew and I can say just that.

Posted by Emily Bowles | August 28, 2014

In the most famous passage of the Wilderness Act, writer Howard Zahniser defines wilderness beautifully and concisely: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” As my crewmates and I work to prepare Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to host the Wilderness Act’s 50th birthday party—which will include a visit from the public lands manager to all public lands managers, Secretar

Posted by Jeffrey Sommer | August 27, 2014

Hungry predators are determined to get a good meal, even if it isn’t easy. Plenty of our screened nests see attempted predation by raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, and ghost crabs. Luckily the seashores boar population hasn’t gotten involved in this trend, as a boar could easily shred through the metal screens that we install to protect the nests.

Posted by Marinell Chandler | August 26, 2014

As of today, our new puppy is over two weeks old. His eyes have opened, and he is growing very quickly from the little pup that could fit in my one hand to one that is starting to toddle around the floor of his pen. From day one after this pup’s birth we’ve been asked what his name is, and we finally an answer.

Posted by Emily Bowles | August 22, 2014

When William Bradford hopped off of the Mayflower and onto Plymouth Rock, he described the landscape that lay before him as a “hideous and desolate wilderness.” Wilderness, in 1620, was not a scarce resource to be protected and treasured. It was scary and empty, a wasted space awaiting the day that an enterprising human might chop it up, organize it, and put it to good use.

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