Conservation Leadership School

SCA has developed a conservation education and training program specifically to meet the needs of veterans who are interested in pursuing a career with a federal land management agency. This training program is designed to meet entry level requirements for most positions in our federal land management agencies. It is designed to be additional training on top of an SCA experience, either as a Conservation Intern or as a member on a Conservation Corps Team.

The 15 participants of the Conservation Leadership School live and learn together at a residential site for 35 days. SCA staff consisting of experienced field leaders, specialized trainers, and an on-site cook will provide the core of their learning experience. Outside experts, such as Aerie Wilderness Medicine, will lead certification courses, adding to participants’ marketable skills. Throughout the 35 days, participants will be evaluated and mentored with an eye towards the practicum.

Successful graduates of the program will be matched with subsequent 12-week Internships or Corps Team experiences (the practicum). They will be selected for the position that provides the best opportunities for their skills and goals.

Internship practicums will consist of individual placement with a partner.  The participant will be supervised and work directly with the partner to complete work projects. Participants will successfully complete each training and then immediately apply the training to work projects.  At the conclusion of the program, participants will have the skills and experience to make them highly desirable for employment in related positions.

Trainings Offered: 

  • Introduction to Conservation
  • Conservation Leadership
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • US Forest Service S-212 Chainsaw Training (or equivalent)
  • Wildland Firefighting (Red Card Equivalent)
  • Off-Road and Defensive Driving Techniques
  • Leave No Trace Trainer Certification
  • Introduction to Federal Agencies
  • Conservation Careers
  • Incident Command System
  • Fuels Reduction Field Days

Eligibility Requirements: 

  • US Military Veteran, age 18-37
  • DD214 showing Honorable or General Discharge
  • Willingness to pay tuition utilizing GI Bill Benefits or other means of payment
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Ablility to pass USFS Pack Test physical abilities test
  • Ability and willingness to hike long distances with a heavy pack
  • Comfort living and serving with others
  • Ability to interact well with others
  • Willingness to lead peers
  • Ability to provide and receive feedback
Student Conservation Association