SCA Solution Menu

“The Student Conservation Association plays an extraordinarily important part in the maintenance of our national parks as well as many other public spaces. Furthermore, they engage a new generation of park stewards and introduce them to career opportunities in conservation and the environment.”
US Rep. Norm Dicks (WA-D, retired)

SCA offers a variety of program models, each offering resource managers a level of customization designed to meet your every need. Our Partnership Development Department is available to help you identify the program or combination of programs that is right for your project. Please contact the team at [email protected] or 603-543-1700. Or read on for a brief description of our programs.

Conservation Interns

Our most popular program model, SCA interns provide extraordinary assistance in well over 50 conservation disciplines. Interns are available throughout the year in terms as short as 12 weeks and as long as a year. Most interns are undergraduates or graduate students.

  • With your intern request in-hand, SCA recruits and screens applicants based on your preferred skills and educational backgrounds
  • You interview recommended candidates, make your selection and notify SCA of your choice
  • We finalize all the details, including travel arrangements, insurance enrollment and other administrative tasks

As supervisor, you or your staff provide intern training and direction.  The hosting site also provides intern housing* and on-the-job transportation.

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In addition to gaining on-the-job experience, intern benefits include:

  • Weekly living subsistence of $75-$160, depending on length of internship
  • Travel allowance to cover round-trip to and from site
  • AmeriCorps Education Award of up to $5,730 as available, at no cost to you
  • Liability and 24-hour accident insurance coverage
  • Long-term AmeriCorps eligible interns are also offered full health insurance

For further details, please contact the SCA Partnership Development Team at [email protected] or 603-543-1700. 

* SCA can locate and invoice the agency for off-site housing when necessary

“What we’re attempting to do here is create opportunities for young people to get out beyond their communities.  We’ve heard young people say ‘I’ve never seen a whale before’ or ‘I’ve never been on a hike, and I’ve learned a lot about myself, my will power and my resiliency.” -Education Officer Sarah Boario, Chugach National Forest

Conservation Corps

These special teams are led by an experienced SCA project leader and completely managed by SCA on your behalf.  Corps often take on complex projects including habitat restoration, wildfire mitigation and environmental sustainability, while others may provide general trail and site maintenance. 

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You determine the team’s term of service – from three to 12 months – and the size of its roster – up to 40 members – while SCA selects participants based on mutually-agreed upon qualifications.  Corps generally are outfitted by the partner with all the equipment, tools and technology required to complete their projects, including transportation and housing needs.

  • SCA works with you to outline project goals and determine member qualifications
  • Working from these criteria, we hire project leaders and recruit and retain corps members
  • The corps performs all work to your specifications, corps leaders consults with you along the way, and provide a final report upon project completion while SCA operational staff manages all administrative responsibilities

From the partner perspective, this is the simplest, most convenient way to complete sophisticated conservation projects you or your staff could not otherwise accomplish.

In addition to the hands-on experience, Corps member benefits include:

  • Weekly living subsistence of $75-$160, depending on length of service
  • Travel allowance to cover round-trip to and from site
  • AmeriCorps Education Award of up to $5,730 as available, at no cost to you
  • Liability and 24-hour accident insurance coverage
  • Long-term AmeriCorps eligible corps members are also offered full health insurance

For further details, please contact the SCA Partnership Development Team at [email protected] or 603-543-1700. 

Conservation Crews – National

SCA conservation crews are ideal for your short-term, labor-intensive projects such as trail construction/maintenance, erosion restoration and invasive species removal.  Crews consist of two experienced adult crew leaders and six or eight high school students aged 15-19.  Available during the summer months, crews live and work out of self-reliant base camps for periods of 15, 21, 30 or 35 days, depending upon your project needs.  Crew schedules may include travel days, off days, environmental education days and a concluding multi-day recreation trip. 

“We’re definitely glad to have this crew.” 
-District Ranger Jack Lewis, Routt National Forest

Crews are run and supervised by SCA leaders in accordance to partner instruction and do require no day-to-day host management. 

  • SCA recruits and trains crew leaders and members, equally comprised of males and females
  • SCA provides tents, stoves, food and other equipment, as well as Liability Coverage and Secondary Personal Accident Insurance, plus a 24 hour emergency response system
  • SCA also prepares and delivers a project report upon completion of the program

Agency partners are asked to provides project specifications, tools and required safety equipment, a radio or cell phone (when applicable), and transportation of crew members from and to the nearest public transport terminal and food and equipment to the base camp.  We also request assistance with accessing area educational resources.

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It is important to note that conservation crews are among the most transformative element in the continuum of SCA experiences.  Independent studies have shown the combination of living and working on the land, performing as a team with other crew members and discovering the depths of one’s potential significantly increase individual self-confidence, self-esteem, problem-solving abilities and leadership development while also enhancing the participant’s conservation ethic.

For more information, please contact the SCA Partnership Development Team at [email protected] or 603-543-1700. 

Conservation Crews – Community

Similar in structure and practice to SCA national crews, community crews are urban-based teams designed to engage under-served teenagers.  Participants commute to their work sites, which are generally city parks.  In addition to protecting local greenscapes, members learn about the environment in the context of their own neighborhoods.  They also gain green job experience and receive training in resume writing, employment interviews and other practical pre-employment skills. 

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SCA pioneered community conservation programs more than 20 years ago and since then thousands of diverse teens have served in more than two dozen leading cities across the country.  The US Conference of Mayors named SCA’s Milwaukee program one of the nation’s top green jobs programs for youth. 

Municipal park agencies, workforce development offices, corporate entities or conservation nonprofits interested in partnering with SCA on a community conservation crew should contact the SCA Partnership Development Team at [email protected]or 603-543-1700. 

This innovative SCA program gives students direct job experience and skills that will benefit them throughout their lives…[they] are also great role models for younger students.” -Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport, CT

Leader Teams

SCA Field Leaders can expertly assist land managers in completing technical and advanced-level projects during the fall, winter and spring shoulder seasons. Typical Leader Team projects include new trail construction; staircases, walls, and other technical rock projects involving rigging systems; bridges and boardwalks using native or dimensional timbers and more. 

Leader Teams are comprised of one SCA leader and 4-6 team members.  All participants are highly trained, skilled and experienced with certifications in Chainsaw, Crosscut Saw, Rigging, Trail Construction (including Rock and Timber), GIS, Risk Management/Safety and/or Leave No Trace.

  • SCA manages all hiring-related tasks including medical screening, background checks, DMV reports, compensation, benefits, to/from travel and Worker’s Comp.
  • We provide the equipment cache including tents, stoves, kitchen supplies, coolers, water purifiers, and site-specific gear as needed
  • To ensure proper planning, reporting and expectations, crew leaders generally arrive five days prior and depart two days later than team members

Partners provide project direction and scope, incremental oversight, professional development opportunities as available, plus tools and, in most cases, a vehicle.

Leader team member benefits include:

  • Weekly living allowance and travel reimbursement
  • Opportunity to hone their conservation, leadership and project management skills
  • Expanded employment networks and career aspirations

For more, please contact the SCA Partnership Development Team at [email protected] or 603-543-1700.

Student Conservation Association