Phoenix Field School

SCA Phoenix Field School Member earning Chainsaw Certification

The Phoenix Field School is a 16-week education and training program for young adults ages 18-21. The program was created through a partnership of the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arizona Call-a-Teen Youth Resources (ACYR), and Phoenix College (PC).

SCA Certified: Conservation Field Specialist CertificationThe Field School provides opportunities to gain meaningful, hands-on conservation experience through a variety of field-based projects, trainings, and certifications. The crews work on important conservation projects in Arizona, including trail construction and repair, riparian habitat restoration, biological monitoring, and invasive plant management.  In addition to the field work and trainings, the youth also earn 12 college credits through PC by taking classes in areas related to conservation and career development.

Throughout the 16 weeks, crew members gain the necessary skills and experience to become successful and employable in natural resource careers, while making a substantial contribution to Arizona’s natural and cultural treasures. Students gain networking connections with land agencies including the BLM, USFWS, NPS, and USFS.

Students are primarily based out of Phoenix, but the program includes conservation projects around Arizona which require camping in the field for 4-5 days at a time.

Field School graduates earn SCA certification as Conservation Field Specialists. 

Additional trainings offered include: 

  • CPR Certification
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • SCA Conservation Work Skills Training – Trails
  • Federal Chainsaw Certification – S-212
  • Wildland Firefighting Training – S-130/190

Eligibility Requirements: 

If you are between the ages of 18 and 21, able to pass a background check, have a high school diploma or GED, and are a resident of the City of Phoenix or Maricopa County, you are eligible to apply for this program! If you are interested, please contact Jessica Proehl at [email protected]

Related Posts & Program Information

My name is Brian Pacheco. I was an intern for the Audubon Arizona for two summers surveying Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Now I am here in the Field School Program with the SCA, gaining more experience about my field of study, conservation biology.

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This week started off with a sense of excitement since the government was up and running and we knew we would be getting back into the field after a long stretch stuck in the city. We started the week collecting the leaf packs we had left in the ponds at the Audubon and the Rio Salado. Even though we couldn’t actually find the ones we put in the Rio Salado pond, we found lots of great macro invertebrates who had made homes in the leaf packs in the Audubon pond.

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This week, the halfway point in our program, we started things off with an inside tour of South Mountain with Park Ranger Liz, arranged by Tice. We saw some awesome petroglyphs and did soil testing down in the wash. Since we can’t get enough of educational opportunities, on Tuesday Mel took the Fantastic Four to the Pueblo Grande Museum, where Tice met up with us. This was a great place to learn about the history of the place we live.

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We started off the week with our first midterm, in our outdoor adventure skills class. Everyone was well prepared and did a good job. We were also lucky enough to have a member of a search and rescue crew come talk to us and give us some good info about SAR and how to get involved.

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We’re back! With the government shutdown, we were out of the game for just one day and then went right back into action. Since all of our work plans with federal agencies fell through, Tice from the Audubon really stepped up and used her own time on Wednesday and Thursday to go out with us so we could continue to work. We greatly appreciated that!

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