Winter 2022 Western Corps Project Leader Positions

Conservation Begins Here.

The Student Conservation Association (SCA), America’s #1 conservation service organization seeks qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire teams for the Western Corps program.  

Winter Season Dates:

Leader Training: 12/12/2021 – 12/22/2021      

Leader Planning Period & Member Training Prep: 1/3/2022 – 1/16/2022

Members Training Dates: 1/17/2022 – 1/28/2022

Project Duration: Projects range from 9 weeks to 26 weeks in duration.  Project Leader placements will be determined based on leader candidates’ experience, skills/certifications, and availability.  

Training Location: Ridgecrest, CA.

Position Summary:

Responsible for daily management and supervision of a Conservation Corps project in either backcountry or a front-country site with members 18 & older. Manage member and group safety and development while working on conservation projects. Represent SCA on-site and coordinate with Agency partner(s) on the designated project(s). Perform the required administrative tasks to track project outcomes, approve members’ timesheets, and manage a field budget. 


Program Description:

SCA’s Western Conservation Corps is a team-based program designed to introduce crewmembers to the rigors of conservation fieldwork.  From building and maintaining trails, fuels reduction, data collection, facilities restoration and maintenance, and invasive species removal projects, Western Conservation Corps teams work with a variety of land managers throughout the western United States on vital conservation projects. 

The crews will begin their program with a two-week field-based training program based in southeastern California before traveling to their respective project sites. Guided by an experienced Project Leader, Corps Members learn and practice all the requisite hard and soft skills that are essential for a successful conservation project. 


Potential Corps Team Projects: Projects frequently change, so check back often for project updates.

  • Desert Restoration Corps
    • Crew Dates: 1/17/2022 to 3/19/2022 (9 week crew)
    • Location: Ridgecrest, CA
    • Crews will perform desert restoration projects aimed at mitigating the impacts of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation near Ridgecrest, CA.  Work projects may include, but are not limited to habitat restoration, fence/barrier construction, public outreach, invasive species management, and resource (i.e. water, wildlife) monitoring. 
  • Angeles Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Barrier Team
    • Crew Dates: 1/17/2022 - 3/27/2022 (10 week crew)
    • Location: Angeles National Forest
    • To mitigate the impacts caused by off trail riding of Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) users, this crew will construct and install 100 “no-dig” barriers at designated sites within the Drinkwater Flat OHV area.  These barriers will help encourage riders to stay of designated routes and to allow landscape restoration to proceed unencumbered.
  • Coronado National Forest Restoration and Trails Team
    • Crew Dates: 1/17/2022 to 5/8/2022 (16 week crew)
    • Location: near Green Valley, AZ on the Coronado National Forest
    • This crew will be working on improving trails in the Mount Wrightson and Pajarita Wilderness Areas as part of a four-person team. There are opportunities for cross training with biologists, archeologists, range scientists, and fire suppression staff depending on interests. Prior experience with trail tools and hiking, or backpacking, is helpful, and a deep interest in learning is essential.
  • Los Padres Recreation Facility Team
    • Crew Dates: 1/17/2022 to 5/6/2022 (16 week crew)
    • Location: (Los Padres National Forest, specific project sites will vary)
    • This crew will be working on forest-wide recreation site improvement projects on the Los Padres along the central coast of California, this crew will work on campground repair, installing signs and information kiosks, fence repair, possibly some trail maintenance. 
  • Pacific West Veteran Fire Team
    • Crew Dates: 1/17/2021 to 7/17/2022 (26 week crew)
    • Location: California (specific duty station TBD)
    • Designed to engage post-9/11 returning military veterans in conservation work, this crew will focus on prescribed fire and fuels work at various parks in the region. This team of 8 members and 2 leaders will work directly with NPS fire staff participating in prescribed fires, mechanical fuels reduction, fire effects monitoring, educational outreach, preparation of burn units as well as pre-suppression and suppression readiness tasks. SCA and NPS will provide training in the following disciplines to qualify you for fire work during and after your service:
  • Fire Training (S-130, S-190, L-180, ICS100)
  • Wildland Fire Chainsaw Training (S-212)
  • Wilderness Medical Training
  • SCA Corps Member Training

During field-based hitches of 4 to 10 days in length, the crew will live and work out of tent camps in close proximity to worksites.  Field-life is rugged, and while on hitch, members should expect to live without electricity, running water, and cell phone reception; additionally, while on hitch, this program is alcohol and substance free.  Members will typically have 3-5 days off between hitches. 


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Act as a Crew Manager guiding crew dynamics and facilitating teamwork 
  • Function as a Technical Advisor assisting in training corps members to complete quality work 
  • Serve as a Partnership Representative managing relationships with agency partner and ensuring successful and timely completion of work projects 
  • Perform tasks as a Program Administrator by communicating with SCA staff, completing documentation and managing a budget 



  • Must be a minimum of 21 years of age 
  • Must have ability to legally work in the US. 
  • Valid driver’s license and MVR that meets SCA standards required 
  • Ability to meet SCA’s criminal background check standards 
  • Must be able to attend mandatory Crew Leader training: 12/12/2021 – 12/22/2021
  • Current Wilderness First Aid and CPR certification required by the start of training; Wilderness First Responder certification is preferred.  
  • Experience working with young adults 18 and older; teaching in an outdoor environment a plus 
  • Experience with conservation work skills or related skills preferred – i.e. habitat restoration, trail maintenance, trail construction, chainsaw, carpentry, landscaping, and gardening 
  • Ability to perform manual, physical labor for up to 8 to 10 hours per day, exposed to the elements and most occasionally lift and/or move 40 pounds or more 
  • Not required to provide own housing during the dates of the program 


Compensation: Salary range: $700 - $800/week, benefits available only for position placements over 6 months long.

To Apply: Click Login or Sign Up. Create a profile, complete the basic application and then select Leader Application when prompted. Please be sure to upload your cover letter, resume, and three (3) references. Once your application is complete, please email [email protected] with the position of interest listed in the subject line so we may review your application.  



Program Type
Project Leader
Full Time