http://www.thesca.org

The Student Conservation Association

Assistant Crew Leader

July - August 2020 • Washington, DC

What I liked

All the appropriate safety precautions had been taken for Covid 19. In addition to the physical work, there were many opportunities to just look around at nature.

What I wish was different

At one point we started working on a site we hadn't expected to work on, and I would have preferred to stay at one location the whole time.

Advice

Drink lots of water, DC in the summer is insanely hot and humid, especially when you're doing lots of manual labor.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Crew

July - August 2019 • Chicago, IL

What I liked

Everyone is supportive and hard working

What I wish was different

Advice

Be yourself and work hard!
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Estuary Habitats Educator

January - November 2019 • Hyde Park, NY

What I liked

Experience gained and people I met through working in the environmental field.

What I wish was different

Better pay, but that's just how it goes.

Advice

Talk to everyone and learn as much as you can.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Crew member

June - August 2019 • Maryland Line, MD

What I liked

Working outside, meeting awesome people, good pay, awesome experience

What I wish was different

It was a full time job that started at 6 am every day, I wish it started later morning

Advice

When it gets tiring and you don’t want to go anymore, remember why you’re working, why you wanted to do this, what you looked forward to the most
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Trail Maintenance crew member

July - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I originally was interested in the program because I find the results of physical labor incredibly satisfying, but by the end of it all I had gotten even more out of it all than what I'd initially expected. My social skills had increased exponentially and my leadership and teamwork abilities similarly improved. I got a lot out of the program and it helped mentally prepare me for college.

What I wish was different

I wish the weather had been NOT humid all the time, but it's DC in July so that might be a bit much to ask. I also wish the commute was shorter.

Advice

Invest in more than one pair of work pants! And learn to recognize poison ivy.
Be the first to mark this as helpful

assistant crew leader

June - August 2019 • Chicago, IL

What I liked

The job was enjoyable and very educational, with many opportunities to meet and become friends with like-minded people

What I wish was different

I wish I had separated my work and home life a little more.

Advice

I would highly recommend trying work with the SCA if you are passionate about the environment!
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Cultural Resource Management Intern

May - August 2019 • Independence, CA

What I liked

I really enjoyed the site I worked at and meeting everyone there. This opportunity allowed me to learn how the National Parks function and familiarize myself with the different sectors. It was a great hands-on experience too.

What I wish was different

I wish that there was a better stipend or hourly wage given. These positions are considered volunteer so that stipend ends up being less than minimum wage.

Advice

Be the first to mark this as helpful

Art and Nature Intern

May - August 2019 • Yosemite National Park, CA

What I liked

I loved the team of rangers and employees that I had the chance to work with and learn from, as well as the atmosphere of patience, teamwork, and support that was enhanced by every person working in the park. Not to mention the beautiful scenery and wildlife that roamed around the valley!

What I wish was different

I wish my internship had had more focus and guidance. It's easy to get lost in the sea of faces in such a large park like Yosemite, and as a result, I felt that I sometimes didn't get the attention or help I needed as a first-time intern.

Advice

Make sure you're getting what you need during your internship- especially when you're working somewhere away from home. Make connections with those around you so you can get the most of your experience, like trips around the area on your days off, or grocery runs!
Be the first to mark this as helpful

Youth Conservation Crew Leader

May - July 2019 • Ajo, AZ

What I liked

Being able to experience a different part of the US, gaining leadership skills, having a great support system

What I wish was different

I wish the crew had wanted to enjoy the work we did

Advice

Travel for jobs if you can!
Be the first to mark this as helpful

National Conservation Corps member

March - August 2018 • Indian, AK

What I liked

Working in the backcountry of Alaska all summer

What I wish was different

I wish I had more freedom to do things outside of my job and explore more

Advice

Alaska is beautiful but when joining a conservation corp be aware of what you're getting into
2 people found this helpful

Education Intern

June - August 2018 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I loved the location: the city was vibrant and exciting. The people I worked with were also very motivated and dedicated individuals, which made the experience much more enriching. Overall the SCA was a fantastic experience that I would recommend to everyone interested in conservation and biology.

What I wish was different

I wish it would have been a little longer, and that the experience would have provided more learning opportunities outside experiential learning.

Advice

Definitely apply early to SCA applications, and always follow up to your application - employers really appreciate it regardless of outcome. Also, do not worry where you are place, wherever you are you will be doing tremendous and valuable work!
2 people found this helpful

Interpretive Park Ranger

May - August 2018 • Arco, ID

What I liked

I enjoyed working with park visitors and teaching them about the fascinating history and ecology of the monument.

What I wish was different

Not much. I broke my arm in June, but that was obviously an unusual accident, and while I wish I could change that, it's pretty clear there isn't much I or anyone else could do one way or another.

Advice

Probably bring lots of books, sunscreen, and hand lotion. The housing lacked both WiFi and cell service, so there wasn't a whole lot to do after hours (although we were allowed in the visitors' center after hours to use the private WiFi as desired). Plus, it was located in a desert, which I really hadn't thought about too much before I'd arrived there.
2 people found this helpful

Biological fellow

May - August 2018 • Orland, ME

What I liked

I learned a lot, especially about how government handles conservation.

What I wish was different

I wish the duration would’ve been longer so that I could learn even more.

Advice

Be willing to take internship and work opportunities that are far from home, they make you grow a lot!
2 people found this helpful

Botany Intern

June - September 2018 • Thorne Bay, AK

What I liked

I liked working in the field, hiking around and collecting data. I enjoyed learning about the career opportunities in the Forest Service for environmental science.

What I wish was different

I wish I could have worked more with the experts on wildlife and botany on the island.

Advice

To be consciously curious about your project and surrounding projects.
1 person found this helpful

George Perkins Marsh Intern

June - August 2018 • Woodstock, VT

What I liked

Working with various departments and people of the National Park Service.

What I wish was different

Advice

1 person found this helpful

Invasive Plant Management Intern

June - August 2018 • Astoria, OR

What I liked

I loved this internship experience. It completely changed what I want to do with my future and gave me valuable experience using GPS, GIS, and many different plant removal tools. I also got to work closely with other sectors of the natural resource division of the national park, so I got to learn how to perform wetland restoration monitoring transects, forest unit monitoring, elk surveys, and trail maintenance.

What I wish was different

I do not think I would change anything except maybe make the park-provided housing closer to the downtown Astoria area.

Advice

I highly recommend doing an internship with the Student Conservation Association. You will gain valuable experience and exposure to many different career paths.
5 people found this helpful

Project Manager

May - August 2018 • Klawock, AK

What I liked

I loved working with the native population to empower youth to play a larger role in managing natural resources.

What I wish was different

Advice

2 people found this helpful

Support crew leader

June - August 2018 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

It was outside working with high school students in local Pittsburgh parks. I enjoyed getting my hands dirty with trail maintenance.

What I wish was different

It was a great summer but I wish there would have been better organization in the office and clearer communication.

Advice

Make sure you are completely open with your supervisor and your students about your expectations.
3 people found this helpful

Crew Leader

June - August 2018 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Excellent pay, cool work environment, fun coworkers. Good work/life balance.

What I wish was different

Advice

1 person found this helpful

Wildlife Biologist Intern

May - August 2018 • Silverthorne, CO

What I liked

That I got to be outside, learning hands-on and doing research.

What I wish was different

Nothing!

Advice

Work hard and learn everything you can. There are so many opportunities to learn and experience new things. Take them!
2 people found this helpful