Student Conservation Association (SCA)

2021 SCA California Leadership Corps

Posted: November 18, 2020
Location: Oakland, California
Time Commitment: January 17, 2021 to May 22, 2021


Crews will be based out of remote tent camps in close proximity to project sites. Work hitches will be typically 10 days in length, but could vary depending on location and project needs.  Crews will assist with a variety of conservation projects throughout the state. Work projects during the season may include, but are not limited to: desert habitat restoration, fence/barrier construction, trail work/assessment, fuels reduction/mitigation, GPS data collection, invasive species management, public outreach, and resource (i.e. water, wildlife, Wilderness) monitoring.

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. 

Leadership Development

Leadership development is a major focus of SCA.  At the beginning of the season, crews will take part in an intensive training period designed to prepare members for the demands of field-based hitches.  Following the training period, members will take turns serving as a Hitch Leader for several hitches during the season. Responsibilities will include managing the work and progress of the crew, meal planning, assessing and managing risk on the project, and reporting and administrative tasks during and following hitch.  Each crew will be assigned a SCA Project Leader to provide technical support and oversight, additional training for project specific skills, and facilitate communication with SCA agency partners.

Crew Housing

For much of the season, crews should expect to be mobile and many of their field based work hitches will be tent-based camping. Crews will have access to housing during their off-time, and it could take various forms like an SCA rented house, hotels, or a developed campground. Members will be expected to work together to ensure that all SCA equipment, vehicles, trailer, and tools are properly maintained and ready for use in the field.

During the season, members may go on a roving track of projects. It could also mean that crews will be staying at multiple project site between hitches. This is dependent on project location(s). In these cases, SCA will still provide housing for members during their off-time, although these housing options could vary depending on the project location.

*Please note- this is a tentative training schedule. A full overview and description of training will be issued two weeks prior to the start of training. Additionally, members may receive additional training opportunities depending on project needs.

Job Responsibilites

  • Ensure project, basecamp, community, and general safety standards are upheld; full engagement is expected in all work projects and community activities
  • Interfacing with general public and partner organizations in a manner that reflects positively upon the crew, organization, and agency
  • Take on role of Hitch Leader for at least one hitch, serving as a professional liaison with park managers and SCA Project Leaders, handling the logistics of a project, meal planning, delegating responsibilities, developing emergency response plans, and completing all necessary paperwork.
  • Recording work totals and creating reports for submission to agency partners; this will include GPS field data collection and post-processing

Required Qualifications

  • Previous leadership experience is a plus; interest and investment in leadership development and teamwork is required
  • Commitment to living and working within an intensive crew environment; interpersonal skills and community living experience are pluses
  • Commitment to service in working conditions that will include: extreme heat, extreme cold, high winds, and precipitation
  • Ability to enroll in AmeriCorps Education Award Program
  • Ability to pass SCA background check
  • Valid driver’s license; ability to pass Motor Vehicle Records check preferred

Salary and Benefits

Compensation: $250.00/week living allowance | Health Insurance Option | AmeriCorps Award (900 hours - $3,097.50) upon successful completion of program | Travel grant of $650 toward travel to and from your home to the project site | All food provided while on hitch; members must provide their own food during off-time. Trainings provided: Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace Trainer, Chainsaw Safety (possible), Off-Road Driving (possible),Trails Work Skills Training (possible), and SCA Leadership Development Training. This position is part of a specialized SCA AmeriCorps program and if you are selected, you will be serving as an SCA AmeriCorps member. To be eligible for this position you must have served as an AmeriCorps member less than 4 times

Application Process

View the full program and leadership description here on the Student Conservation Association's website.