SCA Conservation Work Skills

Becoming a Conservation Work Skills Instructor

The roots of Conservation Work Skills began with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the traditional skills that they employed to work on projects that are still in place today. As staff in our federal lands retire, there is a need to replace these traditional skills. As a result, SCA created a training program to ensure that our teams had the proper skills to do lasting, impactful work in our national public lands. Training programs have been run a few different ways over the years, but SCA continues to provide these vital skills with our Conservation Work Skills (CWS) training. A large portion of SCA alumni find themselves working in the federal land management system and much of that is the result of the training SCA provides to our members and partners. However, the success of CWS training depends on recruiting high quality instructors. Joining this process allows you to step into the conservation lineage of our nation’s public lands.

Once a person has the confidence and competence to teach CWS subjects they may apply to become an apprentice. Well qualified individuals, especially those with SCA experience, may be added the instructor list immediately. Others, that may need more mentorship or coaching, may be asked to apprentice with more experienced instructors to build up their skill set or familiarize themselves with SCA’s programs before becoming a fully vetted instructor. 

Pertinent Work Experience

Traditionally, Conservation Work Skills has focused on trail building and maintenance. We are  increasingly also looking for other conservation professionals  with skill sets that are valuable to  helping SCA achieve it’s mission. Baseline requirements for new instructors include:

  • Extensive experience in a related, relevant conservation field, including:
    • Trail Building & Maintenance
    • Plant identification and invasive species mitigation
    • Climate Action & Resilience
    • GIS/GPS
    • Carpentry
    • Historic preservation
    • Environmental education
    • Wildfire training
    • Chainsaw
    • Crosscut
    • Rigging
    • Other related conservation fields
  • Strong instructional skills and experience teaching in an outdoor setting
  • Current Basic First Aid & CPR certification (WFA or WFR preferred)

Application Process:

  1. Complete this basic CWS Instructor Application
  2. Applicants will receive an e-mail request to share their CV/resume with SCA
    • Must include pertinent work history in related conservation work
    • Must include at least 2 professional references (may include SCA staff)
  3. Applicants will be reviewed within 30 days and notified of SCA’s decision

If applicants meet all the necessary requirements, they will either be added to SCA’s approved instructor list or recommended for an apprenticeship for additional mentoring. If applicants do not meet all the necessary requirements SCA will invite them to reapply after gaining additional teaching or field experience.

If you have questions about becoming a conservation work skills instructor, please e-mail us at [email protected]