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Contact: Lee Snook, 509.633.9441
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Coulee Dam, WA--- The Great Outdoors has always lured people for a variety of reasons, but more and more young people are heading to national parks like Lake Roosevelt because it’s the right thing to do. They want to give back to the environment while exploring possible careers in conservation.
Emily Garrett, Lily Calderwood, and Mallory Berrey, interns with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), recently arrived at Lake Roosevelt as volunteers from Sparta, Georgia, Harvard, Massachusetts, and Monroe, Wisconsin, respectively. Garrett attends Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, Calderwood is a student at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and Berrey hails from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Park Headquarters in Coulee Dam has the pleasure of hosting the three college field biology students, yet they spend most of their days planting native vegetation on the sunny slopes of Lake Roosevelt at Keller Ferry. They are currently working on shrub-steppe habitat restoration, collecting lake water samples for E. coli testing, tracking and controlling non-native invasive exotic plants using spatial mapping and various control treatments, creating student outdoor learning materials, and monitoring Osprey nests and water quality parameters.
As needs outpace budgets on America’s public lands, the efforts of SCA volunteers have become essential. Some 45,000 young people have volunteered through SCA since 1957, and former National Park Service Director Fran Mainella recently stated that “we can’t do without SCA.” The energy and idealism of the volunteers allows federal and state land-management agencies, as well as non-profit organizations, to meet the needs of the public in ways which wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Garrett 23, Calderwood 21, and Berrey 20 are serving at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in order to make a meaningful contribution to the Upper Columbia River Basin ecosystem.
The variety of experiences available at Lake Roosevelt enables the interns to explore several aspects of the natural world on their biological journey. The energetic students have escaped the comfort of home to experience field biology at its best. “We were looking for a conservation opportunity and the SCA really opened the door to our aspirations,” said Garrett. SCA members learn a ‘conservation ethic’ through their hands-on service, benefiting both the land and the individual. The experience leads many of them to become lifelong stewards of the land, and 60% of SCA interns go on to successful careers in many areas of conservation.
The Student Conservation Association is dedicated to encouraging a new generation of conservation leaders, advancing the land ethic, and helping to conserve our nation’s natural and cultural resources. The organization places nearly 3000 high school, college, and graduate student members in the field each year, and they provide more than 1.5 million hours of conservation service in national parks, forests, and other public lands.
For more information on SCA internships, contact Kevin Hamilton at (603) 543-1700, x 185, or at khamilton@theSCA.org, or visit the website: www.theSCA.org. For information on volunteer opportunities at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area contact the park’s Volunteer Coordinator at (509) 633-9441 x 130 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.