Student Volunteer Residency


February 27 - March 17  2024


Terlingua, TX



We are recruiting students interested in regenerative design, construction, agriculture, and ecology. Students get a combination of hands-on experience and formal instruction in the many aspects of regenerative building while living on our campus in beautiful Big Bend. The education, meals, and lodging are provided free of charge. In turn student volunteers help build facilities for the benefit of the next generation of students.  This “teach through building - build through teaching” approach allows us to make high-level, experience-based education available to more students every year.  Student Volunteers are the heart of SCA’s self-sustaining, free-education model and essential to realizing our mission. Join us today!


February 27 - March 17 2024


This spring will be primarily focused on hosting workshops teaching compressed earth block construction through the completion of our library building. This approximately 600 SF earthen structure will be our first enclosed educational space and it's construction affords opportunities to learn most of the essential techniques of compressed earth block construction. Work may include pressing earth blocks, laying CEB walls, setting window and door bucks, building arches, forming and pouring a bond beam, and plastering the walls. Student volunteers will paticipate in the paid intensive workshop at no cost while helping to facilitate the workshop and building projects. Student Volunteers may also work on other structures, energy and water systems, and restoration projects on our campus.

In addition to this hands-on education, presentations will be given on the various aspects of regenerative design and building including:
  • Natural and Recycled Materials
  • Sun, Wind, and Water to Power, Heat, and Cool
  • Whole Cycle Waste and Water Systems
  • Building with the Land - Agriculture, Integration, and Land Repair


The Big Bend region is ecologically and culturally rich. Our campus is located between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, in an international biosphere reserve, within the largest dark sky preserve in the world. In the past, we have facilitated field trips to Marfa, the Chinati Foundation, the McDonald Observatory, and to significant earthen buildings in the region. We have led activities such as an adobe-making workshop in Estación, Mexico, and overnight backpacking trips in Big Bend National Park, and Davis Mountains State Park. These outside trips are optional and are chosen on a case by case basis with each group of students. Aside from any group trips we will help facilitate individual exploration of this magnificent place.


Provided accommodations are simple and rustic as we are in the process of building our campus. Students sleep on cots in large canvas tents and share outdoor showers and basic composting toilet facilities. A well provisioned communal kitchen and living space is set up in another large canvas tent.  Tents are equipped with wood-burning stoves for heating. Food will be provided, and students and staff will all take part in cooking communal meals. Living in a communal setting, close to the land with simple accommodations is part of the educational experience. That said, we have plenty of space and students are welcome to bring their own tents, campers, trailers, RV’s, or other accommodations to make life more comfortable.  If your application is accepted we will contact you directly to discuss specifics and will work to accommodate your specific needs or concerns. 

For more information, please contact us.