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Welcome to CHANCE

Today, humanity faces this reality – the environment is broken, most of which is a result of negative human impact on the health (loss of biodiversity) of our world's ecosystems.

CHANCE (Connecting Humans and Nature through Conservation Experiences) is an accredited, award-winning, interdisciplinary environmental education program, whose overarching goal is to teach conservation biology and global sustainability at the front-line. To do this, CHANCE creates unique learning environments which are part of its international field courses that immerse participants, students and teachers, in real-world research and conservation efforts.

The ultimate goal of CHANCE is to prepare global-minded citizens who understand the importance of restoring and protecting the biodiversity of our planet's ecosystems, and who will address the challenges of our time such as energy, air, food, water, and climate change in their lifetimes.

Since ecosystems cross national borders, CHANCE strives to view, and to define sustainable answers for environmental realities from a global perspective.

About CHANCE »
Online Modules. Try one today

Donate To CHANCE

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to one of our CHANCE Funds. We can now accept online donations through the support of Penn State University’s secure online forms. Visit our Donate page to learn more.

Donate Today »

CHANCE Newswire

31 October 2018
Republican elephant and Democratic donkey shaking hands with images of solar cells and a wind turbine behind them.
Why Republicans and Democrats Can Meet in the Middle
for Green Energy

The key word is self-sufficiency. Voters on both sides of the aisle agree that rooftop solar panels and energy conservation are a financially wise move and a step towards being able to take care of yourself.
Read Anthropocene article »

17 October 2018
mountain lion emerging from a tunnel
America's Cat is on the Comeback
Mountain lions were extirpated in the eastern and miswestern United States after Europeans settled those areas, but now they are returning. Where will they go?
Read American Scientist article »

10 October 2018
eagle attacking a drone in the air
Will Smart Machines Be Kind to Animals?
With a few decades, autonomous and semi-autonomous machines will be found throughout Earth’s environments, from homes and gardens to parks and farms and so-called working landscapes — everywhere, really, that humans are found, and perhaps even places we’re not. And while much attention is given to how those machines will interact with people, far less is paid to their impacts on animals.
Read Anthropocene article »

19 September 2018
camel in the Sahara desert
Wind and Solar Farms Could Turn the Sahara Green for the First Time in Over 4,500 Years
Covering even part of the Sahara’s nine million square kilometers with solar panels and wind turbines could produce more than enough power for the entire world. It would also bring rain to the Sahara and make parts of it green.
Read Anthropocene article »

13 September 2018

photo of caribou in Greenland

As Greenland Warms, Nature’s Seasonal Clock Is Thrown

For millennia, ecosystems in Greenland and throughout the Arctic have been regulated by seasonal changes that govern the greening of vegetation and the migration and reproduction of animals. But a rapidly warming climate and disappearing sea ice are upending that finely tuned balance.

Read Yale Environment 360 article »

29 August 2018

A photo of battery cables attached to a piece of crumpled paper

A Battery Powered by Bacteria

A new battery made of paper and fueled by bacteria could be the ultimate sustainable solution for powering small electronic devices. Researchers who presented the new battery at the American Chemical Society meeting in Boston say it is low-cost and completely biodegradable.

Read EurekAlert/AAAS and Anthropocene articles »

14 August 2018
Bird footprints in the desert sand

Climate change is emptying the desert of birds
Wildfires north of the Arctic Circle, a “fire tornado” in California, and heat records busted across wide swaths of the globe: the extremes of 2018 have given rise to headlines proclaiming that climate change has arrived. But for birds living in the Mojave Desert of southern California and Nevada, climate change has already been here for decades, and has cut bird diversity at many local spots by nearly half.
Read Anthropocene article »

03 August 2018
CHANCE participants working with turtles
A CHANCE of a Lifetime
The recent CHANCE Australia field course is featured on the Penn State University website. Read this thoughtful article about our program, our founding director, and our commitment to sharing the importance of conservation biology.
Read Penn State article »

View All Newswire Features »

Field Courses

Sustainability and Conservation: Citizen Science
and Service Learning in Australia

June 24 - July 9, 2018

Our first international field course to Australia is in partnership with James Cook University and AUIP Study Abroad. This two-week field, summer program provides real-world, conservation-based research and service-learning experiences. Participants will travel to stunning national parks, forests, wildlife reserves, coastlines, and islands of North Queensland under the guidance of knowledgeable field professionals, scientists, and university faculty.

Field course website »

Photo album »

Featured Sponsor

Sanofi Pasteur logo

With gratitude, CHANCE would like to recognize Sanofi Pasteur for its generous support of environmental education through the Penn State CHANCE program.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur produces a portfolio of high quality vaccines that matches its areas of expertise and meets public health demand. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development.

Sanofi Pasteur’s recent charitable donation to the CHANCE Field Course Fund has helped defray the cost for undergraduate students and teachers from across Pennsylvania to travel to Costa Rica and Cuba this summer to participate in the 2017 programs -- Conservation and Sustainability of the Tropical Rainforest with a Field Practicum in Costa Rica and Environmental Protection, Conservation, and the Sustainability of Cuban Ecosystems with a Field Practicum in Cuba. Assessment data (soon to be published) has shown that CHANCE field research and conservation service-oriented activities benefit our teachers and students: by enhancing their understanding of the field of conservation biology, valuing biodiversity, inciting motivation to partake in future actions as informed citizens, and much more.

Featured Video

November 2018

CHANCE in Bolivia

Penn State CHANCE and its Founding Director, Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, featured on live television in Bolivia.

Other CHANCE featured videos »

CHANCE Fellows

29 October 2018
CHANCE Australia Fellows Dillon Lance and David Wong

CHANCE 2018 Australia Fellows Dillon Lance and David Wong are both sophomores studying Landscape Architecture at Penn State, University Park. Currently they are working on their second year design project involving the creation of a small educational program located adjacent to Bartram’s Garden along the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia. For this project, they designed a program for a 7.5 acre “brownfield” site which was previously used as a petroleum refinery. Their goal is to create a space that brings the community together and provides opportunities for youth to become involved in learning about their local ecology in a fun and interactive setting while also restoring the site so that issues such as soil contamination and flooding from the Schuylkill River can be resolved in a natural way. Great team work! You make CHANCE proud!

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

5 November 2018

NOAA Planet Stewards logo

Registration Open for NOAA Planet Stewards Webinar

The NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project is pleased to welcome Don Duggan-Haas, Director of Teacher Programs at The Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), and Dr. Ingrid Zabel, Climate Change Education Manager at PRI as featured speakers for a special webinar.

The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change is a free resource that offers a clear overview of the physical science of climate change while also addressing the social science that makes teaching about it a different kind of challenge than teaching photosynthesis (for example). The book and this presentation also dig into the science and its scary implications without losing hope. The session will include an overview of the book, discussion of how and why to keep hope in approaching the teaching of climate change, and time for open discussion.

The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change webinar is on Tuesday, November 13 at 7:30 pm EST. Space is limited!

Click here to reserve your seat! »

21 Ocotober 2018

Stroud Watershed Research Center logo

Explore the WikiWatershed Toolkit

The Stroud Water Research Center’s award-winning WikiWatershed, a national web toolkit, isdesigned to help citizens, conservation practitioners, municipal decision-makers, researchers, educators, and students advance knowledge and stewardship of fresh water. The Monitor My Watershed component helps discover and map monitoring data from multiple federal, state, academic, and citizen sources. The Model My Watershed component helps analyze geospatial data, model storms, and compare conservation or development scenarios in a watershed.

Visit WikiWatershed »

10 Ocotober 2018

firemen observing a raging forest fire

Time Is Running Out To Control Climate Change,
U.N. Report Says

The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, United Nations scientists say. Help your students understand this report
with NSTA's resources on teaching climate change.

Visit UN Climate Change »

12 September 2018

Project Learning Tree logo

Project Learning Tree Greenworks! Grants

These grants of up to $1,000 fund environmental service-learning projects that link the classroom with the real world. Previously funded projects have included school gardens, outdoor classrooms, habitat restorations, recycling programs, and energy conservation projects.

Applicants must have attended a Project Learning Tree workshop, and projects must secure at least 50% matched funds and involve at least one community partner. Apply by September 30, 2018.

Visit Project Learning Tree website »

12 September 2018
high school students conducting lab experiments
New Visions Science Curricula

High School Science teachers, this site offers thousands of adaptable, teacher-tested instructional materials for your classrooms. Developed by New Visions for Public Schools, the Open Educational Resource collection offers curricular materials across a range of content areas, including full courses exploring the Living Environment and Earth Science and introductory units for chemistry and physics. Other resources help teachers plan more effectively and improve student learning.

Visit Curriculum »

12 September 2018
EnviroAtlas logo
EnviroAtlas in the Classroom

EnviroAtlas, a web-based tool that combines interactive maps, analysis tools, and interpretive information on ecosystem goods and services. The resource empowers K-16 educators and other users to answer their own environmental questions by providing access to map-bases environmental data from EPA and its partners and teaching users how to work with the information. Start with the introductory video to learn about EnviroAtlas and its capabilities, then check out the materials in each section for more specific guidance on working with the site’s more than 300 interactive maps and supporting articles.

EPA has also developed three interactive learning modules for using EnviroAtlas data in K-16 classrooms. Each module supports the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and includes outdoor learning activities and the use of hands-on, interactive technology.

Visit EnviroAtlas »

12 September 2018
Ocean Today logo
The Ocean Today Videos

Explore the evolution, biology, beauty, and benefits of corals and coral reefs, as well as the science behind acidifications and bleaching, through the videos of NOAA’s multimedia exhibit, The Ocean Today. Written for the middle level and suitable for family audiences, each short (about three minutes) video features live footage of a coral reef with commentary from shark researcher and National Aquarium educator Symone Johnson. An embed code makes it easy for teachers to incorporate the clips into multimedia lessons, and the site has links to articles with more information and “Fast Facts” about each video topic.

Visit The Oceans Today »

View All Educator Resources »

Resources For Students

21 October 2018
Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University logo

2018 Delaware Watershed Research Conference - Deadline Extended

The Delaware Watershed Research Conference is a component of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University's initiative to encourage novel research throughout the Delaware River Watershed and to foster collaboration among the growing research community. This gathering will serve as a platform for experts in their respective disciplines to discuss the state of watershed research, particularly within the Delaware River Watershed, toward answering management and conservation questions.

New this year: There will be a poster session during the lunch break and students and professionals are invited to bring a poster showcasing their work within the Delaware Basin. All topics are welcome!

If you would like to present your research, please select the "Attending & Presenting" option when registering, and contact Allison Stoklosa (ams844@drexel.edu) with your name, information, presentation title, and brief abstract. Student registrations have been waived this year, but students must register for planning purposes.

For more details »

12 September 2018
America Adapts - The Clmate Change Podcast logo

Climate Change Podcast
A changing climate presents humanity with only one option: adapt. Join your host, Doug Parsons for America's leading podcast on climate change - America Adapts! Each week, Doug sits down with thinkers, scientists, activists, policymakers, and journalists to discuss the tough questions facing this country and the world as we confront humanity's greatest challenge. Question your assumptions, refresh your perspective, and become part of the climate movement that will determine our planet's future, right here on the America Adapts podcast.
Visit Podcast »

View All Student Resources »