• Australia field course 2018
  • global fossil fuel emissions graph
  • Participants on a boat

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

6 December 2018
global fossil fuel emissions graph
ESSD - Global Carbon Budget 2018
Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the “global carbon budget” – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and.....
Review Earth Systems Science Data and Global Climate Budget 2018 »

28 November 2018
red outdoor spigot
We Could Feed Billions More People if We Used Water More Sustainably
Investing in sustainable irrigation systems across the world's croplands could boost food production by one-third--whilst safeguarding the planet's water sources, too.
Read Anthropocene article »

27 November 2018
hand holding a a carbon-reinforced granite plate
How Algae and Carbon Fibers Could Sustainably Reduce the Aathmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration
In collaboration with fellow researchers, chemists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a process that, according to initial calculations, can facilitate economically removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The latest World Climate Report (IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ° C) acknowledges the global relevance of the process.
Read article »

24 November 2018
chart showing how the climate has changed
Impact of Climate Change is Growing, and the U.S. Must Act, Federal Report Warns
The 4th National Climate Assessment takes the temperature of climate change across the United States. The message? Adapt.
Read National Geographic story »
Read Fourth National Climate Assessment »

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 »

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

Trans-Pacific Engineering Corporation (TPEC) logo

Trans-Pacific Engineering Corporation (TPEC) is a civil and environmental engineering firm established in 1993 and headquartered in suburban Philadelphia. TPEC is one of the leading firms in Philadelphia that is addressing the issue of storm-water management and combined sewer overflow into the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers.

TPEC supports Penn State CHANCE because they agree that a clean and sustainable environment is essential to the future of mankind. Through innovative technologies, sustainable design and active public engagement, TPEC aims to create and maintain a cleaner, safer world.

Learn more about TPEC services and projects »

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

24 November 2018


An Educator’s Guide to the Marine Environment

Developed by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association, this easy-to-use guide introduces K-12 audiences to the marine environment and fosters ocean literacy through lessons exploring themes of Ocean health, Ocean Acidification, Ocean Exploration, and Marine Industry. Each theme contains three lessons. For example, in the ocean Exploration lessons, elementary students conduct a coastal Scavenger Hunt: middle level students Build Your Own Underwater Exploration Vehicle; and high school students study the behavior of Waves and Light in the Ocean.

All of the lessons support the NGSS and can be used in both formal and informal settings as either stand-alone content or to supplement lessons in other areas.

Use resource »

24 November 2018

National Parks From Space

National Parks - From Space

Take a virtual visit to more than 60 national parks from the vantage of space. Read articles selected from NASA’s Earth Observatory website to learn about the parks’ unique geology, ecology, and cultural history. Use the resource with middle and high school students to demonstrate the many ways satellite imagery is being used to help us observe geological processes at work, enhance our understandings of interactions at play within various ecosystems, and expand our perspective about the human connection to and cultural importance of national parks and monuments.

National Parks website »

24 November 2018

ExploraVision logo

World’s Largest K-12 STEM Competition Motivates Students to Excel

The Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision challenges K-12 students to come up with innovative technology ideas that could exist 20 years in the future.

What Sets ExploraVision Apart:

  • Encourages students to imagine technologies that could provide solutions to global and community problems including environmental, medical, and social issues.
  • Builds collaborative project-based learning on an interdisciplinary project.
  • Moves towards performance-based assessments of science and problem-solving abilities.

ExploraVision Facts:

  • Free to enter!
  • Up to $240,000 in prizes and savings bonds awarded each year. National winners will receive an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C.

For more information »

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 »

View All Educator Resources »

Resources For Students

28 November 2018
EESL logo

EESL Green Student Seed Grant Competition Announcement

The Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories (EESL) is pleased to announce an EESL Green Student Seed Grant competition for Spring 2019. The goal of this competition is to support the research of Penn State students who are interested in conducting analyses in any of the EESL multi-user research facilities.

Graduate and undergraduate students interested in participating must prepare and submit a 1-page proposal. Advisors will be asked to submit a short note endorsing the proposal as a part of the application process. All University Park and Commonwealth campus students are eligible.

Each award will be a maximum of $2,500. Proposals must be submitted to https://psu.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1779866 no later than midnight January 15, 2019.
Learn more »

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 »