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 environmental education and engaged scholarship program, whose overarching goal is to teach conservation biology and global sustainability at the frontline. To do this, CHANCE creates unique learning environments which immerse its participants, students and teachers, in real-world research and conservation efforts through innovative online curriculum and field courses.
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 are willing to address the challenges of our time such as energy, air, food, water, and climate change through their efforts.
Since ecosystems cross national borders, CHANCE strives to view, and to define sustainable answers for, environmental realities from a global perspective.About CHANCE »
CHANCE is expanding our community conservation efforts and we need your help! As part of our international field courses, we assist with reforestation efforts and turtle rookery preservation efforts. Your donations will go towards purchasing saplings for participants to plant or materials to build turtle nest protective enclosures.Donate »
21 May 2016
Photo Credit: Christopher Michel/Flickr
Abrupt Sea Level Rise Looms As Increasingly Realistic Threat
Ninety-nine percent of the planet's freshwater ice is locked up in the Antarctic and Greenland ice caps. Now, a growing number of studies are raising the possibility that as those ice sheets melt, sea levels could rise by six feet this century, and far higher in the next, flooding many of the world's populated coastal areas.
Read Yale 360 article by Nicola Jones »
20 May 2016
The World’s Water in the Balance
The World Bank has warned countries that one of climate change’s most significant impacts will be on a precious resource that many people, particularly in advanced nations, take for granted: water.
Read editorial »
16 May 2016
Experts: Mexico's Vaquita Porpoise Headed Toward Extinction
The population of Mexico's endangered vaquita marina, the world's smallest porpoise, has fallen to alarmingly low levels and is heading toward extinction soon if drastic measures aren't taken, scientists warned Friday.
Read New York Times article »
14 May 2016
Early Earth’s Air Weighed Less than Half of Today’s Atmosphere
The idea that the young Earth had a thicker atmosphere turns out to be wrong. New research from the University of Washington uses bubbles trapped in 2.7 billion-year-old rocks to show that air at that time exerted at most half the pressure of today’s atmosphere.
The newest CHANCE field program, Cuba - Environmental Protection, Resource Management and the Sustainability of a Developing Nation, is an immersive research and conservation journey in western Cuba. It is a collaboration between The Pennsylvania State University, Cuba Marine Research & Conservation Program - a project of the Ocean Foundation, and Center for Marine Research (CIM) of the University of Havana, and is comprised of an online education and an international field course. Participants will evaluate the biodiversity of both terrestrial and marine protected habitats, the exploitation of environmental resources, and the policies and practices needed to enhance both Cuba’s current and future needs to sustain its natural ecosystems. The conservation efforts for this session include working in a sea turtle rookery and removal of invasive species.
We are excited to once again collaborate with the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)/La Selva and AAMVECONA on this program in Costa Rica and Panama. This international program, Conservation Biology and Sustainability of Select Tropical Ecosystems, is comprised of a spring 2016 online course and a summer 2016 field course. Participants will work side-by-side select field scientists in Costa Rica whose research focus are in areas of tropical rain forest ecology and environmental science in the wake of climate change realities. The conservation efforts for this session include working in a sea turtle rookery and assisting with reforestation efforts in Panama.
Thank you to all our participants and partners for another successful field course! To see more about this trip, visit the field course website. We have posted photos and a video of our experiences.
Our greatest thanks go to all the partners, professors, researchers and participants for all the hard work and dedication to the success of this field course. Visit the field course website to see a photo album from our trip.
CHANCE would like to recognize one of its partners, ATAS International Inc., for its support and commitment to the environment.
ATAS International, Inc. is a family-owned business with three generations adding their talents to the mix. ATAS was founded in 1963 by Jacobus P. Bus, an immigrant from the Netherlands. Back then, ATAS was a siding and trim company operating out of Jack’s basement. Today, ATAS has manufacturing facilities for metal roofing, wall panels and accessories in three states; over 100 employees; and, a sister company in the metal coating industry.
ATAS looks after the environment by producing less waste, optimizing materials, using energy-efficient equipment and manufacturing sustainable construction products. Its efforts include reusing cardboard boxes for shipments, donating extra product to worthy causes and finding alternative uses for metal that would otherwise be considered scrap. Of course, all unusable metal is recycled. Skids and fiber cores from coils are re-purposed; and scrap wood is donated to the community. Motion sensors and improved lighting have been incorporated into the plants to make the buildings brighter and more energy efficient. In the office, some brochures are printed on FSC-certified Paper. Styrofoam products are not allowed and everything that can be recycled is. ATAS also believes in avoiding printing and wasting paper. It does this by maintaining a quality website (www.atas.com) where customers can access all technical and product information. As a manufacturer of sustainable items—a transpired solar air heating system called InSpire and a building integrated photovoltaic roof called ATA-Solar—ATAS is proud to extend its green consciousness to all levels of operation.
An extension of ATAS direct manufacturing environmental efforts is to support CHANCE. ATAS does this by donating funds so Pennsylvania teachers and Penn State students can partake in CHANCE embedded programs to receive hands-on environmental education in areas around the world where ecosystems are broken. ATAS believes in CHANCE's overall mission that today, more than ever, our educational system needs to create learning environments that allow students to engage in real-world issues that allow them to analyze, create, and implement solutions to face the challenges of our time such as energy, air, food, water quality, and climate change.
ATAS and the Bus family are fortunate to have employees who work together to create a positive work environment, lead business in the area of metal construction, and exemplify environmental stewardship.
Estacion Las Tortugas
CHANCE participants will be working at Estacion Las Tortugas this summer to help protect endangered sea turtles. Estacion Las Tortugas guards 3 kilometers of beach, an area that ranks as the 4th highest nesting site for Leatherback sea turtles in the world. Tortuguas siempre!
01 May 2016
Jonathan Kearney, a 2015 CHANCE Fellow, and Penn State Wildlife and Fisheries Science major has just been awarded the position of Bat Survey Technician at the Sanders Environmental Inc., Bellefonte, PA. Sanders specializes in Indiana bat surveys and mortality monitoring, avian surveys, and wildlife regulation compliance analysis. Presently, Jonathan is active in the Penn State Wildlife Society and Forestry Club while assisting in undergraduate research on maternal stress in Eastern Fence Lizards in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Sheriff, Assistant Professor, Mammalogy and Ecology, College of Agricultural Sciences. EXCELLENT WORK J Man!!
24 May 2016
Discover your Ecosystem with EnviroAtlas
Looking for an interactive tool to interest your students in data mapping and ecosystems? Introduce them to EPA’s EnviroAtlas. EnviroAtlas can help provide students with the background and context to understand the ecosystems surrounding them. An interactive map provides data on ecosystem services, biodiversity, and demographics. The Eco-Health Relationship Browser demonstrates the links between ecosystems and human health. EnviroAtlas users can access, view, and analyze diverse information to better understand the potential impacts of various decisions.
Find a case study on using EnviroAtlas in the classroom »
20 May 2016
Learn about the EPA/NEEF Water Quality Photo Contest
Have you heard about EPA and the National Environmental Education Foundation's photo contest to raise awareness about water quality across the United States? Submit photos that illustrate ways to prevent water pollution and raise awareness about the health of our waterways. Examples of activities include use of environmentally friendly products, proper disposal of wastes, watershed cleanups, and water quality monitoring of streams, rivers, lakes, and beaches. The photo contest runs through May 27, 2016. Prizes will be awarded for the top three photo entries.
Learn more and enter the challenge. »
22 April 2016
Celebrate Earth Day!
In 1970, San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson separately asked Americans to join in a grassroots demonstration. McConnell chose the spring equinox (March 21, 1970) and Nelson chose April 22. Millions of people participated, and today Earth Day continues to be widely celebrated with events on both dates.
The most common practice of celebration is to plant new trees for Earth Day. Teachers, here are some additional ideas:
14 May 2106
Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) Career Center
The SCB Career Center includes a number of new career resources in addition to a job board, and offers an improved user experience for the talented jobseekers and top employers in our community.
01 May 2016
Encouraging New teachers to Apply for a KSTF National Teaching Fellowship
The KSTF Teaching Fellows Program, the Foundation’s signature program, awards exceptional young men and women with five-year, early-career Fellowships, empowering them to become primary agents of educational improvement. These “backbone” teachers reach thousands of students each year, take on leadership roles improving math and science education from the classroom and strengthen the teaching profession.
KSTF Fellowship Benefits:
22 April 2016
FREE Apps from the National Science Foundation (NSF)
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The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Science360 app brings you amazing science and engineering images and video from around the globe and a news feed featuring breaking news from NSF-funded institutions. This app is for tablets.
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Science360 Radio features 100+ radio shows and podcasts from the U.S. and around the world, delivering the latest news, in-depth interviews, and lively discussions about all things science, technology, engineering and math. Science360 Radio is a part of the National Science Foundation's Science360 network.
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