• Australia field course 2018
  • A newly planted tree
  • 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 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 include international field courses and online research modules that immerse its 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 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 »
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

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 »

20 July 2018
Deciduous trees with sunlight
Forests Respond to Atmospheric Pollution
How forests respond to elevated nitrogen levels from atmospheric pollution is not always the same. While a forest is filtering nitrogen as expected, a higher percentage than previously seen is leaving the system again as the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, say researchers.
Read Penn State Mainstream »

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

July 2018

CHANCE Fellow in Australia

Talia P. explains all the conservation research and service projects that the 2018 CHANCE Australia participants performed this summer.

Other CHANCE featured videos »

CHANCE Fellows

12 August 2018
CHANCE Fellow poses in front of aircraft

This summer Grace Kimzey, CHANCE Australia 2018 Fellow, participated in Ops Air Force, a two-week Air Force ROTC program. She, plus 31 other cadets from across the country, had the opportunity to visit Keesler Air Force Base. As a University Park meteorology major, Grace was excited to shadow current Air Force weather officers, tour the weather training complex, and check out a WC-130J, a.k.a. "Hurricane Hunter". These aircrafts fly into tropical storms and hurricanes and livestream data to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NHC (National Hurricane Center). Working synergistically, these agencies then collect, organize, and publish the data received to provide understanding about climate changes and weather, and improve forecast models. After graduation, Grace hopes to become 1 of the 5 courageous crew members aboard one of these high-flying meteorological stations providing valuable data to help conserve our marine resources and coastal ecosystems as well as provide extensive outreach and education regarding high-impact weather events. One day, we just may find Grace flying into a hurricane in a WC-130J!

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

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 »

12 September 2018
National Park Service logo
Island of the Blue Dolphins Online Resources

In 1960, Scott O’Dell wrote Island of the Blue Dolphins, a historical fiction novel for young adults based on the life of a Native American woman who spent 18 years in isolation on San Nicolas Island, one of eight Channel Islands off the southern California coast. The novel remains a favorite reading in many K-college classrooms, and NPS has developed a website for teachers (including science teachers) to enhance its use. The website offers primary and secondary source materials related to the 19th century events and people that inspired the novel. For example, the website highlights several natural and cultural resources mentioned in the book (and currently protected in Channel Islands National Park), including images and footage of elephant seals, cormorants, kelp beds and archaeological sites.

Visit National Parks Service website »

12 September 2018
Toshiba logo
Toshiba America Foundation Science and Math Improvement Grants

These grants of up to $5,000 support teachers of grades 6-12 with innovative classroom project ideas in science or mathematics. Successful projects often tap into students’ natural curiosity, enable them to ask their own scientific questions, and incorporate the expertise of community partners. For requests of $5,000 or less are accepted year round; those for $5,000 or more are due on November 1, 2018.

Visit Toshiba website »

View All Educator Resources »

Resources For Students

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 »