• 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

19 April 2019
sea ice along the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Peru’s First Autonomous Indigenous Gov’t Strikes Back Against Deforestation
In 2009, special decrees signed by then-president Alan García opened up vast swaths of Peruvian indigenous territory to resource exploitation. Indigenous groups in the northern portion of the country responded by banding together and forming their own autonomous government in 2015 – the first of its kind in Peru – called the Wampis Nation.
Read Mongabay article »

15 April 2019
sea ice along the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
3 Reasons We Should All Care About Biodiversity
Seismic eruptions, ice ages, continental collision and asteroid impact are thought to be some of the causes of the previous five mass extinctions. This time though, humans are to blame. Never before has a single species exerted such influence on the planet and the evolution of its inhabitants, or put its own survival in such jeopardy.
Read World Economic Forum article »

9 April 2019
sea ice along the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
Future Arctic Won't Look Like the Arctic We Know Now
It may be the end of the Arctic as we know it. That wasn't the title of the report Key indicators of Arctic climate change: 1971-2017 published Monday in Environment Research Letters, but 47 years’ worth of data says it may not be a stretch to go there.
Read CBS News article »

9 April 2019
logging in the Amazon rain forest
Environmentalists Fear Rampant Deforestation as Brazil’s Bolsonaro Eyes New Policy
The administration of President Jair Bolsonaro is considering a dramatic change in the council that oversees Brazil’s environmental policy, replacing a broad-based panel of independent voices with a small group of political appointees.
Read The Associated Press article »

27 March 2019
elephant tusks recovered from illegal traffickers
UN Tackles Wildlife Trafficking as Illegal Trade Hits $150billion
The United Nations said it is beaming a searchlight on wildlife trafficking in Nigeria, following recent seizure of more than $8 million worth of elephant tusks and pangolin scales by Hong Kong customs from a shipping container coming from Nigeria, making it the biggest catch of its kind, by value and weight and ever in the city. Over the past twelve months, a total of 25 tons of ivory and pangolin scales were seized in Asia, which allegedly originated from Nigeria, while 13 tons of its kinds were seized in Nigeria.
Read The Guardian article »

19 March 2019
lighted crystal globe sitting on grass
Media Release: Global Biodiversity Assessment Nearing Completion
The first comprehensive overview for more than a decade of the state of knowledge about global biodiversity and the contributions of nature to people is nearing completion. The resulting Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services will be considered by representatives of 130 Governments in May next year in Paris at the 7th session of the Internationals Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Once published, it is expected to inform policy and action on biodiversity to 2030 and beyond.
Read IPBES news release »

09 March 2019
illegal sapphire mine
Illegal sapphire mining threatens endangered lemurs
A rush for Madagascar’s gemstones is destroying remaining habitat for imperiled lemurs and other wildlife.
Read National Geographic article »

06 March 2019
water basins in the USA
Adaptation to Future Water Shortages in the United States Caused by Population Growth and Climate Change
Research on watersheds in the U.S. provide a dire outlook for the future: population growth and climate change are likely to cause “serious water shortages” within the next 55 years, says the study. As both demand and water evaporation increase, up to 96 of the 204 water basins that provide fresh water to Americans are projected to have monthly shortages by 2071.
Read Earth's Future article »

06 March 2019
marine life
Ocean Heat Waves Are Killing Underwater Life, Threatening Biodiversity
The ocean feels heat waves just like the ones on land, and underwater life is struggling to survive them. A new study published today in Nature Climate Change found that the occurrences of marine heat waves have substantially grown in the past three decades, and it’s becoming clearer how deadly warmer temperatures are for biodiversity.
Read National Geographic article »

20 February 2019
Colorado River
Restoring the Colorado: Bringing New Life to a Stressed River
The Colorado River has been dammed, diverted, and slowed by reservoirs, strangling the life out of a once-thriving ecosystem. But in the U.S. and Mexico, efforts are underway to revive sections of the river and restore vital riparian habitat for native plants, fish, and wildlife.
Read Yale Environment 360 article »

7 February 2019
NPR Fresh Air logo
Environmental Photographer Captures Climate Change from Fresh Air in Podcasts
The new documentary 'The Human Element' follows photographer James Balog as he captures images of rising sea levels, melting glaciers and roaring wildfires associated with climate change.
Listen to NPR podcast »

6 February 2019
Antarctic glacier cavity
Dingoes Could Help Solve Australia’s Extinction Crisis — If Only People Would Let Them
The continent of Australia has the world’s highest extinction rate; dozens of animal species are critically endangered, and hundreds more are declining. A primary culprit is predation by historically non-native cats and foxes, and killing those animals is central to conservation efforts — but there’s another solution: allowing dingoes, the continent’s apex predator, to fulfill their ecological role.
Read Anthropocene artlicle »

1 February 2019
Antarctic glacier cavity
Gigantic Hole Two-thirds the Size of Manhattan Discovered in Antarctic Glacier
A massive cavity two-thirds the size of Manhattan has been discovered growing in an Antarctic glacier, signaling rapid ice decay that has shocked scientists.
Review CNNreport »

28 January 2019
polar bear approaching
As Polar Bear Attacks Increase in Warming Arctic, a Search for Solutions
With sea ice reduced, polar bears in the Artic are spending more time on land, leading to increased attacks on people. Concerned Inuit communities want to increase hunting quotas, but researchers are testing new technologies they hope will reduce these often deadly confrontations.
Read Yale Environment 360 article »

14 January 2019
comparison of arctic ice
Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Suffer a One-two Climate Punch
Scientists have long speculated that our planet's climate system is intimately linked to the Earth's celestial motions. The pacing of the most recent ice ages, for example, is attributable to changes in the shape of our planet's orbit around the sun as well as to cyclic changes in the...
Read SCIENMAG full story »

9 January 2019
large plastic sheet floating in the sea
How a Seaweed-Eating Microbe Could Help Fight Plastic Pollution
Around 8 million metric tons of plastic are estimated to enter the oceans every year. But the oceans could provide a solution to this plastic pollution problem. In a new study published in Bioresource Technology, scientists report that certain salt-loving microorganisms could eat seaweed and produce biodegradable plastics in a sustainable fashion.
Read Anthropocene 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

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

19 April 2019
Talia Potochny

CHANCE Fellow Creates Visual Immersion Experiences Promoting Conservation

CHANCE 2018 Australia Fellow Talia Potochny, a sophomore Geography major with a minor in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Penn State University, works at the Dreamery, a co-learning lab that explores how emerging technology like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), 3D printing, and artificial intelligence can be used in education. Combining her two interests of sustainability and emerging technology, Talia created a 360 video immersive experience from the CHANCE Australia program which she recently showcased at the April 2019 American Association of Geographers (AAG) Conference and highlighted the Eye on the Reef Rapid Monitoring Survey and Reef Restoration projects through a VR headset. This summer she will be a ChoroPhronesis lab intern and hopes to develop more virtual and augmented reality experiences that promote sustainability and conservation.

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

31 March 2019

Earth Day logo

Use Earth Day 2019 Toolkits to Protect Our Species

April 22nd marks the 49th anniversary of the first Earth Day and the Earth Day Network has designated the theme of this year's Earth Day "Protect Our Species!" You are invited to join the Earth Day 2019 campaign to respond to the threats that are affecting the survival of all species, including our own Earth Day Network has developed toolkits that contain ideas for actions and resources to help you and your communities participate in Earth Day 2019's Protect Our Species campaign. If you are ready to take the lead in educating and activating others to Protect Our Species, here are some suggestions for you:

  • Organize an Event on Earth Day
  • Host a Teach-In
  • Take Part in Climate Education Week
  • Mobilize your Campus
  • Join the "Protect Our Species" communications campaign using the #EarthDay2019 and #ProtectOurSpecies and tagging @EarthDayNetwork.

Earth Day Network Toolkits and other resources »

23 February 2019

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science logo

Registration for Case Studies in Science Workshop from NCCSTS is Open

The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (NCCSTS) is pleased to announce this summer's Case Studies in Science Workshop will be held May 20-24, 2019 on the campus of the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

The case study method is a powerful pedagogical technique for teaching science because it humanizes science and effectively illustrates scientific methodology and values. Moreover, since many of the best cases are based on contemporary science problems featured in the news, the use of cases in the classroom makes science relevant to students. This five-day workshop focuses on training science faculty (all levels) to teach with case studies, to write their own cases, and to assess their students' learning with cases. During the final two days of the workshop, participants will teach a case they developed before a live student audience.
Please note: The registration fee for the workshop is $975 and includes sessions, materials, a one-year subscription to the case study collection, and limited participant support.

Register now »

21 January 2019

CRE Banner

America's Wetlands

This EPA resource will give high school students and teachers a better understanding of the variety of wetlands, their importance, how they are threatened, and what can be done to conserve them for future generations. A Wetlands Factsheet Series provides an introduction to wetlands and offers information on how to teach about them, their economic benefits, types of wetlands, and wetland restoration, among other topics.

It also offers a comprehensive collection of wetland resources from the EPA and top universities and conservation organizations. Categories include: Activities, Teaching Guides and Materials, Education Programs, Videos, and links to additional resources.

For more information »

21 January 2019

NPR Podcast logo

NPR Launches Student Podcast Challenge

Be a part of the first-ever NPR Student Podcast Challenge. Students around the country are invited to create a podcast, then — with the help of a teacher — compete for a chance to win a grand prize and have their work appear on NPR.

Resources for teachers, including a podcasting curriculum guide are available at Teacher's Podcasting Guide.

Visit the submission guide to find suggested prompts, guidelines for submissions, and a list of questions you might have. But before you do anything, it's important to read the official rules.

Submissions will be accepted through March 31, 2019. Winners will be announced in April. The winning podcast submissions will be featured in segments on Morning Edition or All Things Considered.

For more information »

8 January 2019

NAEE logo

What to use to teach environmental health and climate change?

The answer to this question was recently posted on an NAAEE eeNews blog. What do you use to teach climate change?

  • Association of Environmental Studies and Scientists (https://aessonline.org/ (link is external)). They have a syllabus bank that can be accessed by members.
  • Citizens’ Climate Education (https://citizensclimateeducation.org/ (link is external)). They have volunteer speakers that could come talk to your class.
  • Ecological Footprint Calculator (http://www.footprintcalculator.org/ (link is external)). This helps calculate how many earths it takes to live.
  • FoodSpan (http://www.foodspanlearning.org/ (link is external)). This curriculum teaches about food systems - from farm to fork.
  • MIT’s Climate Simulation (https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/simulations/worldclimate/Pages/default.aspx (link is external)). Used for context building. A watered-down version of the simulation fits into 2, 75 minute class periods.
  • Oroeco app (https://www.oroeco.com/ (link is external)). Students track their choices over a semester and ultimately see pounds of CO2 used per month.
  • Project Learning Tree (https://www.plt.org/curriculum/southeastern-forests-climate-change/ (link is external)). This curriculum contains 14 activities that focus on the interactions between climate and forests and the ways forest management can help adapt to and mitigate future change.
  • The Climate Reality Project (https://www.climaterealityproject.org/ (link is external)). They have wonderful guest speaker ideas which can be used to lead small and large group discussions. They focus on what we can do as an individual, family, community and at larger geographic levels to combat climate change
  • 16 December 2018

    AAAS logo

    High-resolution Global Maps of 21st-century Forest Cover Change

    Our understanding of how forests change remains limited, due to our inability to observe them over time. In a study by Hansen et al., satellite imagery (Landsat) was used to map global-scale forest cover changes from 2000 to 2012 at high spatial resolution. With this information, they determined how forests change in different countries and biomes (tropical, temperate, etc.) and were able to investigate the major causes of forest change around the world. The methods and results provided here can be used by countries and agencies that are interested in monitoring forest change for management and conservation.

    The Earth Engine team at Google has made data from this research paper available for use in the classroom. Google's Global Forest Change Explorer web application contains maps that are available for interactive analysis as well as an accompanying educator guide.

    Visit annotated research paper and teaching materials »

    View All Educator Resources »

    Resources for Students

    09 March 2019

    Malaysia Promo Graphic

    Registration for the International Congress for Conservation Biology is Now Open!
    The 29th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB 2019) will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 21-25, 2019. Researchers, students, agency personnel, environmental educators, practitioners, and other conservation stakeholders will join together under the thematic topic, Conservation Beyond Boundaries: Connecting Biodiversity with Communities, Government and Stakeholders.
    Approaching deadline for ICCB Travel Grants:
    Do you want to attend ICCB 2019 but are worried about travel costs? Apply for a Travel Grant to help off-set your travel expenses! Applications are due online by March 15th at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Standard Time, and winners will be announced the week of 1 April.
    For more information on how to apply for a Travel Award, click here.
    Early bird registration closes on 25 April, but the sooner you register the better.

    Visit ICCB for more information »

    24 February 2019

    Environmental Career Opportunities (ECO) website banner

    Let ECO Do the Job Hunting for You!

    As you check out the Environmental Career Opportunities (ECO) website, you will find current environmental jobs that you can apply for at no cost. ECO's listed environmental job vacancies are from all sectors of the job-market including non-profits, corporations, professional firms, institutions, and Federal, state and local governments. Some employers use ECO as their main source of hiring. Subscribing to ECO will greatly improve your job search hopes by providing you with all the environmental job leads you need.

    Visit ECO website »

    28 January 2019

    Woodrow Wilson Foundation logo

    Woodrow Wilson Foundation Offers Two Teaching Programs

    The Woodrow Wilson Foundation has two teaching programs, the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship and the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning, an innovative new outcomes-based graduate school of education created in collaboration with MIT, both programs have online applications that are open until March 15.

    You can become a the teacher who changes the world for hundreds of young people.

    Learn more »

    View All Student Resources »