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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

19 August 2019
World’s Nations Gather to Tackle Wildlife Extinction Crisis
From giraffes to sharks, the world’s endangered species could gain better protection at an international wildlife conference. The triennial summit of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), that began on Saturday, will tackle disputes over the conservation of great beasts such as elephants and rhinos, as well as cracking down on the exploitation of unheralded but vital species such as sea cucumbers, which clean ocean floors.
Read The Guardian article »

8 August 2019
Coexistence Isn’t Just About Science and Self-interest.... It’s About Stories, too
In parts of northern India, leopards thrive—not because they're protected, but because people regard them as fellow persons, allowing a culture of coexistence to flourish.
Read Antropocene article »

30 July 2019
piles of plastic washed up on a beach in Senegal
Senegal to Crack Down on Huge Plastic Waste by Enforcing Law
Tired of seeing Senegal’s seascapes spoiled by ever-growing mounds of cheap plastic bags, authorities plan to crack down on polluters by imposing fines and further restricting plastic use.
Read Reuters article »

15 July 2019
scuba diver exploring coral reefs
Great Barrier Reef Hard Coral Cover Close to Record Lows
Hard coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef is near record lows in its northern stretch and in decline in the south, surveys by government scientists have found. A report card by the government’s Australian Institute of Marine Science says hard coral cover in the northern region above Cooktown is at just 14% – a slight increase on last year but close to the lowest since monitoring began in 1985. A series of “disturbances” – coral bleaching linked to rising water temperatures, crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and tropical cyclones – have caused hard coral cover to shrink across much of the world heritage landmark over the past five years. Depending on the location, coral coverage is between 10% and 30%.
Read The Guardian article »

12 July 2019
small boat on the sea near a factory
Why the U.N. Pact on High Seas Biodiversity is too Important to Fail
The draft of the Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, the BBNJ treaty, was released by a United Nations committee last month. The purpose of the treat is to promote the “conservation and sustainable use” of marine resources and living organisms on the high seas. Falling beyond any nation’s exclusive economic zone, the high seas are under the legal framework of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and little else. The high seas are a “repository of extraordinary biodiversity” which BBNJ aims to provide protection from growing rates of human activity.
Read World Politics Review article »

9 July 2019
white lesions on coral reefs
A Mysterious Coral disease is Ravaging Caribbean Reefs
Divers monitoring coral reefs off St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands in January noticed something alarming: Big white lesions were eating into the colorful tissues of hundreds of stony corals. Some corals were dead by the next day — only their stark white skeletons remained. Others languished for up to two weeks. Within four months, more than half of the reef suffered the same demise.
Read ScienceNews article »

9 July 2019
trash washed up in the sand along a beach
Environmentalists have Removed Nearly 40 Tonnes of Trash from the Pacific
The sailing cargo ship Kwai docked in Honolulu last month after a 25-day voyage with 40 tonnes of fishing nets and consumer plastics aboard, gathered from what has become known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The latest annual clean-up voyage by the non-profit Ocean Voyages Institute (OVI) used satellite imagery to specifically target discarded fishing gear. More than half a million tonnes of plastic nets - so-called ghost nets - are abandoned each year in oceans across the world, entangling and killing up to 380,000 sea mammals.
Read World Economic Forum article »

21 June 2019
Marine Oil Snow Falling in the Gulf of Mexico
Forgotten Landscapes: Bringing Back the Rich Grasslands of the Southeast
Native prairie and savanna once covered vast areas of the U.S. Southeast from Maryland to Texas, but agriculture and sprawl have left only small patches remaining. Now, a new initiative, driven by scientists and local communities, is pushing to restore these imperiled grassland habitats.
Read Yale 360 article »

21 June 2019
Marine Oil Snow Falling in the Gulf of Mexico
Marine Oil Snow is Falling in the Gulf of Mexico
Oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill continues sinking to the Gulf of Mexico’s sea floor. Now a researcher from the University of Delaware is shedding light on a phenomenon he’s calling Marine Oil Snow.
Listen to WFSU Radio »

30 May 2019
fish in net
More Fishing Vessels Chasing Fewer Fish, New Study finds
A new analysis of global fishing data has found the world's fishing fleet doubled in size over the 65-years to 2015 but for the amount of effort expended the catch fell more than 80 per cent.
Read Science article »

28 May 2019
Sumatran Rhino
Malaysia's Last Known Male Sumatran Rhino Has Died
The last known male Sumatran rhino in Malaysia has died following a months-long battle with worsening health, National Geographic reports.
Read Time article »

17 May 2019
heatmap showing Global average temperature anomalies during April 2019, when compared to 1951-1980
Earth Just Had its Second-hottest April on Record
The globe just experienced its second-warmest April since reliable instrument data began in 1880, according to NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency.
Read Axios article »

8 May 2019
IPBES logo
IPES Global Report: Species Extinction Rate is Accelerating
According to a United Nations report, up to 1 million animal and plant species are on the verge of extinction. Nature’s current rate of decline is unparalleled, the report says, and the accelerating rate of extinctions “means grave impacts on people around the world are now likely.”
Read IPES report »

1 May 2019
cars driving over a flooded road
Pennsylvania Commits to Paris Agreement Climate Goals; State’s Plan Calls for 80 Percent Carbon Cuts by 2050
Pennsylvania joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bi-partisan group of two dozen states committed to goals outlined in the 2015 U.N. Paris Climate Agreement. Gov. Tom Wolf announced the move at an event in Harrisburg while releasing the state’s latest Climate Action Plan, which includes 100 ways to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Read NPR report »

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 »

View All Newswire Features »

Field Courses

upcoming field courses in Bolivia and Malaysia

Past CHANCE Field Courses »

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

July 2019

BBC video on plastics

Plastic pollution: Could a year's waste circle the Earth four times?
So much plastic is thrown away every year that it could circle the Earth four times. This claim is commonly made on environmental websites - but is it true? BBC Reality Check investigates.

Other CHANCE featured videos »

CHANCE Fellows

24 July 2019
Cinda Murray

CHANCE Fellow Brings Experiential Learning to Classroom

CHANCE 2014 Fellow, Cinda Murray, continues to build on the research skills and enthusiasm for experiential learning from her CHANCE experience in Costa Rica. Cinda's students regularly monitor water quality and chironomids in the stream on her school's grounds. In 2015, she traveled to India with Teachers for Global Classrooms and became involved in the iEARN program. Cinda's CHANCE-inspired passion for the environment further inspired her Arctic Plant Phenology Learning through Engaged Science (APPLES) partnership with climate scientists bringing polar research into her classroom. In June, she presented her global education experiences for the Fulbright programs at the 2019 Global Teaching Dialogue hosted by the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. And, she was recently invited to participate in the exclusive World Prize Global Guides Program including the 2019 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue and Global Youth Institute. Cinda will continue her work as a secondary science teacher as she pursues a doctorate in educational leadership at Wilkes University.

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

12 July 2019


Spreading the Word about Wildlife Trade Issues

TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organization working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Visit their website to learn about their conservation projects around the world; and, explore a selection of expert perspectives on current issues within wildlife trade, conservation and sustainable development. Excellent curricular resources!

Visit TRAFFIC website »

22 May 2019

NAEE logo

Climate Choices: How Should We Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet?

Produced as part of the North American Association for Environmental Education initiative Environmental Issues Forums, which provides teachers and students with tools, training, and support to address difficult issues affecting the environment and communities, this guide for high school educators offers background information on deliberation, information about using the guide in the classroom, and material to help teachers moderate a student forum on the topic. It also includes resources for teaching climate change.

Teachers Guide »

22 May 2019

NOAA logo

NOAA Ocean and Coats Resource Collections

NOAA offers resource collections to encourage K-12 educators and students to learn more about ocean topics such as Gulf oil spills, ocean acidification, ocean currents, ocean floor features, ocean pollution, tides, and tsunamis. The collections include data-based resources using actual NOAA data, lesson plans and activities, multimedia resources, background information, and career information relating to each theme.

Access the website »

22 May 2019

US Fish and Wildlife logo

FWS Fish and Aquatic Conservation Web Page

The Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) National Wildlife Refuge System Fish and Aquatic Conservation web page is a source for education resources for all ages on Conserving America’s Fisheries. Access lesson plans and student activity guides that support state and national standards, as well as videos, activity booklets, handouts, and education guides on conservation topics.

Visit website »

2 May 2019

Cornell Lab of Ornithology logo

Watch a Red-tailed Hawk Chick Hatch on Camera

On Monday, the first chick hatched in the seventh season of our Red-tailed Hawk live cam. Big Red (the mom) and Arthur (the dad) are feeding meals to the youngsters right now. Watch the amazing close-up highlight of the first chick hatching, one of the fuzzy chick's first meals the next morning as the second chick starts to hatch, or check in on how the third egg is doing right now.

Visit The CornellLab of Ornithology »

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 »

View All Educator Resources »

Resources for Students

15 August 2019
American Institute of Biological Sciences logo

Enter the 9th Annual Faces of Biology Photo Contest

The Faces of Biology Photo Contest is a competition, sponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), which recognizes scientists who use imagery to communicate aspects of biological research to the public and policymakers. The theme of the contest is “Faces of Biology.” Photographs entered into the competition must depict a person, such as a scientist, technician, or student, engaging in biological research.

The First Place Winner will have his/her winning photo featured on the cover of BioScience, and will receive $250 and a one year membership in AIBS, including a subscription to BioScience. The Second and Third Place Winners will have his/her winning photo printed inside the journal, and will receive a one year membership in AIBS, including a subscription to BioScience.

Submissions must be received by 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 30, 2019.

9th Annual Faces of Biology Photo Contest »

21 June 2019
WWF logo
Careers and Internships with the WWF
Imagine waking up every morning, ready to take on important work in an organization that is changing the world. Imagine building your career while protecting the future of nature for generations to come. At WWF, employees know they are making a difference every day. WWF shares a spirit and devotion for wildlife and nature. So whether you're working at a desk in our D.C. office, attending a climate change meeting in Europe, or relocating rhinos in Nepal, you have the benefit of knowing that everything you do is part of WWF's global effort to conserve life on Earth. J Be a part of the world's leading conservation organization and do the work you've always imagined!

Visit WWF Job Board »

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 »

Featured Podcast

8 August 2019
NPR podcast logo
Polar Photographer Paul Nicklen
Paul Nicklen has spent decades documenting the Arctic, Antarctic and the effects of climate change. He talks about some of the dangerous situations he's been in while on the job. Fresh Air WHYY
Listen to NPR podcast »