CHANCE On-line Research Modules - Try one today!

Invasive Plant Species in Pennsylvania

Raptor Migration: Local, Cooperative and Global

Amphibians as Indicators of Environmental Change

Sea Turtle Hatchling Orientation from Nest to Ocean

Stratification and Biodiversity in Pennsylvania's Northeastern Deciduous Forest

The Biology and Plight of the Leatherback

Global Warming: Turning up the Heat

CHANCE Newswire

19 April 2014
Scientists Discover How to Generate Solar Power in the Dark
The next big thing in solar energy could be microscopic. Scientists at MIT and Harvard University have devised a way to store solar energy in molecules that can then be tapped to heat homes, water or used for cooking. The best part: The molecules can store the heat forever and be endlessly re-used while emitting absolutely no greenhouse gases.
Read more in Atlantic Magazine »

15 March 2014
Melting Sea Ice Threatens Emperor Penguins
If global temperatures continue to rise, and sea ice continues melting, the Emperor penguins in Terre Adélie, East Antarctica may eventually disappear.
Read article »

16 February 2014
Floridian Natural Legacy: The Story Behind CHANCE's Founding Director
By working with scientists and science educators in the field, Jackie McLaughlin is working to create a generation of eager and enthusiastic scientists.
Read e-Bella Magazine article »

31 January 2014
Colleen Kesley Abington Senior Reflects on College Years, Life-altering CHANCEs
Penn State Abington student, Colleen Kesley, studied the biodiversity of coral reefs in Bocas del Toro, Panama, this summer at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute through the Penn State Lehigh Valley CHANCE program.
Read her story »

01 January 2014
World Wildlife Day logo UN General Assembly Proclaims March 3rd as World Wildlife Day
Now it's official ! Last Friday the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 3rd, the day of the adoption of CITES, as World Wildlife Day, to revel over, and raise awareness of, the world’s wild fauna and flora. World Wildlife Day will be celebrated around the world each year.
Read more details »

24 December 2013
Sea Turtle Conservancy logo Green Sea Turtles Highlighted As Conservation Success Story by Endangered Species Coalition
Forty years ago this month, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act—our nation’s safety net for fish, plants and wildlife on the brink of extinction. On December 6, the Endangered Species Coalition, which Sea Turtle Conservancy is a member of…
Read more »

4 December 2013
Taylor Rundatz Lehigh Valley Campus Biology Students Accepted into Prestigious Research Course
Three Penn State Lehigh Valley biology undergraduates have been accepted to participate in a National Institutes of Health sponsored training course normally reserved for faculty and advanced postdoctoral fellows.
Read Penn State Newswire »

View All Newswire Features »

Field Courses

GlaciersCHANCE China 2015 Field Course - A Penn State University, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China and Nanjing University, Nanjing, China collaboration. The focus of this course will be on our world's vanishing fresh water supply. Undergraduate students selected from both institutions will learn about the majors rivers of China and their past, present, and future ecological and economic realities. Students will explore Qinghai province, located on the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau and home to the glacial headwater of the Yellow, Yangtze, and Mekong Rivers. Field research will focus on global climate change and desertification issues that are affecting the health of China's rivers and fresh water supply. (DATES TBA)

OTS logo CHANCE Costa Rica/Panama 2014 Field Course - A Penn State University and Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS)/La Selva collaboration. The focus of this program, Conservation Biology and Sustainability of Select Tropical Ecosystems, which includes spring, 2014 online and summer, 2014 field course components, is to explore rainforest, coral reefs, sea grasses, and mangrove root ecosystems. The word explore is all encompassing here as it not only means to physically experience theses ecosystems with all the human senses open, but to question the phenomena that are affecting the maintenance, loss, and restoration of the biological diversity within these fragile environments through research. A highlight of the field course will be working with nesting sea turtles and hatchlings to ensure the recovery and sustainable management of depleted sea turtle populations worldwide. (DATES for field course: June 7- 22, 2014)
Visit Field Course Website »

CHANCE Recognition

Science AAAS logo CHANCE would like to take a moment and recognize one of its sponsors, Science/AAAS, for its work to bring primary literature into the classroom.

SIC logo"Science in the Classroom" is a collection of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials designed to help students at the high school, community college, and undergraduate level understand the structure and workings of professional scientific research. Currently six Sciencepapers have been annotated and are ready for use in the classroom.

Each annotated Science paper contains a "Learning Lens," which is used to selectively highlight different parts of the original text of the research article, including a scroll over glossary. Additionally, an educational scaffold containing an expanded explanation of the figures, often with a close-up of the relevant section of the figure itself, has been built into each research article. Discussion questions, additional activities, and access to raw data provided by the authors also accompany each paper.

Science in the Classroom users can also access the Science Education Portal, a centralized location for freely available educational content published by Science.

Featured Video

Paul Morgan – Against Rhythm: How Postmodern Humans can Wake Up and Find their Groove

Other CHANCE featured videos:
Edward O. Wilson - Advice Young Scientists
TEDxNASA - Bruce Wielicki - Climate Change: Fact And Fiction
Ice sheets, sea level, and other surprises: Benefits of understanding some beautiful places »
Ghost of the Caribbean Expedition »
Pacific Reefs Heading Towards Regional Collapse from Climate Change »
Beijing to Improve Pollution Monitoring »
Renewing Our National Park Promise »
CHANCE 2011 Lake Taihu and Water Analysis Video »


15 March 2014
CHANCE 2013 Fellows Presenting at Pennsylvania Student Sustainability Symposium
Jennifer Evans and Benjamin FowlerJennifer Evans and Benjamin Fowler, 2013 CHANCE Fellows, are presenting at the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium's 2014 Pennsylvania Student Sustainability Symposium on March 21st at Dickinson College. The presentation will begin by introducing the history of the CHANCE Program and end with information about the upcoming CHANCE Program in Panama and Costa Rica. The focus will be upon characterizing the unique viewpoint provided by CHANCE through the synthesis of online modular education and hands-on field teaching. Jennifer and Ben will also take some time to recount a few CHANCE- Panama experiences that have deepened their understanding of applied biology and shaped their work in, respectively, Dr. Maria del mar Jimenez-Gasco's and Dr. David Hughes's research laboratories. BRAVO Jen and Ben!

31 January 2014
Erica Jo CharnockCHANCE 2013 Fellow Researching Neural Aspects of Bird Migration Behavior
Erica Jo Charnock, a 2013 CHANCE Fellow, felt the passion for research in avian behavior while working with Smithsonian scientist, Dr. Ioana Chiver in the rain forests of Gamboa, Panama. Since her return to the states she has been working in Dr. Bartell's laboratory at Penn State University whose research focuses on the regulation of biological clocks in birds at the systems level. His team uses behavioral, molecular, and electrophysiological techniques to understand the neural and endocrine mechanisms by which these daily clocks and yearly calendars control the temporal organization of behaviors and life history stages. Currently, Erica is asking questions about the role that adiponectin plays in the behavior of migrating Zonotrichia albicollis; white throated sparrows. Good luck with your research, Erika!

Learn About Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

05 April 2014

AAAS Project 2061 Needs Field Testers
AAAS Project 2061 is developing assessment items to measure elementary, middle, and high school students' understanding of ideas about energy and recruiting teachers willing to field test multiple-choice test items with their students in Spring 2014. You are invited to participate in field testing these assessment items, and criteria is below:

  • Students must be in 4th-12th grade
  • Test may be administered online or in paper format
  • Test should take no more than a single class period

The registration deadline is April 9, 2014 and please visit for information and registration.

Visit AAAS Science Assessment Website »

05 April 2014
BioQUEST Summer Workshops For Teachers

Biology by the Numbers: Bringing Math to the High School Biology Classroom

Hey high school biology teachers - got math? You're invited to a workshop focused on getting comfortable with the quantitative side of biology. The program will feature hands-on experience with inquiry activities that use real data, tools for graphing, modeling, and much more to meet both the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. The University of Tennessee's popular Biology in a Box will be used to demonstrate ways to integrate math and science. Bring your favorite biology lab to add or enrich the quantitative aspects in collaboration with other participants.

The workshop will be led by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, a 25-year-old biology education reform community of instructors developing and implementing innovative curricula. The workshop is hosted by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.

Dates: July 23-25, 2014
Registration deadline: June 6, 2014
Registration fee: $100
Limited financial support for travel and lodging is available.
More Information »

Interdisciplinary STEM Education for Millennial Students
You are invited to the new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory at the University of Delaware for a week of exploring effective pedagogies to engage undergraduates in quantitative explorations of the natural sciences. BioQUEST workshops are ideal for two- and four-year faculty interested in exploring improved methods for teaching biology and other STEM subjects. The interdisciplinary approach means that faculty from a wide range of STEM backgrounds find this to be an enriching experience. Participants will meet a variety of faculty colleagues who are also interested in improving undergraduate STEM education one classroom at a time. In addition to learning about effective pedagogical methods and powerful resources, participants will generate products to take back to their own classrooms, as well as a team of colleagues with! whom to continue developing products.

Dates: June 21-28, 2014
Registration deadline May 9, 2014
Registration fee: $750
Limited scholarship support is available.
More Information »

23 March 2014
Science in the Classroom
Science in the Classroom (SiTC) Needs Contributing Editors!
SitC is a collection of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials designed to help students understand the structure and workings of professional scientific research. The editor of SiTC is looking for volunteers to help write content for the Science in the Classroom page. As a Contributing Editor you will have the opportunity to share your science knowledge with aspiring scientists and to contribute to the enhancement of STEM education by making Science papers accessible to a diverse audience.
Read more about this opportunity »

23 March 2014
World Affairs Council logo
17th Annual Summer Institute for Teachers -
Teaching Contemporary Global Issues

Presented by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh in collaboration with Duquesne University, this unique event will help teachers to update their content knowledge, access resources necessary to prepare students for their futures, and create innovative lesson plans and curricula. Specially, this three-day workshop will provide:

  1. information on contemporary global issues;
  2. a framework for looking at international issues that reflects their highly complex and interrelated nature;
  3. additional resources which teachers can access to enhance existing curricula and to support understanding of global issues throughout the academic year;
  4. and, methods of integrating new knowledge into lesson plans and other experience-based classroom activities designed to enhance the effectiveness of world affairs education.
Continuing Professional Education Credit and/or graduate credit available.
For more information »

15 March 2014
EECapacity Project Logo
EECapacity Project Needs Professors of Education
The EECapacity Project is seeking professors of education in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin who would like to bring environmental education to their work with pre-service teachers. The EECapacity Project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and strives to build capacity for environmental education, especially in urban areas. If you would like to join the EECapacity Project, you will be reimbursed up to $800 to cover your conference registration fees and travel expenses so that you can attend the North American Association for Environmental Education Conference in Ottawa, Canada, October 8-11, 2014. For more information contact Sue Gentile at
Learn more »

09 March 2014
Endangered Species DayParticipate In Endangered Species Day 2014
The 9th annual Endangered Species Day on May 16, 2014 offers biology and other science teachers around the country an ideal opportunity to educate students about the importance of protecting threatened and endangered plant and animal species. In addition to classroom discussions, there are several ways you can participate in Endangered Species Day (first approved by the U.S. Senate in 2006), such as:

  • Plan a school-wide Endangered Species Day fair with exhibits.
  • Arrange a special display in the school library.
  • Invite a local expert to speak to the school/class.
  • Work with a community/environmental group on a habitat restoration project.
  • Attend an event at a local zoo, aquarium, botanic garden or other location.
Be sure to check out the new and updated resource materials in the Endangered Species Day Toolkit and the Teacher Resource Center/Teacher Forum.
Register today »

View All Resources For Educators »

Resources For Students

12 April 2014
Penn State Public Media - Logo
Water Blues Green Solutions

An interactive documentary project designed to promote awareness of the role that green infrastructure can play in creating a sustainable water future. Water Blues Green Solutions tells stories from across the country of communities that are adopting new ways of thinking about how to protect, restore, and preserve our rivers and sources of drinking water. Explore stories by location or theme and create your own journey. Companion resources will help you adopt green solutions to solve your water blues.
Take a Journey »

15 March 2014
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Undergraduate students interested in conducting summer research projects should apply to the WHOI Summer Student Fellowship Program or the Woods Hole Partnership Educational Program. Both of these programs provide financial support and housing, and have application deadlines. Students whose home institutions support externships during the school year are also encouraged to apply.
For more information »

09 March 2014
Announcing TraitBank
The Encyclopedia of Life team today announces the availability of TraitBank, a comprehensive, searchable and open digital repository for organism traits, measurements, interactions and other facts for all species and groups of species.
Read the full announcement »

26 February 2014
Endangered Species Recovery Course
Durrell Conservation Academy logo The Durrell Conservation Academy is a world leader in conservation capacity development, operating at the interface between in-situ and ex-situ conservation. Durrell strives to save the most threatened species in the most threatened places around the world, and believes that biodiversity is essential for human survival. Durrell offers courses in Jersey Mauritius, Jersey, British Channel Islands and other key places around the world. Their next course, Endangered Species Recovery Course, runs from July 14-25, 2014. The course gives an introduction to issues such as the value of and threats to biodiversity, planning and implementing species recovery programs, conservation genetics, captive species management,community conservation, and a wide range of practical research skills.
For further information please contact:
Course website »

6 January 2014
Stanford University CLASlite Classroom - Forest Monitoring
Stanford University logo This free course is the world's first online course for mapping deforestation and forest degradation. Participants - whether they are members of government, academic, non-commercial or non-government organizations - will be provided with the knowledge needed to monitor forests using the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System-lite (CLASlite). The self-paced course begins December 17, 2013 and covers the scientific basis for each module in CLASlite as well as other essential information for making forest monitoring easy using Earth-observing satellite data.
Take the course»

24 December 2013
Apply to be a Research Assistant with STC in Tortuguero
Sea Turtle Conservancy logo Sea Turtle Conservancy is currently accepting applications for sea turtle research assistants in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. Research and monitoring of sea turtles in Tortuguero was initiated in the 1950's by legendary sea turtle researcher Dr. Archie Carr. Dr. Carr continued his work in Tortuguero until his passing in 1987 and STC continues to conduct annual programs at the site, making it the longest ongoing sea turtle conservation and monitoring program in the world. The deadline to apply for the Leatherback Research Program is January 7, 2014 and the Green Turtle Program deadline is March 10, 2014.
For more information»


View All Resources For Students »