• Costa Rica and Panama 2015 Field Course
  • We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by syntheizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make importnat choices wisely. - Edward O. Wilson
  • China 2015 Field Course: China's Yangtze River: Problems and Sustainable Solutions. Tentative Dates - July 2015
  • Explore. Research. Conserve.
  • Field Course participants standing in front of sign for Norris Geyser Basin and Museum

Welcome to CHANCE

Today, humanity faces this reality – the environment is broken on local, state (province), national, and global scales most of which are a result of human impact on natural resources and ecosystems.

Penn State CHANCE is an environmental education and professional development outreach program that uses real-world experiences to challenge students to think critically about conservation issues while transforming them into the problem solvers that our society desperately needs.

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Online Modules. Try one today

CHANCE Newswire

25 January 2015

Image: Patrick Applegate
Greenland plays important role in polar ice research
Melting of glacial ice will probably raise the sea level around the globe, but how fast this melting will happen is uncertain. Greenland is especially pivotal in the study of melting ice sheets and rising sea levels because it experiences 50 percent more warming than the global average. In the case of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the more temperatures increase, the faster the ice will melt, according to computer model experiments by Penn State geoscientists.
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Field Courses

CHANCE Costa Rica/Panama 2015 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, 2015 online and summer, 2015 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 15 - July 1, 2015
Visit field course website for applications

CHANCE China 2015 Field Course

A Penn State University, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, China, and Nanjing University, (Nanjing, China) collaboration. The focus of this program is on China's fresh water supply and efforts needed to restore and conserve it. Twenty-four undergraduate students (8 from each university) will be selected from all three institutions to participate in a 17-day journey to study the Yangtze River watershed, which consists of the longest river in Asia and the third-largest in the world. Locations to be explored include: Shanghai; YiChang, Hubei Province; Wuxi, Suzhou and Nanjing, Jiangsu Province; and, Beijing. Field research will analyze efforts to reverse the pollution and resulting eutrophication of Lake Tai, China's third largest lake, as a result of the rapid economic growth in the surrounding cities of Wuxi and Suzhou. Also, all involved students and faculty will investigate the impact of urban development on the tributaries of the Yangzte in the Nanjing area. Highlights for this program include an international student-run panel discussion in Beijing on the sustainability of China's fresh water supply, and participation in a restoration project in the Yangtze watershed with members of Green Oasis, an NGO based in Shanghai.
DATES for field course: July 6-23, 2015
Field course website coming in February, 2015!

Penn State University logo Jiangnan University logo Nanjing University logo


CHANCE Recognition

Organization for Tropical StudiesCHANCE would like to recognize one of its partners, Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), La Selva Biological Station, for its work to advance research, education and conservation of tropical ecosystems. This work was recently recognized in a front-page piece in the New York Times.

For five decades, OTS has been the world's leading institution in the study of tropical biology with more than 350 graduate-level courses in the ecology and management of natural resources and over eight thousand students participating in its programs and conducting research annually.

Research at the OTS stations has added significantly to what is known about tropical biology and forest ecosystems - more than 300 scientists from 25 countries work at OTS sites each year. The traditional focus on education and research has broadened to encompass quality-learning options for natural history visitors and local schoolchildren who come to the OTS stations just for short visits.

Together CHANCE and OTS are breaking new ground in involving undergraduate students in participating in real research activities in Costa Rica, specifically at the La Selva Biological Station. With a combination of on-line learning and in-the-field experiences, their joint programs are changing students' perceptions and values, bringing to them transformational experiences that help them set their future careers.

Featured Video

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25 January 2015
AlisonCHANCE Fellow a Force for Marine and Environmental Law
Alison Hoffman, CHANCE Fellow '09, is currently working towards a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in Marine and Environmental Law from Roger William University, School of Law. Her experience in the CHANCE program was the spark to her passion for marine conservation and since her time in Costa Rica and Panama, Alison has dedicated her life to continuing her work with sustainability. This past July, Alison finished her two years of service with the Peace Corps in the Philippines, where she worked with a small fisher-folk village and helped them to sustain and rebuilt their marine resources. She hopes that her experiences with CHANCE and Peace Corps will allow her to bring a new and unique background to the marine law field. Hopefully, in a few years, Alison will be fighting hard to make a difference in the ocean community! Go Ali!

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

18 January 2015
Center for Conservation Biology logo Virginia Bald Eagle Nest Locator
The Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) has created a Google Maps application to allow users to locate documented eagle territories (and 24 other species of birds) in Virginia. CCB encourages the use of their data sets in wildlife conservation, management applications, and educational purposes, but as a professional courtesy they ask that data users read and agree to the full terms of our Data Use Agreement. This is a great resource for lesson plans that utilize authentic data!
Visit CCB website »

18 January 2015
Teacher with studentsApply soon for Environmental Education Grants from EPA
Two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) under the 2014-2015 Environmental Education (EE) Grants Program are now open. EPA is seeking grant proposals to support EE projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship. Successful applicants will submit projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques.
Read More »

10 January 2015
Operation BioenergizeME logo Bioenergy Educator Toolbox
Bioenergy Technology Office's (BETO's) education and workforce development base camp for students and educators and anyone seeking to better understand the promises and challenges in developing a thriving bioeconomy. Offering a variety of lesson plans, resources and materials to teachers.
Visit Educator Toolbox »


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Resources For Students

24 January 2015
Hutton Scholar Logo
American Fisheries Society Internship Opportunity for HS Students
The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is now accepting applications for its high school internship program in fisheries science, the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program. The Hutton Program is an internship and mentoring program that provides high school juniors and seniors exciting, hands-on experience in a marine and/or freshwater setting. The mission of the Hutton Program is to diversify fisheries professions by stimulating career interest among young people from underrepresented groups. Known as "Hutton Scholars," each selected student is awarded a $3,000 scholarship and an eight-week summer internship in which they are mentored by a fisheries professional while participating in important conservation and management projects in his/her local area. The Hutton Program enables students to learn about fish biology, aquatic systems and ecological issues while getting valuable, real-world work experience.
Learn more »
Informational Video »

24 January 2015
US Dept of Energy logo
SULI Program Application Recommendation

The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program encourages undergraduate students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing research experiences at the Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories. Selected students participate as interns appointed at one of 17 participating DOE laboratories/facilities. They perform research, under the guidance of laboratory staff scientists or engineers, on projects supporting the DOE mission. The SULI program is sponsored and managed by the DOE Office of Science's, Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) in collaboration with the DOE laboratories/facilities.
View Website »

18 January 2015
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in Raptor Research
The REU Site in Raptor Research (REU-RR) is funded by the National Science Foundation and Boise State University. REU-RR is a 10-week summer research program located at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. Field and laboratory research projects are available for students.
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