• Costa Rica and Panama 2015 Field Course: Conservation Biology and Sustainability of Select Tropical Ecosystems & Field Practicum in Costa Rica and Panama June 2015
  • 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.

About CHANCE »
Online Modules. Try one today

CHANCE Newswire

08 October 2014
CHANCE: Protecting Endangered Species
Penn State undergraduates bring biology to life in Central America as they help to restore native sea turtle populations through conservation and research.
Penn State feature article and video »

22 September 2014
Penn State CHANCE and Durrell Team Up for a JICAS Sponsored Event
It's official! CHANCE is building a field course in Europe. A Penn State CHANCE - Durrell Conservation Academy - Jersey International Centre of Advanced Studies (JICAS) field course in the United Kingdom, in conjunction with Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany, will focus will be on world-wide species extinction, habitat loss and ecosystem restoration. This program will run in the summer of 2016. This will be an international course that continues for years to come, serves as a model of international academic partnership, excellence, and student engagement, and encourages students to solve the environmental challenges of our time.
See official announcement »

14 September 2014
OrioleMore Than Half Of U.S. Bird Species Threatened By Climate Change
The report looked at more than 40 years of climate data and records from bird censuses conducted by the Audubon and the U.S. Geological Survey. Researchers compared changes in bird migration patterns to changes in climate to predict the fate of 588 bird species now found in the U.S. and Canada.
Listen to NPR story »

10 September 2014
Releasing turtle into water
Slow Nesting Season for Sea Turtles

The sluggish nesting season for the giant loggerhead sea turtle wrapped up over the Labor Day weekend. And preliminary numbers show volunteers in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina counted far fewer loggerhead nests in 2014 than in recent years.
Read Associated Press news article »

12 August 2014
Girl Scouts doing various activities
Photo credit: Girl Scouts of America
CHANCE and the Girl Scouts

Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, Founding Director of CHANCE and Associate Professor of Biology at Penn State Lehigh Valley, will be the keynote speaker for the Girl Scouts of Orange County's August Kick-off at the University of California, Irvine on Saturday, August 16. Dr. McLaughlin will share her insights into how volunteers can create fun STEM experiences for girls to help develop their ingenuity, creativity, and critical thinking skills in her address: STEM. The program is titled "Build Her Future".

View All Newswire Features »

Field Courses

CHANCE 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 China's fresh water supply and conversation efforts needed to restore and preserve it. Undergraduate students selected from all three institutions will learn about the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) watershed (which consists of the longest river in Asia and the third-largest in the world), and the past, present, and future ecological and economic realities of this important resource. Field research will focus on analyzing the health of the Lake Tai (Tài Hú) ecosystem, China's third largest body of fresh water body linked to the renowned Grand Canal. In recent years, Lake Tai has been plagued by pollution (eutrophication) as a result of rapid economic growth in the surrounding regions. Highlights for this program will be an international student-run panel discussion in Beijing on the sustainability of China's fresh water supply, a cruise down the Yangtze River, and an overnight stay on the Great Wall of China.

Penn State University logo Jiangnan University logo Nanjing University logo


CHANCE Costa Rica/Panama 2015 Field Course

OTS logoA 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, 2015
Field Course website coming soon!

CHANCE Recognition

Burkert Fluid Control SystemCHANCE would like to recognize one of its newest sponsors, Bürkert Fluid Control System, for its work to bring sustainable solutions to our world's most challenging water realities.

Bürkert is one of the world's leading companies for measurement, control and regulation technology. Over 2,100 employees in 34 countries are constantly engineering systems and solutions in response to the dynamic and exciting challenges presented by water, steam, gases and other media. Bürkert combines experience and courage to walk the extra mile to yield sustainable and exemplar solutions to any challenge it embraces. It is this balance that leads to its success as a leader in water applications around the world.

Bürkert is where ideas FLOW and water's future is embraced by engineered products that yield innovative and sustainable answers.

Featured Video

Other CHANCE featured videos »


08 October 2014
CHANCE Fellow Studies and Teaches Polar Science
Picture of Nell
Nell Herrmann, and 2004 CHANCE Fellow, is an educator with fifteen years' experience. She is currently teaching middle school science in Blue Hill, Maine. In 2012, Nell traveled to Palmer Station Antarctica, as part of an NSF funded program called PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) where she participated in research about ocean acidification.

In 2013, Nell completed a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) with the Palmer Station Antarctica Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Education and Outreach Program. Nell has continued to pursue her interest in polar science and currently serves on the Executive Council of Polar Educators International (PEI) and as a member of the steering committee for the Polar Center at Penn State University.

In May of 2014, Nell joined forces with climate scientist and Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Richard Alley, to present the first Master Class in a series being organized by PEI. Nell will again collaborate with Dr. Alley and other climate scientists in January to present a workshop for teachers, sponsored by the Polar Center at Penn State University. More information can be found here: http://polar.psu.edu/news/teacherworkshop-082414.html Congratulations, Nell. Your students are so fortunate to have you as their teacher!


Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

03 October 2014
AASHE logoNew Sustainability and Civic Engagement Resources Released
Civil Discourse and Civic Engagement with Planet Education - Course Activities for all Disciplines

You are invited to participate in a networking and learning opportunity focused on empowering faculty, students, staff, and communities through applied learning. Speakers will describe national initiatives to engage students and the community in clean energy options, climate destabilization solutions, and making connections across the political spectrum. Sponsored by the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC),this online gathering will occur on October 16th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm Eastern and will feature learning activities that can be used in any course to help students engage more in their learning.
Register today »

14 September 2014
Celebrating Biodiversity, Big and Small

Kick off the new academic year with some amazing new resources that explore biodiversity on our planet and how to sustain the environment for future generations. Many of them were produced through a partnership between Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.
Visit BioInteractive website »

10 September 2014
The Polar Center
Polar Science: A Teachers Guide to Climate Change Workshop

If you are a 7th-12th grade teacher, you will want to attend this FREE Polar Science Teacher Workshop on Friday, January 30, 2014 from 8am - 4 pm at The Pennsylvania State University. ACT 48 credits are provided. Free parking and lunch are provided. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to bring their students to campus for Polar day (Friday, March 20, 2015) with school bus/van expenses paid by The Polar Center.
Registration is FREE! Space is limited, 24-30 spots available.
Register here »

03 September 2014
Ecology Project International logoEPI Offers Marine Education Fellowship
The Marine Education Fellowship, sponsored by Ecology Project International, brings a select group of educators into the field every year for 8 days of field-science education.

The Marine Education Fellowship is primarily designed for high school teachers. However, 8th grade teachers, college professors, school administrators, and travel program coordinators are welcome to apply. Ideal candidates will have a strong background in science education and will be committed to providing experiential learning opportunities for their students. Applicants must have plans to continue teaching after their participation in the Fellowship, and past participating Fellows are ineligible to reapply. Accepted Fellows pay a $250 tuition fee by Oct. 31, 2014 to secure their participation. All in-country expenses for the fellowship are covered by EPI except international airfare. In-country transportation, meals, lodging, instruction and activity fees are included at no extra cost. To apply, please visit http://www.ecologyproject.org/get_involved/mefenroll.
Download more information »

31 August 2014

Join NE-ASTE in New York, NY on October 16-17, 2014

The Association for Science Education Teachers (ASTE) is an international association of science teacher educators, scientists, science coordinators and supervisors, and informal science educators who prepare and provide professional development for teachers of science at all grade levels. CHANCE is proud to announce the 2014 Northeast Region Association for Science Teacher Education (NE-ASTE) meeting. The conference will be held in NYC with events hosted at Teachers College and the American Museum of Natural History from the afternoon of Thursday, October 16th through early evening, Friday, October 17th. The deadline to submit proposals and for advanced registration is October 1st.

Multiple hotel options and new fee structures are in place encourage the entire science teacher education community to attend.
Registration and details »

View All Educator Resources »

Resources For Students

03 September 2014
SCB logo
Society for Conservation Biology Job Board

This job posting service is offered free of charge to the conservation community via the outreach efforts of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB)! For more information about this job board, see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
Visit SCB Job Board now»

View All Student Resources »