• 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

15 December 2014
Kemps Ridley Turtle
After Steep Decline, Signs of Hope for World's Sea Turtles

Nearly all sea turtle species have been classified as endangered, with precipitous declines in many populations in recent decades. But new protections, particularly in the U.S. and Central America, are demonstrating that dramatic recovery for these remarkable reptiles is possible.
Read environment360 article »

18 November 2014
Many Campuses Represented at National Discussion of Sustainability in Science
An interactive poster and panel discussion event entitled, "Promoting Global Sustainability in the Teaching and Learning of Biology," was held on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio during the annual NABT Professional Development Conference. This event highlighted the work of many Penn State faculty, staff and students who contribute to the present and future of science education.

The inclusion of so many Penn Staters stems from a university-wide commitment to innovation in teaching and engaged scholarship. Penn State CHANCE (Connecting Humans and Nature through Conservation Experiences), an environmental education and professional development outreach program that uses real-world experiences to challenge students to think critically about conservation issues, serves as a prime example and is the subject of a number of posters and a featured panel discussion.
Read Penn State newswire article »

17 November 2014
National Geographic

Book Talk: E. O. Wilson's Bold Vision for Saving the World

When we see how badly we're destabilizing the world, Wilson says, we'll turn to reason.
Read National Geographic Interview»

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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. DATES for field course: July, 2015. Field course website coming soon!

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 15 - July 1, 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

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30 November 2014
CHANCE Field Scientist Gives Research Poster at National Conference
Eric Griffin, a 2013 CHANCE field scientist mentor and graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh under the mentorship of W. P. Carson, presented, Foliar bacteria decrease tree seedling performance in a tropical rain forest: research in tandem with the CHANCE undergraduate program in Panama, at the 2014 National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) 2nd Annual Global Perspectives Committee Panel Discussion and PosterEric with CHANCE participants Session, held on November 13, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. Eric shared his long-term research effort at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Gamboa, Panana to determine whether bacteria on and inside seedling leaves are important drivers of plant communities in a tropical forest, and how CHANCE undergraduate and teacher participants joined him in the field to assist him in his field work in June, 2013 as part of their research agenda. Together, Eric and CHANCE participants tested the following hypotheses: 1. Foliar bacteria will cause a major reduction in plant performance in situ 2. Impact of foliar bacteria will be greatest when soil resources are low. Overall, their joint findings suggest that plant-microbial interactions aid in the maintenance of tree diversity and will soon be published. For Eric and CHANCE, this collaborative effort demonstrated the importance of using ongoing long-term projects run by field scientists to teach undergraduates how to utilize inquiry-based strategies in order to conduct cutting edge and real-world research.

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Resources For Educators

10 December 2014
Ocean Exploration
Science Communication Fellowship

The Ocean Exploration Trust's Science Communication Fellowship (SCF) Program immerses formal and informal educators in the Nautilus Corps of Exploration and empowers them to bring ocean exploration - specifically in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) - to a global audience via the Nautilus Live website. Fellows share accounts of ocean science, expedition operations and daily life with audiences through live audio commentary and question-and-answer sessions from aboard the ship. Through participation in live interactions with student groups and public audiences, Fellows also engage people of all ages in real-time exploration. Science Communication Fellows then bring their expedition experience back to their own classrooms, organizations and communities in the form of engaging lesson plans and activities centered around their time at sea aboard Nautilus and other vessels.
Apply now »

09 December 2014
ARCUS logo
2015 Joint Science Education Project (JSEP) Application
The Joint Science Education Project (JSEP) an international program in which students and teachers from the U.S., Denmark and Greenland travel to Kangerlussuaq and then to Summit Station to work alongside scientists both on and off the ice sheet. Any current 11th grade student who is a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident) with a strong interest in the natural sciences and a passion for learning may apply. Participants are expected to interact as an international team and communicate their experience in public formats such as newspaper articles or on-line reporting. JSEP encompasses two programs, the Kangerlussuaq Science Field School and the Science Education Week.
View Application »

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Resources For Students

30 November 2014
Twitter logo on green background The Green Wire
A bot that sorts through the Twitter clutter and picks out the most talked about conservation news stories.
Visit website »

26 October 2014
Latin American Sea Turtles LogoLatin American Sea Turtles (LAST) Bulletin
Read how the conservation efforts of LAST and WIDECAST are protecting sea turtles in Costa Rica and beyond. Past, present and future projects are also highlighted. Get involved!
Read bulletin»

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»

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