• Photo of sunset over ocean
  • Australia field course 2018
  • A newly planted tree
  • Participants on a boat

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 environmental education and engaged scholarship program, whose overarching goal is to teach conservation biology and global sustainability at the frontline. To do this, CHANCE creates unique learning environments which include international field courses and online research modules that immerse its 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 are willing to address the challenges of our time such as energy, air, food, water, and climate change through their efforts.

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

14 June 2018

Figure 1: Cumulative Antarctic Ice Sheet mass change.
Mass balance of the Antarctic Ice Sheet from 1992 - 2017
The Antarctic Ice Sheet is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise. Reseachers combine satellite observations of its changing volume, flow and gravitational attraction with modelling of its surface mass balance to show that it lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, which corresponds to an increase in mean sea level of 7.6 ± 3.9 millimetres (errors are one standard deviation).
Read Nature article »

14 June 2018
A small boat floats in Antarctica
Photo credit: A small boat floats in Neko Harbour, Antarctica ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI / REUTERS
After Decades of Ice Loss, Antarctica Is Now Hemorrhaging Mass
Climate change has not been kind to Antarctica. According to a comprehensive new study, global warming has already bled the frigid continent, which is larger than Europe, of about 2.7 billion tons of ice. This enormous amount of ice has already raised global sea levels by as much as a centimeter.
Read The Atlantic article »

30 May 2018
Small fish swimming in seagrass Without seagrass We’d Lose One-fifth of Our Biggest Fisheries
Seagrass–the aquatic plant that forms lush, flowering, undersea meadows–underpins the survival of the 25 most-fished species on our planet, a new study finds. Writing in Conservation Letters, a team of researchers says that if these fragile ecosystems succumb to the multiple threats they face, it would lead to certain decline in fish stocks that could threaten global food security.
Read Anthropocene article »

11 May 2018
Cell images from Science magazine article
A Bacterium that Degrades and Assimilates Poly(ethylene terephthalate) or PLASTIC
Bacteria isolated from outside a bottle-recycling facility can break down and metabolize plastic. The proliferation of plastics in consumer products, from bottles to clothing, has resulted in the release of countless tons of plastics into the environment. Yoshida et al. show how the biodegradation of plastics by specialized bacteria could be a viable bioremediation strategy (see the Perspective by Bornscheuer). The new species, Ideonella sakaiensis, breaks down the plastic by using two enzymes to hydrolyze PET and a primary reaction intermediate, eventually yielding basic building blocks for growth. Visit ScienceMag.org and become a member to read this article and to keep up with the latest scientific publications.
Read a copy of the Science article »

View All Newswire Features »

Field Courses

Sustainability and Conservation: Citizen Science
and Service Learning in Australia

June 24 - July 9, 2018

Our first international field course to Australia is in partnership with James Cook University and AUIP Study Abroad. This two-week field, summer program provides real-world, conservation-based research and service-learning experiences. Participants will travel to stunning national parks, forests, wildlife reserves, coastlines, and islands of North Queensland under the guidance of knowledgeable field professionals, scientists, and university faculty.

Field course website »

Featured Sponsor

Sanofi Pasteur logo

With gratitude, CHANCE would like to recognize Sanofi Pasteur for its generous support of environmental education through the Penn State CHANCE program.

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, provides more than 1 billion doses of vaccine each year, making it possible to immunize more than 500 million people across the globe. A world leader in the vaccine industry, Sanofi Pasteur produces a portfolio of high quality vaccines that matches its areas of expertise and meets public health demand. The company's heritage, to create vaccines that protect life, dates back more than a century. Sanofi Pasteur is the largest company entirely dedicated to vaccines. Every day, the company invests more than EUR 1 million in research and development.

Sanofi Pasteur’s recent charitable donation to the CHANCE Field Course Fund has helped defray the cost for undergraduate students and teachers from across Pennsylvania to travel to Costa Rica and Cuba this summer to participate in the 2017 programs -- Conservation and Sustainability of the Tropical Rainforest with a Field Practicum in Costa Rica and Environmental Protection, Conservation, and the Sustainability of Cuban Ecosystems with a Field Practicum in Cuba. Assessment data (soon to be published) has shown that CHANCE field research and conservation service-oriented activities benefit our teachers and students: by enhancing their understanding of the field of conservation biology, valuing biodiversity, inciting motivation to partake in future actions as informed citizens, and much more.

Featured Video

June 2018

NASA Releases Time-Lapse Video Of Depleting Arctic Ice Cap

Other CHANCE featured videos »

CHANCE Fellows

11 May 2018
CHANCE Fellows receive undergraduate research award

CHANCE 2017 Fellows, Logan Staley and Ethan Liu, won the Gerard A. Hauser Award for Best Overall Exhibit Presentation (Grand Prize) at the 2018 Penn State Undergraduate Research Exhibition, State College, PA. Their presentation: Exploring the Economic Utilization of Invasive Species to Improve the Health of Ecosystems in Cuba, shared their summer 2017 CHANCE field research in Western Cuba. In this mixed-method field study they evaluated two of Cuba’s most notorious invasive species, the lionfish and marabou shrub, while also proposing solutions to economically utilize them to reduce their environmental impact. Both Fellows have been inspired by their CHANCE experiences. Logan, a senior Landscapes Architecture major, will pursue his interest in developing and designing eco-tourism resorts, and Ethan, a junior Microbiology major, will pursue his interest in creating and operating a sustainable vineyard. This year Ethan will serve as the teaching assistant for the CHANCE 2018 Australia program. CONGRATULATIONS!

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

30 May 2018
The Nature Institute logo

Educating for Sustainability
The Nature Institute provides various resources for educators and parents, including an Online Guide to the transformative approach to educating for sustainability.
Read the Online Guide »

29 May 2018
Small plant growing
Environmental Education Activities for Teacher Educators
These environmental education activities have been created for teacher educators by teacher educators. Through a grant from the National Science Foundation (DRL 1638420), members of Wisconsin’s higher education programs were invited to participate in two workshops that provided professional development and time to create these activities.

The teacher educators have also implemented these activities in their own courses.The resource includes 34 activities that could be used to teach a range of disciplines and licensure levels. Additionally, they are aligned with the Professional Development of Environmental Educators: Guidelines for Excellence (NAAEE, 2017).

View activities »

View All Educator Resources »

Resources For Students

15 June 2018
Smith Fellow logo

Fellowship Opportunity for Early-Career Scientists
The David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program seeks to develop future world leaders and entrepreneurs who are successful at linking conservation science and application. A Smith Fellowship provides two years of postdoctoral support for applied research in the field of conservation science and closely related fields. Application deadline is September 7, 2018.
Learn more and apply »

11 April 2018
OTS logo

Ecología Tropical y Conservación
La Selva (OTS) invites you to participate in the next course of tropical ecology and conservation 2019. This is an intensive field course, at postgraduate level, taught in Spanish. The activities are carried out in Costa Rica for seven days a week for six weeks, in biological seasons and natural reserves. You have time to register until 15 June 2018. for more information you can visit the tab page.
For more information »

View All Student Resources »