• Beach clean up
  • 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

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 »

03 May 2018
Air pollution in a city
How a ‘Toxic Cocktail’ Is Posing a Troubling Health Risk in China’s Cities
A recent study in Chinese cities found a potential link between a hazardous mix of air pollutants and death rates. These findings point to the need for a new approach to assessing the dangers of urban smog in fast-industrializing parts of the developing world.
Read Yale Environmental 360 article »

01 May 2018
Rain garden in Philadelphia With a Green Makeover, Philadelphia Is Tackling Its Stormwater Problem
In a major initiative, Philadelphia is building an extensive network of rain gardens, green roofs, wetlands, and other infrastructure to capture stormwater. The goal is to prevent runoff from overwhelming sewers and polluting waterways and to help green America’s fifth-largest city.
Read Yale Environmental 360 article »

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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

25 April 2018
Earth Educators' Rendevous logo
Earth Educators’ Rendezvous
Earth education teachers and graduate students at all levels, STEM education researchers, and administrators who want to improve their programs are invited to attend the 2018 Earth Educator’s Rendezvous at the University of Kansas in Lawrence during July 16-20. Through a combination of workshops, plenary talks, panel discussions, and teaching demonstrations, participants will learn new teaching approaches, discover ways to get involved in research in the field, prepare for an academic career, and discuss various ways to address teaching and learning challenges. Early bird registration ends on May 1, 2018.

Register online at this website »

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Resources For Students

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 »

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