• Cuba field course 2017
  • Costa Rica field course 2017
  • A newly planted tree

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

12 October 2017

The blue curves represent the ice edge.

Hole the Size of Maine Opens in Antarctica Ice
A mysterious hole as big as the state of Maine has been spotted in Antarctica’s winter sea ice cover. The hole was discovered by researchers about a month ago. The team, comprised of scientists from the University of Toronto and the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project, was monitoring the area with satellite technology after a similar hole opened last year.
Read National Geographic article »

11 October 2017
Water evaporation over beaker
Water Evaporation Could Power Much of the US
Harvesting the energy from natural water evaporation using special evaporation-driven engines could generate enough power for most of the United States.
Read Anthropocene article »

02 October 2017
Person walking through floodwaters
Is this a good time to talk about climate change?
A new study finds that people who had recently experienced more extreme weather events were more likely to support climate change adaptation in general, as well as to support specific adaptation measures.
Read Anthropocene article »

18 September 2017
CHANCE participants in Cuba
Penn State Students Study Fragile Ecosystems in Cuba
CHANCE participants conducted biological and ecological research alongside field scientists this summer.
Read Penn State News »

17 September 2017
Satellite images of hurricanes
6 Questions About Hurricane Irma, Climate Change and Harvey
A third of the way into the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA looked at the ocean and air temperatures and issued an ominous new forecast: the region would likely experience "an above normal hurricane season" that "could be extremely active," with more named storms than previously expected—14 to 19 this season—and two to five major hurricanes.
Read ICN article »

View All Newswire Features »

Field Courses

Eastern Cuba field course imageEastern Cuba 2018 Field Course
June 2-10, 2018

Our second international field-course partnership with Holbrook Travel is entitled: The Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability of Eastern Cuba. The field-course website will be available at the end of 2017. Thank you for your patience while we coordinate our itinerary with our partners

Collage of kangaroo, sea turtle and rainforest photos
Australia 2018 Field Course
June 22-July 7, 2018

Our first international field course partnership with James Cook University and AUIP Study Abroad is entitled: Sustainability and Conservation: Citizen Science and Service Learning in Australia. Field course website will be available end of 2017. Please follow us on Facebook while we work on the 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

October 2017

Chasing Antarctic Ice

The man who showed the world melting Arctic ice in the Oscar-nominated documentary Chasing Ice moves his time-lapse photo project toward the South Pole. James Balog, aboard the Lindblad Expeditions ship National Geographic Explorer, sailed to Antarctica to strategically place cameras to document receding ice. 

(Originally posted on National Geographic March 24, 2014)

Other CHANCE featured videos »

CHANCE Fellows

11 October 2017 CHANCE Fellow researching in lab

CHANCE Fellow Researchs with the PATHOGEN Project

Summer 2017 CHANCE Cuba Fellow, Casey Carr, is an undergraduate majoring in General Biology at Penn State University Park. For the past two semesters, she has been conducting research at Hines Laboratory, where primary studies focus on bee and wasp evolution and ecology. Casey is working with graduate student, Briana Ezray, on a specific project called the PATHOGEN Project which is designed to determine seasonal prevalence of pathogens in honey bees, bumble bees, and solitary bees in Centre County. This research is geared toward gaining a better understanding of the link between bee population decline and pathogen prevalence. She performs dissections, RNA and DNA extractions, as well as PCR and gel electrophoresis to screen bees collected in the country for the prevalence of 8 different pathogens. This is amazing research! Casey, you make CHANCE proud!

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

12 October 2017
Video thumbnail
CalAcademy’s Science Video Vault
Engaging topics highlighted in these video resources from the California Academy of Sciences include How Hummingbirds Hover, Why Protect Pollinators, Photosynthesis Seen from Space, Live Penguin Webcams, and The Living Soil Beneath Our Feet. The videos explore topics in Earth, Energy, Ecosystems, Engineering, Human Impacts, Ocean, Space, and Weather and Climate, with content available for use with every grade level. The website also presents ideas for using the videos in the classroom.
Visit Science Video Vault »

12 October 2017
Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change
Targeted for high school chemistry educators and instructors of introductory college science courses, this set of peer-reviewed, interactive, web-based materials explores the underlying science of climate change. Filled with interactive features such as embedded vocabulary definitions, clickable learning tools, and visualizations/animations of various Earth processes, the set contains nine lessons focused on the fundamental chemistry involved in processing affecting Earth’s radiation balance and climate. Each Lesson has a “Test Your Knowledge” section with comprehension questions that reiterate key ideas.
Visit website »

12 October 2017
LogoU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Basic Ozone Layer Science
This website presents a comprehensive yet straightforward explanation of the ozone layer and ozone depletion for high school students. It includes links to key resources on the topic, such as Twenty Questions and Answers About the Ozone Layer, and links to additional information and resources from organizations dedicated to ozone layer research and protection. Another useful page describes the health and environmental effects of ozone depletion on humans, plants, marine ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, and materials.
Visit EPA website »

View All Educator Resources »

Resources For Students

10 October 2017
Student Engagement Network logo
Penn State Student Engagement Network Seeking Proposals
The Penn State Student Engagement Network (SEN) is hosting the Student Engagement EXPO on Monday, November 6 in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park.

Proposals are sought for presentations, posters and photos that will inform or advance the practice of student engagement through research findings; innovative programs; student club activities; innovative programs or partnership models; proven community impact; effective curriculum or service-learning models; professional, travel or volunteer experiences; or successful civic engagement practices.

The SEN invites undergraduate students to speak (FIVE minutes) about how engagement has impacted their lives and academic careers in the form of lightning round presentations.

Students interested in presenting work and the impact of their engagement experience in traditional poster format are invited to submit a poster.

Lastly, if you’d like to feature your student engagement story in the Engagement Space and online at #engagepennstate, submit a photo.

A limited number of student clubs/orgs will be invited to host a table in the all new Engagement Space to promote the impact and benefit of student engagement (contact the Student Engagement Network at engage@psu.edu).

The deadline for all submission is Friday, October 13.

For more information and to submit a proposal, poster, or photo »

View All Student Resources »