• 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

06 April 2018
Artists rendering of a shoreline
Image: Hewe Duan
Connection of Sea Level and Groundwater Missing Link in Climate Response
About 250 million years ago, when the Earth had no ice caps and the water around the equator was too hot for reptiles, sea level still rose and fell over time. Now, an international team of researchers has developed a way to track sea level rise and fall and to tease out what caused the changes in the absence of ice sheets.
Read Penn State Today »

04 April 2018

The Delicate Dance of Temperature and Ice in the Arctic Should Be on Everyone’s Radar
If global average temperature stabilizes at 2.0 °C above pre-industrial levels, summer sea-ice will be absent from the Arctic every 3 to 5 years. At 1.5 °C of warming, ice-free conditions happen only every 40 years or so.
Read Anthropocene article »

25 March 2018
Nano wood
This is Nano Wood—an Ecofriendly Alternative to Styrofoam Insulation
A lightweight, strong material derived from wood works better than the heat-insulating materials used today. The new insulator is easy and cheap to make, biodegradable, and could slash the carbon footprint of homes and office buildings.
Read Anthropocene Article »

13 March 2018
Cape Town Spring Water
People wait to collect water from a natural spring in the Cape Town suburb of St. James in January 2018. RODGER BOSCH/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Awaiting Day Zero: Cape Town Faces an Uncertain Water Future
South Africa’s second-largest city has pushed back the day when its taps are expected to run dry. But with its population growing and the climate warming, Cape Town, like many cities in semi-arid regions, must take decisive measures to meet its future water needs.
Read Yale Environment 360 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

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

22 February 2018
CHANCE Fellow researching in the field

CHANCE 2017 Fellow, Arin Lewis, is a recent graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Physical Geography and a minor in Sustainability Leadership. Arin currently works at an outdoor gear shop and aims to get people outside to enjoy and connect with nature. This summer, Arin plans to be a team leader for a program called Polaris. He will chaperone a group of incoming freshmen on a backpacking excursion through the White Mountains of New Hampshire as part of their gym and orientation credits at Penn State. Through this program, Arin hopes to instill a sense of respect and stewardship for the natural world in students so that they may share new knowledge and skills gained with classmates. Afterwards, he intends to work with AmeriCorps before applying for a master’s degree in landscape architecture. Arin hopes to use his continued education to design creative solutions for ecological and social issues around the world.

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

19 April 2018
2018 Climate Education Academy
This summer NOAA, DE Sea Grant and MADE CLEAR are partnering to offer the 2018 Climate Education Academy, An Earth Systems Science Professional Learning Opportunity, and would like to invite you to apply for this exciting opportunity.

Academy Goals:

  • Participants will know major climate change content, including the causes and mechanisms of climate change; evidence for the human role in climate change; regionaland global impacts of climate change; and solutions to address and mitigate climate change impacts
  • Participants will be familiar with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) connections and teaching ideas for each of the four main climate topics covered in the Academy
  • Participants will know where to find climate change science information and data, climate change education resources, and people to contact for guidance
  • Participants will develop a plan for teaching about climate change and framing it in the context of a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE)
  • Participants will develop a plan for their own continuing professional learning in climate change education.

Dates: Monday, May 21, 2018, 7:00pm to Thursday, June 28, 2018, 8:00pm

Learn more »

11 April 2018
Two people testing water quality of a river.
A Science Training Opportunity in Water Quality
The Wildlands Conservancy of Emmaus, PA, is offering a FREE Volunteer Water Quality Training program to people looking to become citizen scientists. The event is a day of hands-on stream training. Data quality standards, testing tools and reporting methods – you’ll learn it all! Plus, you can become part of a volunteer force who helps monitor the water in the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers! The training is April 28, 9am – 3pm at the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary in Emmaus. You must register for the event.
Learn more and register »

View All Educator Resources »

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 »

View All Student Resources »