• Australia field course 2018
  • global fossil fuel emissions graph
  • 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, award-winning, interdisciplinary environmental education program, whose overarching goal is to teach conservation biology and global sustainability at the front-line. To do this, CHANCE creates unique learning environments which are part of its international field courses that immerse 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 will address the challenges of our time such as energy, air, food, water, and climate change in their lifetimes.

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 January 2019
comparison of arctic ice
Antarctic Ice Sheet Could Suffer a One-two Climate Punch
Scientists have long speculated that our planet's climate system is intimately linked to the Earth's celestial motions. The pacing of the most recent ice ages, for example, is attributable to changes in the shape of our planet's orbit around the sun as well as to cyclic changes in the...
Read SCIENMAG full story »

9 January 2019
large plastic sheet floating in the sea
How a Seaweed-Eating Microbe Could Help Fight Plastic Pollution
Around 8 million metric tons of plastic are estimated to enter the oceans every year. But the oceans could provide a solution to this plastic pollution problem. In a new study published in Bioresource Technology, scientists report that certain salt-loving microorganisms could eat seaweed and produce biodegradable plastics in a sustainable fashion.
Read Anthropocene article »

27 December 2018
A computer simulation of carbon dioxide movement in the atmosphere
Can Artificial Intelligence Help Build Better, Smarter Climate Models
Researchers have been frustrated by the variability of computer models in predicting the earth's climate future. Now, some scientists are trying to utilize the latest advances in artificial intelligence to focus in on clouds and other factors that may provide a clear view.
Read Yale Environment 360 article »

21 December 2018
Jellyfish are not an Ecological Dead End
Except when we’re marveling at their otherworldly beauty, jellyfish are either ignored or considered a symptom of ecological collapse. Yet they might play a valuable, unappreciated role in oceanic food webs.
Read Anthropocene More »

6 December 2018
global fossil fuel emissions graph
ESSD - Global Carbon Budget 2018
Accurate assessment of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO 2) emissions and their redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial biosphere – the “global carbon budget” – is important to better understand the global carbon cycle, support the development of climate policies, and.....
Review Earth Systems Science Data and Global Climate Budget 2018 »

28 November 2018
red outdoor spigot
We Could Feed Billions More People if We Used Water More Sustainably
Investing in sustainable irrigation systems across the world's croplands could boost food production by one-third--whilst safeguarding the planet's water sources, too.
Read Anthropocene article »

27 November 2018
hand holding a a carbon-reinforced granite plate
How Algae and Carbon Fibers Could Sustainably Reduce the Aathmospheric Carbon Dioxide Concentration
In collaboration with fellow researchers, chemists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a process that, according to initial calculations, can facilitate economically removing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The latest World Climate Report (IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 ° C) acknowledges the global relevance of the process.
Read article »

24 November 2018
chart showing how the climate has changed
Impact of Climate Change is Growing, and the U.S. Must Act, Federal Report Warns
The 4th National Climate Assessment takes the temperature of climate change across the United States. The message? Adapt.
Read National Geographic story »
Read Fourth National Climate Assessment »

31 October 2018
Republican elephant and Democratic donkey shaking hands with images of solar cells and a wind turbine behind them.
Why Republicans and Democrats Can Meet in the Middle
for Green Energy

The key word is self-sufficiency. Voters on both sides of the aisle agree that rooftop solar panels and energy conservation are a financially wise move and a step towards being able to take care of yourself.
Read Anthropocene article »

17 October 2018
mountain lion emerging from a tunnel
America's Cat is on the Comeback
Mountain lions were extirpated in the eastern and miswestern United States after Europeans settled those areas, but now they are returning. Where will they go?
Read American Scientist article »

10 October 2018
eagle attacking a drone in the air
Will Smart Machines Be Kind to Animals?
With a few decades, autonomous and semi-autonomous machines will be found throughout Earth’s environments, from homes and gardens to parks and farms and so-called working landscapes — everywhere, really, that humans are found, and perhaps even places we’re not. And while much attention is given to how those machines will interact with people, far less is paid to their impacts on animals.
Read Anthropocene article »

19 September 2018
camel in the Sahara desert
Wind and Solar Farms Could Turn the Sahara Green for the First Time in Over 4,500 Years
Covering even part of the Sahara’s nine million square kilometers with solar panels and wind turbines could produce more than enough power for the entire world. It would also bring rain to the Sahara and make parts of it green.
Read Anthropocene article »

13 September 2018

photo of caribou in Greenland

As Greenland Warms, Nature’s Seasonal Clock Is Thrown

For millennia, ecosystems in Greenland and throughout the Arctic have been regulated by seasonal changes that govern the greening of vegetation and the migration and reproduction of animals. But a rapidly warming climate and disappearing sea ice are upending that finely tuned balance.

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 »

Photo album »

Featured Sponsor

Trans-Pacific Engineering Corporation (TPEC) logo

Trans-Pacific Engineering Corporation (TPEC) is a civil and environmental engineering firm established in 1993 and headquartered in suburban Philadelphia. TPEC is one of the leading firms in Philadelphia that is addressing the issue of storm-water management and combined sewer overflow into the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers.

TPEC supports Penn State CHANCE because they agree that a clean and sustainable environment is essential to the future of mankind. Through innovative technologies, sustainable design and active public engagement, TPEC aims to create and maintain a cleaner, safer world.

Learn more about TPEC services and projects »

Featured Video

November 2018

CHANCE in Bolivia

Penn State CHANCE and its Founding Director, Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, featured on live television in Bolivia.

Other CHANCE featured videos »

CHANCE Fellows

29 October 2018
Hannah Albright

CHANCE Fellow Embraces her Passion for Bee Conservation

CHANCE 2017 Cuba Fellow Hannah Albright, a recent graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Environmental Resource Management and minor in Sustainable Leadership is currently working with honeybees. Her passion grew out of her concern for their declining population and their importance in pollination and honey production. She not only worked with Penn State New Kensington and a local beekeeper to establish 14 hives on the campus property, but also spent a year as the 2018 Pennsylvania Honey Queen where she educated over 16 million people about honeybees. To prove how gentle they are she even did a bee beard with approximately 15,000 honeybees! Currently, she has her own apiary with 3 hives, produces her own honey, makes beeswax lip balm, and hopes to continue educating people on honeybees. Here's to an amazing environmental educator and entrepreneur!!

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

8 January 2019

NAEE logo

What to use to teach environmental health and climate change?

The answer to this question was recently posted on an NAAEE eeNews blog. What do you use to teach climate change?

  • Association of Environmental Studies and Scientists (https://aessonline.org/ (link is external)). They have a syllabus bank that can be accessed by members.
  • Citizens’ Climate Education (https://citizensclimateeducation.org/ (link is external)). They have volunteer speakers that could come talk to your class.
  • Ecological Footprint Calculator (http://www.footprintcalculator.org/ (link is external)). This helps calculate how many earths it takes to live.
  • FoodSpan (http://www.foodspanlearning.org/ (link is external)). This curriculum teaches about food systems - from farm to fork.
  • MIT’s Climate Simulation (https://mitsloan.mit.edu/LearningEdge/simulations/worldclimate/Pages/default.aspx (link is external)). Used for context building. A watered-down version of the simulation fits into 2, 75 minute class periods.
  • Oroeco app (https://www.oroeco.com/ (link is external)). Students track their choices over a semester and ultimately see pounds of CO2 used per month.
  • Project Learning Tree (https://www.plt.org/curriculum/southeastern-forests-climate-change/ (link is external)). This curriculum contains 14 activities that focus on the interactions between climate and forests and the ways forest management can help adapt to and mitigate future change.
  • The Climate Reality Project (https://www.climaterealityproject.org/ (link is external)). They have wonderful guest speaker ideas which can be used to lead small and large group discussions. They focus on what we can do as an individual, family, community and at larger geographic levels to combat climate change
  • 16 December 2018

    AAAS logo

    High-resolution Global Maps of 21st-century Forest Cover Change

    Our understanding of how forests change remains limited, due to our inability to observe them over time. In a study by Hansen et al., satellite imagery (Landsat) was used to map global-scale forest cover changes from 2000 to 2012 at high spatial resolution. With this information, they determined how forests change in different countries and biomes (tropical, temperate, etc.) and were able to investigate the major causes of forest change around the world. The methods and results provided here can be used by countries and agencies that are interested in monitoring forest change for management and conservation.

    The Earth Engine team at Google has made data from this research paper available for use in the classroom. Google's Global Forest Change Explorer web application contains maps that are available for interactive analysis as well as an accompanying educator guide.

    Visit annotated research paper and teaching materials »

    24 November 2018

    NAMEPA logo

    An Educator’s Guide to the Marine Environment

    Developed by the North American Marine Environment Protection Association, this easy-to-use guide introduces K-12 audiences to the marine environment and fosters ocean literacy through lessons exploring themes of Ocean health, Ocean Acidification, Ocean Exploration, and Marine Industry. Each theme contains three lessons. For example, in the ocean Exploration lessons, elementary students conduct a coastal Scavenger Hunt: middle level students Build Your Own Underwater Exploration Vehicle; and high school students study the behavior of Waves and Light in the Ocean.

    All of the lessons support the NGSS and can be used in both formal and informal settings as either stand-alone content or to supplement lessons in other areas.

    Use resource »

    24 November 2018

    National Parks From Space

    National Parks - From Space

    Take a virtual visit to more than 60 national parks from the vantage of space. Read articles selected from NASA’s Earth Observatory website to learn about the parks’ unique geology, ecology, and cultural history. Use the resource with middle and high school students to demonstrate the many ways satellite imagery is being used to help us observe geological processes at work, enhance our understandings of interactions at play within various ecosystems, and expand our perspective about the human connection to and cultural importance of national parks and monuments.

    National Parks website »

    View All Educator Resources »

    Resources for Students

    16 January 2019
    NOAA logo
    Marine Sciences Summer Program

    The Summer REU Program in Marine Science at the University of Delaware, is an NSF-Funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, this REU program supports ten undergraduate students to conduct research in chemical, physical, or biological oceanography, marine biology or marine geology. The program will take place at the University of Delaware's Hugh R. Sharp campus in the resort community of Lewes, located on the shores of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. In addition to hands-on research experience, student support includes a $6,200 stipend, campus housing, and travel assistance.
    Applications are due Friday, February 8th, 2019.

    More information and the application »

    14 January 2019
    NOAA logo

    Student Opportunities

    Find information about educational opportunities that are available throughout NOAA including the Chesapeake Bay Internship Program, Coastal Management Fellowship, Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program, EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program, and many more.

    Visit the NOAA Educational website »

    05 January 2019
    Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment logo
    11th Year of the "Dance Your Ph.D." Contest Sponsored by AAAS and Science

    This contest challenges scientists to explain their research without PowerPoint slides or jargon-in fact with no talking at all. It doesn't matter if you're just starting your Ph.D. or you completed it decades ago. All science should be explained with dance.


    The overall winner receives a $1000 cash prize. (Stay tuned ethics could change if a sponsor comes through.)

    How to enter:

    Turn your Ph.D. thesis into a dance. Post the video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/). Send the link to: gonzolabs.org/dance/enter-the-contest

    The rules: You must have a Ph.D., or be working on one as a Ph.D. student. Your Ph.D. must be in a science-related field. You must be part of the dance.

    Submission deadline: 14 January 2019 at 11:59 PM EST

    To complete and official rules >>

    05 January 2019
    Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment logo

    Penn State University Water Faculty Call for Nominations of Student Members of the Water Council

    A critical component to Penn State’s success in water research and faculty is the strength and energy of its students. For this reason, the University Water Council seeks nominations of outstanding undergraduate and graduate students engaged in water research and education at Penn State to be members of the Council. The existing Council members will select two students, one from the undergraduate student body and one from the graduate student body.

    Eligible students should have a course of study or research that has a water-related emphasis and be nominated by a Water Faculty member. Nominations packages should be submitted by a nominating Water Faculty member and should consist of the following:

    1. A Letter of Nomination from a Water Faculty member describing the student’s strengths and qualifications to be a member of the Water Council, including the student’s interest in water related research and education.
    2. A Statement of Interest of 250 words or less from the student clearly stating his/her interest in serving on the Water Council and the strengths he/she would bring to the position.
    3. A Resume/CV. The Resume/CV should clearly state the current standing and academic pursuit of the student (undergraduate/graduate, semester of study/degree pursued, major/minor/concentration of study).

    Nominations should be submitted to Chris Pfeiffer, Institutes of Energy and the Environment, at cxp7@psu.edu by Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Selections will be announced in February 2019.

    28 November 2018
    EESL logo

    EESL Green Student Seed Grant Competition Announcement

    The Energy and Environmental Sustainability Laboratories (EESL) is pleased to announce an EESL Green Student Seed Grant competition for Spring 2019. The goal of this competition is to support the research of Penn State students who are interested in conducting analyses in any of the EESL multi-user research facilities.

    Graduate and undergraduate students interested in participating must prepare and submit a 1-page proposal. Advisors will be asked to submit a short note endorsing the proposal as a part of the application process. All University Park and Commonwealth campus students are eligible.

    Each award will be a maximum of $2,500. Proposals must be submitted to https://psu.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1779866 no later than midnight January 15, 2019.
    Learn more »

    View All Student Resources »