• NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! Australia field course 2018
  • A newly planted tree
  • Costa Rica field course 2017

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.

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Field Courses

Australia 2018 Field Course
June 24-July 9, 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. Applications will be accepted until March 30, 2018.

Learn more »

CHANCE Newswire

19 January 2018
Plants under large lamps
Fast-tracking crop growth to feed the world
An experimental NASA technology that saturates plants with light could trick them into growing faster--and vitally, producing more food. In a recent Nature Plants paper, the Australian and United Kingdom research team explain how their technique, called ‘speed-breeding’, artificially exposes plants to long periods of daylight, boosting photosynthesis to coax them into growing faster and producing more food. So far, the technique has succeeded in tripling the production of staple crops like wheat, barley, and chickpeas.
Read Anthropocene article »

04 January 2018
Ice covered lighthouse
Linking Extreme Weather to Climate Change Could Help Curb Carbon Emissions
There’s evidence that extreme weather and long-term changes in the local climate can increase people’s concerns about climate change. Media coverage of distant extreme weather events can also raise awareness and concern.
Read Anthropocene article »

07 December 2017
Dust storm
A dust storm approaches Phoenix. ALAN STARK/FLICKR
Climate Connection: Unraveling the Surprising Ecology of Dust
As droughts intensify and development expands, the amount of dust blowing around the earth is increasing, affecting everything from mountain snowmelt to the spread of disease. Scientists are just beginning to understand the complex dynamics of dust in a warming world.
Read Yale Environment 360 article »

07 December 2017
As Oceans Warm, the World’s Kelp Forests Begin to Disappear
Kelp forests — luxuriant coastal ecosystems that are home to a wide variety of marine biodiversity — are being wiped out from Tasmania to California, replaced by sea urchin barrens that are nearly devoid of life.
Read Yale Environment 360 article »

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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

06 November 2017 CHANCE Fellow hiking across a bridge

CHANCE Fellow Works to Increase Biophilia in PA

Summer 2017 CHANCE Fellow, Erifili Draklellis, is a Junior at University Park studying Earth Science and Policy and Geosciences with a dual minor in Geography and Sustainable Leadership. She has been around the globe twice with the CHANCE program, to both Costa Rica and Cuba in the summer of 2017. Currently, Erifili is an intern at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council where she is working on developing a conservation network through eleven different counties in Western Pennsylvania. By doing this, she hopes to increase biophilia in Pennsylvania by connecting humans with natural resources through outdoor recreation. Pennsylvania needs you, Erifili!

Our Other Fellows »

Resources For Educators

20 January 2018
Ocean tracks logo

Ocean Tracks Curriculum
Targeted for undergraduates but also appropriate for high school students, this curriculum from the Education Development Center’s Oceans of Data Institute and its partners teaches students how to use the Ocean Tracks map interface to explore authentic scientific data - including environmental and tracking data for elephant seals, Laysan Albatross, white sharks, and tuna. Through learning modules, students develop skills in analyzing data, spotting patterns, and extracting useful information from big datasets. Titles include Fact of Artifact? Interpreting Patterns in Ocean Tracks Data; Faster, Farther, Deeper: Exploring the Physiology of Highly Migratory Ocean Predators; Do You Come Here Often? The Making of Biological Hotspots; Saving Sharks; Proposing a New Marine Protected Area; and What’s Up in the Pacific Ocean? Connecting Productivity and Tuna Migration.
Access educational materials »

14 January 2018
Discovering Farmland logo

Discovering Farmland
An education initiative from the U.S Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and Discovery Education offers lessons, digital explorations, and 360 videos for high school students that focus on critical issues impacting the agriculture industry. The lessons support the Next Generation Science Standards and explore sustainability, the new science behind farming, and entrepreneurship. Digital explorations, such as Your Shopping Experience, introduce students to the meaning behind food labels as they click through items at a virtual grocery store and learn about terms like genetically modified crops, grass-fed proteins, and USDA Organic certification. The 360 videos provide glimpses of new developments in agriculture, including automatic feeders, robotic milkers, seed technologies, and Smart Farms.
Access educational materials »

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Resources For Students

19 January 2018
Grant Logo

Sigma Xi Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) Program
Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to apply for research funding through the Grants-in-Aid of Research (GIAR) program. Applications are now being accepted for the spring 2018 grant cycle in numerous STEM related disciplines.

The program awards grants of up to $1,000 to students from all areas of the sciences and engineering. Designated funds from the National Academy of Sciences allow for grants of up to $5,000 for astronomy research and $2,500 for vision related research. Students use the funding to pay for travel expenses to and from a research site, or for purchase of non-standard laboratory equipment necessary to complete a specific research project.

The deadline to submit applications is March 15, 2018 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.

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