CSATS is partnering with the Penn State CHANCE Program to offer a unique field research experience in Costa Rica! 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.

Parts of the Program:

  • Field research experience in Costa Rica
  • Development of a Classroom Research Project (CLRP) during six summer professional development workshops through CSATS
  • Research Presentation at the REU/RET Symposium at Penn State, University Park, PA
  • Implementation of CLRP and Impact Report during Academic Year 2017-2018

To be considered for this experience, you must also apply and register for the field course through the Penn State CHANCE Program.  Your Immediate Supervisor Support Letter can also be submitted to the CHANCE Program.

Important Dates:

  • Costa Rica Research Experience:  May 19-28, 2017
  • Six summer Professional Development Workshops during June 19-July 28, 2017
  • REU/RET Symposium at Penn State University Park, PA:  August 3, 2017
  • Two Academic Year Professional Development workshops:  AY 2017-2018


  • Must be a secondary education teacher who teaches science, technology, engineering, and math content with at least 3 years full time teaching experience
  • Must be committed to implementing a classroom research project (CLRP) during the 2017-2018 academic school year
  • Must be a teacher serving students from culturally diverse, economically disadvantaged Pennsylvania communities


  • $5,000 at the conclusion of the Costa Rica research experience and approved Classroom Research Project (CLRP) submission
  • $1,500 at the conclusion of the CLRP and Impact Report
  • Support to implement CLRP

Teacher Costs:

  • Teachers can gain either graduate credits or CEU hours. All teacher participants must be registered for either one or the other.
  • Graduate credits: Tuition based on number of graduate credits desired, 4 max @ $483/graduate credit [3 credits for Biology 496 (spring) and/or 1 credit for Biology 496 (summer)] Or CEUs: 120 hours/$200
  • $2000 – includes:  All instruction and guide services; all meals and lodging as stated in the itinerary; all ground, water and air transportation within Costa Rica; all entrance fees to National Parks and other sites; research and conservation activities; round-trip international airfare.
  • Trip cost does not include:  Passport fees; Penn State mandatory HTH Worldwide Study Abroad insurance (~ $2.00/day); gratuities to guides, drivers, or transfer personnel; transportation to-and-from Newark International Airport, New Jersey; luggage fees; laundry; telephone calls; and any other expenses of a personal nature


Amanda Smith, M. Ed

STEM Outreach and Engagement Liaison

Email: | Phone: 814-867-3183

  Upcoming Events:

  Export Events
A list of current Workshops
Workshop Target Audience Length Date/Time Location Registration

No events could be found within the specified time range (now until 12 months from now) for this Calendar.