Princeton Program: Tropical Biology and Sustainability in Kenya
The EEB Department (in collaboration with the Program in African Studies, Columbia University and Kenyan institutions) offers a spring semester in Kenya for primarily for juniors. Sophomores and Seniors may receive special permission to participate; please contact Undergraduate Administrator, Lolly O'Brien (email@example.com). As with the Panama Program, four courses are taken in sequence and involve total immersion in the tropics. We have chosen Kenya as our Old World tropics site because of its rich variety of ecosystems and animals, and the presence of the Mpala Research Centre (MRC)—a facility for scientific research, education, and training in central Kenya, emphasizing environmental sciences, biodiversity conservation, and natural resources management. The courses taught in 2018 will include Vector Biology, Savanna Ecology and Conservation, The Natural History of Mammals and a new course, Paleoecology.
Aside from studying animal predation and habitats, learning field techniques, understanding the importance of ecosystem restoration, and experimenting with fashioning building blocks from easily available local materials, students went on safari, visited one of the several private wildlife reserves in the area, climbed Mt. Kenya, and stayed, at one point, in a group campsite run by the local Maasai.
After students complete the 'in the field' part of the course they return to campus to write up their findings, present their work at a symposium, and work intensively on their junior paper. While in the field, past students have had the opportunity to present findings to local landowners and government officials, appear on Kenyan television and even meet with the US Ambassador to Kenya to present their findings.
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