Program Details

For over 40 years, the Leakey family - instructors for part of this program - have pioneered human prehistory research in this beautiful region of Africa, also commonly referred to as the "Cradle of Human Kind". Students learn in the field, lab, and class
Location:
Nairobi, Kenya
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Fall Semester, Spring Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:
The Turkana Basin in the Great Rift Valley preserves an unparalleled wealth of ancient remains and is often referred to as the "Cradle of Human Kind". Fossils range from 100 million years old to very recent, and include human ancestors, dinosaurs, extinct reptiles and mammals, including primates,and plants. Archaeological artifacts range from 2 million years ago to very recent: some of the sites visited are littered with stone tools and ancient pottery shards. The program consists of five 2-week modules where students learn basic principles and field methods, while earning 15 upper, 300-level credits. 1. Ecology of the Turkana Basin (surveys, transects, and small animal capture). 2. Geology (learn about rocks, volcanoes and more) 3. Vertebrate Paleontology (dinosaurs, mammals, paleoecology and paleobotany) 4. Human evolution (paleoanthropology - learn about our ancestors) 5. Archaeology (learn about the tools and culture of the past 2 million years, and learn how to make your own stone tools! Classes are taught by world leaders in their field: previous instructors have included Drs. Richard and Meave Leakey, Sonia Harmand, Helene Roche, Dino Martins, Bernard Wood, Fred Grine, Chris Lepre and Craig Feibel.

For over 40 years, the Leakey family - instructors for part of this program - have pioneered human prehistory research in this beautiful region of Africa, also commonly referred to as the "Cradle of Human Kind". Students learn in the field, lab, and classroom about fossils, archaeological artifacts such as stone tools, basic geology, and modern and ancient ecology & evolution. This program provides students with a comprehensive understanding about how biotic and abiotic factors and processes affected what we see and are today. In each of the five modules, students typically receive 2-3 hours of lecture each morning, 6 days a week. The afternoons are spent in the field and/or the lab. Methods taught include transects, live capture of small animals, fossil and stone tool discovery and recovery techniques, excavation, identification and preparation methods, identification and preparation of fossils and artifacts, and manufacture of stone tools. Approximately once a week there is an all day excursion (e.g visits to paleontological and archaeological sites, boat trips, and on occasion overnight camping trips).

The world's leading program of its kind! Each module is taught by a top scientist in that field. The program is very hands-on and personal. You earn fifteen 300-level credits in Anthropology, Paleontology, Archaeology, Geology, and Ecology in a single semester! Great networking opportunity with professors and scientists. Meet your future graduate adviser!Many past participants have since been chosen as field assistants on actual digs and project by instructing professors! Experience adventure and expand your horizon!
Setting Description:
The Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) Field School is based at the TBI Turkwel research facility in the south-west of Lake Turkana. The newly constructed beautiful and very comfortable facility overlooks the river and is surrounded by acacia trees, bushes, grasses and outcrops. The facility is easily reached by a short plane ride from Nairobi, followed by a 45 min truck ride. Students stay in comfortable dorms with showers, flushing toilets and mosquito net covered beds - typically students move their beds out onto the verandas to sleep under the stars. The facility provides ample clean drinking water and varied, high quality, delicious food. There is internet and limited cell reception.
Cost:
All cost are estimates and are subject to change, please contact us for the most recent costs. Tuition and fees at Stony Brook University, 15 credits, full semester (approx. $5000 NY residents, $11,500 non-NY residents, see SBU website). Your financial aid may apply. Program fee: $6,000 (incl. all transport in Kenya, lodging, and food). Airfare return from NY: Approx. $1,100. A semester in Turkana may cost you less than a semester on campus!

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