summer session II


Elephants of the African Savanna


This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Kenya. Read more about the SFS program model.

Major academic themes include:

  • Elephant ecology
  • Elephant social behavior, communication, and intelligence
  • Population dynamics and management
  • Conservation strategies and challenges
  • Elephant habitat range and suitability
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On the Elephants of the African Savanna program, you will take one 4-credit course. This course is participatory in nature and is designed to foster inquiry and active learning combining lectures, field exercises, assignments, and tests. This course is taught in English.

Click on the course to view a description and download the syllabus

SFS 3252 Elephant Ecology and Conservation in Kenya 4 Credits

Core Skills

You will acquire hands-on skills in the field, including: elephant identification techniques, aging elephant dung, ground counts, behavioral studies, home range assessment using telemetry techniques, mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts, use of Swahili language, ethnophoto-voicing techniques, conducting social surveys (household interviews, focused group discussions and key informant interviews), data synthesis, analysis and interpretation, and scientific writing.

Field Sites

You will visit key elephant conservation areas in the Amboseli region, visit the Kimana Sanctuary and community conservancies, learn from the Maasai people and other local tribes living at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro and in the Maasai group ranches, and interact with researchers from the Amboseli Elephant Research Project.

A summer with SFS!

Take back-to-back summer sessions and get the hands-on learning and skill-building experiences of an internship, while going off the beaten path and exploring the world. Each summer session focuses on a different topic, and you’ll have time to travel independently between sessions.

Fundamentals of Wildlife Management (Kenya Summer I)
Elephants of Cambodia (Cambodia Summer I)

Check it out
All program components are subject to change.

Where You'll Be Living

The Center lies in the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley, nestled between three world-famous national parks. The snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro towers over miles of savanna, replete with a diversity of wildlife. Students and staff live on a sprawling, grassy campus made up of traditional thatched bandas (cabins) and a central chumba (main building), just down the road from the small town of Kimana.

  • Dorm living with 4-person bandas
  • Chumba contains classroom, computer lab, and study spaces
  • Kitchen and dining hall, on-site cooking staff
  • Campus offers amazing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • One-mile running trail on campus
  • Volleyball, soccer, Frisbee, and fire pit