On Becoming an Ecologist

Posted: September 16, 2013

SFS gives students a memorable learning experience—a dream come true. Through field learning, we impart skills that empower students to become naturalists. In the last week, students have been immersed in learning about what makes the savannahs in Africa. It is exciting for students to learn new plants, wildlife, and cultures. We teach students to do this through an inquiry process. Based on an ecological question of interest, students have started to inquire about natural phenomena. This is a great way to start “being one” with nature.

Students make detailed observations and field notes. One of the most captivating classes is learning to interpret signs in the wild. We spent time analyzing dung, tracks and other signs to gains insights on how wildlife and humans interrelate. Within days students, can now identify dung and tracks of most wildlife and livestock, as well as signs of bush meat poaching.  This is a dream for any nature lover and ecologist. In the next two days, we will learn the plants of northern Tanzania, just before we go into Lake Manyara National Park for a study on primate behavior. Every day here is fulfilling and we as faculty are happy to be part of this exciting experience.