Semester
15 Weeks
18 Credits
Spring 2024
Jan 30 - May 10
In the Field
Fall 2024
Sep 1 - Dec 12
Open
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9
Open
Program Costs
  • Tuition$21,000
  • Room & Board$5,750
  • Total$26,750
Application Deadlines
Spring 2024
November 15, 2023
Fall 2024
May 15, 2024
Spring 2025
November 15, 2024
Semester Program

Endangered Species

Kimana, Rift Valley, Southern,
Kenya

Study diverse wildlife and engage in hands-on conservation research in the world-famous national parks and stunning landscapes of Kenya and Rwanda. In Kenya, the survival of several endangered, threatened, and vulnerable species hinges on many factors, including the availability of critical resources, climate change, and land use adjustments. Research the root causes of these changes and how different conservation strategies can benefit both humans and wildlife. In Rwanda, you’ll view additional iconic endangered species, compare national conservation strategies, and hike into the rainforest to witness mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

  • On a multi-day camping trip, explore Amboseli National Park – widely regarded as the best place in the world to observe free-ranging elephants.
  • Track endangered mountain gorillas through the Rwandan rainforest with guest lecturers from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. For a life changing hour, live face to face with one of the most majestic creatures on earth.
  • Visit multiple conservancies and wildlife orphanages, learning how experts care for and use technology to steward lion, white and black rhinoceros, elephant, zebra and other wildlife populations.
  • Spend the day with a local Maasai family and learn about their culture, history, daily life, and relationship with nature.
  • Conduct a comprehensive field research project: Develop a research question, collect and analyze data, write a paper, and present your findings.

Academics

This academically rigorous program follows a six-day/week schedule. Each program combines theory learned during classroom sessions with field-based applications. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed to help students actively discover and understand the complexities of environmental, social, and economic issues in Kenya.

Major academic themes include:

  • Wildlife management
  • Climate change resilience
  • Water conservation
  • Wildlife ecology and behavior
  • Conservation strategies
  • Community governance of protected areas
  • National parks management

Courses

On the Endangered Species program, you will take three 4-credit disciplinary courses, one 2-credit language and culture course, and a 4-credit capstone Directed Research course. Courses are participatory in nature and are designed to foster inquiry and active learning. Each course combines lectures, field exercises, assignments, tests, and research. All courses are taught in English.

Click on the
to view a description and download the syllabus.
SFS 2060
Introduction to Swahili Language and East African Culture – Kenya
2 credits
SFS 2060

Introduction to Swahili Language and East African Culture – Kenya

2 credits

This course contains two distinct but integrated modules. The Swahili language module offers listening, oral, and written practice of the Swahili language, at a basic level of proficiency, to increase students’ communication and comprehension skills. The sociocultural aspects of Kenyan tribe’s module emphasize understanding of, and direct contact and interaction with, the native communities with which SFS works, primarily the Maasai. This exposure to culture and language is reviewed and processed through lectures, field exercises, and classroom discussion. The sociocultural module is designed to help students engage in the culture and be therefore more adept at working effectively in their Directed Research efforts.

View Syllabus
SFS 3752
Endangered Species Conservation
4 credits
SFS 3752

Endangered Species Conservation

4 credits

The Endangered Species Conservation course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the historical context and principles of conservation and management, particularly in resource management. It explores the utilitarian approach that advocates for sustainable management of renewable resources to prevent their exhaustion. The course emphasizes the urgent need for efficient utilization of available resources to address the contemporary challenges of species extinction, ecosystem degradation, and fragmentation of indigenous vegetation. Students will learn about the decision-making processes involved in determining the threatened status of species, selecting appropriate management strategies, and allocating resources effectively. The course specifically focuses on the landscape dynamics of East Africa Savanna Ecosystems and their impact on the vulnerability of wildlife species. It examines regional and Kenyan conservation efforts and provides hands-on training in field techniques for assessing and monitoring vulnerable species. The course also employs a comparative approach to evaluate the effectiveness of different management systems at local, regional, and global scales. Overall, students will gain practical knowledge and skills that will be applied to meet the objectives of the Directed Research component of the course.  

View Syllabus
SFS 3721
Ecology of Endangered Wildlife
4 credits
SFS 3721

Ecology of Endangered Wildlife

4 credits

This course explores the concept of biodiversity and its significance in sustaining human life on Earth. Biodiversity encompasses various living organisms, including plants, animals, fungi, and microbes, as well as the diversity of ecosystems and genetic variation. It provides numerous values, both intrinsic and utilitarian, such as fuel, medicine, food, and ecological services like water purification and climate regulation. Biodiversity also holds cultural and recreational values and profoundly shapes human societies. However, human activities have caused a rapid decline in biodiversity, with many species facing extinction. The IUCN Red List highlights the alarming number of species at risk, primarily due to habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution, climate change, and invasive species. Conservation efforts have had mixed success, and the course will examine strategies and resources used to mitigate species vulnerability. The IUCN Red List serves as a vital tool for monitoring and informing conservation decisions globally, categorizing species based on their risk of extinction. Understanding the status and conservation of biodiversity is crucial for developing effective policies and initiatives to address the ongoing biodiversity crisis.

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SFS 3072
Human Dimensions of Endangered Species Conservation
4 credits
SFS 3072

Human Dimensions of Endangered Species Conservation

4 credits

This academic course focuses on the crucial role of biodiversity and its diverse values, both intrinsic and utilitarian, in sustaining human life on Earth. It explores the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world, emphasizing the need for meaningful cross-country collaboration, participation of local communities, and respect for human rights and cultural diversity in conservation efforts. The course delves into the human dimensions of conservation, drawing upon concepts from social sciences such as Anthropology and Political Ecology. It examines the relationships between people, endangered species, and their environment, investigating how human behavior, values, and knowledge influence and are impacted by decisions regarding the management of endangered species. The course seeks to achieve a balanced interaction between politics, economics, cultures, and technology to conserve and restore populations of endangered species while considering human well-being. By incorporating societal values into conservation planning and decision-making, students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the human dimensions of conservation and develop the necessary tools and methods for conservation research.

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SFS 4910
Directed Research – Kenya
4 credits
SFS 4910

Directed Research – Kenya

4 credits

This course prepares students to distinguish hidden assumptions in scientific approaches and separate fact from interpretation, cause from correlation, and advocacy from objectivity. Students learn specific tools including: experimental design; field techniques; basic descriptive statistics; and parametric and non-parametric quantitative analysis. Emphasis is placed on succinct scientific writing, graphic and tabular presentation of results, and effective delivery of oral presentations.

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Core Skills

You will gain practical skills in the field such as: GIS, wildlife census techniques, natural resource valuation, water quality assessment, basic Swahili language skills, interview and survey methods, research design and implementation, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and research presentation.

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities which may include: the vast savannas at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, national parks and wildlife management areas in the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem, ranches and farms, rural villages, Maasai Mara National Reserve, conservancies, and farms, acacia forests, Indigenous communities, and wildlife migratory corridors.


Other Kenya Programs

Semester

Endangered Species

15 Weeks
18 Credits
Spring 2024
Jan 30 - May 10
In the Field
Fall 2024
Sep 1 - Dec 12
Open
Spring 2025
Jan 27 - May 9
Open

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$21,000
  • Room & Board$5,750
  • Total$26,750
Summer Session 1

Giraffe Ecology and Conservation

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jun 2 - Jul 1
Closed

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$5,355
  • Room & Board$2,395
  • Total$7,750
Summer Session 2

Elephants of the African Savanna

4 Weeks
4 Credits
Summer 2024
Jul 7 - Aug 5
Filling Fast

More Information

Program Costs
  • Tuition$5,555
  • Room & Board$2,395
  • Total$7,950

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