Wildlife, Water, and Community


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.

Major academic themes include:

  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Water quality and use
  • Wildlife ecology and behavior
  • Climate change resilience
  • Conservation strategies
  • Community governance of protected areas
  • National parks management


On the Wildlife, Water, and Community 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 each course to view a description and download a syllabus.

SFS 2060 Introduction to Swahili Language and East African Tribal Communities 2 credits
SFS 3071 Human Dimensions of Conservation 4 credits
SFS 3720 Wildlife Ecology 4 credits
SFS 3751 Techniques in Natural Resource Management 4 credits
SFS 4910 Directed Research 4 credits

Core Skills

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

Field Sites

You will visit different ecosystems and communities such as the vast savannas at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, national parks and wildlife management areas, ranches and farms, rural villages, acacia forests, a rhino sanctuary, indigenous communities, the rugged wilderness and peaks of the Chyulu Hills, wildlife migratory corridors, and the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Directed Research

In the Directed Research course, each student completes a field research project under the mentorship of a faculty member – beginning with data collection and analysis and concluding with a research paper and presentation. Project subject areas span ecology, natural resource management, conservation science, environmental ethics, and socioeconomics.

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All program components are subject to change.