Kenya Human Evolution, Turkana, Rift Valley, Africa, Fossils, human origins, paleontology, archaeology
Turkana Basin Institute
Fall 2014: Sep 03 - Nov 20. Undergrad and Grad credits!
Spring 2015: Jan 15 - April 01
This is a full semester (Fall/Spring)academic study abroad program in Turkana, northern Kenya, an area often refereed to as the "cradle of human kind". For over 40 years, the LEAKEY family - instructors for parts of this program - have pioneered human prehistory research in this area of the Great Rift Valley. The facility is newly constructed in a beautiful area overlooking the Turkwel river - amazing sunsets, colorful birds, and wide open spaces!
The 11 week program consists of five 2-week modules totaling fifteen 300/500-level credits in Anthropology, Geology,Paleontology, and Archaeology. Classes are taught by world leaders in their fields. Instructors have included: award winning Kenyan ecologist, writer, and artist Dr. Dino Martins, stone tool expert Dr. Sonia Harmand, geologist and paleoenvironment expert Dr. Craig Feibel, paleontologist Dr. Mikael Fortelius, and human evolution experts Drs Matt Skinner and Bill Kimbel.
Accommodations are very beautiful, safe, and comfortable. Students live in newly constructed dormitories or bungalows, all with ample clean drinking water, showers, flushing toilets, comfy beds with mosquito nets (usually on the veranda under the stars), delicious, restaurant style varied food, swimming, internet, and limited cell. Its a lot like being at a nice hotel!
1. ECOLOGY OF THE TURKANA BASIN
Students learn basic theories and methods of ecology to understand how our ancestors evolved. Exercises include capture of terrestrial and aquatic insects, measuring plant density using transects, bird surveys, and independent projects.
2. GEOLOGY OF THE TURKANA BASIN
Learn about sedimentation, stratigraphy, and volcanism, including field methods. Learn how to use a compass to map an area, what sediments can tell you about past environments and fossils, and go on a overnight camping trip to a famous fossil site.
3. VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY and PALEOECOLOGY OF THE TURKANA BASIN
Learn how to identify fossils, and about evolution and extinctions. Includes field excavation, preparation, and laboratory methods, as well as field trips to fossil sites.
4. HUMAN EVOLUTION IN THE TURKANA BASIN
Lectures by senior paleoanthropologists -incl.the Leakeys-, laboratory exercises using casts, and field trips to famous localities to learn field methods.
5. ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE TURKANA BASIN
Examine evidence of 2 million+ years of hominin technological adaptations around Lake Turkana, home to some of the world's oldest stone tools. Learn how to make your own stone tools, visit sites littered with stone tools and pottery, learn excavation methods, and go on a fun camping trip to famous sites! Dr Sonia Harmand.
Undergraduate: Some basic knowledge of Anthropology, Biology, Archaeology, Geology or Ecology is desirable, but not necessary. Freshman - Senior, and applicants of all ages welcome.
Graduate credits: Completed 4-year BA or BSc. degree at time of program start.
Please note that it is very hot and dry in Turkana, and there is some hiking involved - participants should be in good health.
Tuition / Fees:
In many cases equivalent - or less - than a semester on campus!!
Participants must enroll for a semester at Stony Brook University. Approximate costs(subject to change):
Program fee: $ 6,500 (all transport, food, lodging, activities in Kenya)
Intern. flights: $ 1,200
Tuition 15 credits (300/500 level): NY residents: $3,000, others $ 9,000
For up-to-date costs see our website:
Support (scholarships, travel):
Federal financial aid typically can be used towards the cost of this program. Many universities have scholarships and travel awards that may apply.
For more information: www.stonybrook.edu/studyabroad/scholarships.html
Start + End Dates:
11 weeks: FALL 2014: 03. Sep- Nov 20; SPRING 2015: Jan 15 - Apr 01
Apply NOW for Fall 2014
For detailed info and fun pictures of previous field schools:
www.facebook.com/fieldschool ("Field School blog")
Anja Deppe, Field School Director
Turkana Basin Institute, Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794
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