This course introduces students to natural history, biodiversity & conservation in East Africa. Seminars, class discussions, guest lectures, and field exercises provide overviews of the scientific method, field research techniques, the geological and natural history of the area, and an introduction to the biota and diverse habitats of this region. We also will explore assessment of traditional and emerging land uses and their impacts on ecosystems, and an analysis of contemporary conservation issues, particularly those related to competing land uses, to the expansion of tourism, and to the development aspirations of community stakeholders. We plan to visit at least 3 locations, including Nairobi National Park, Lake Naivasha, Amboseli or Tsavo, and possibly the Indian Ocean coast. Each field site serves as a geographic focus for group research projects designed in consultation with instructors, peers, and local experts. We will visit local communities engaged in biodiversity conservation and gain insights into local culture. We have longstanding contacts and friends in Kenya with whom we have worked for over a decade who will help us ensure the safest and most cost effective experience possible.
For logistical support, we will be working our friends at Bunduz, with whom we have worked multiple times previously, and will be supported by our colleague and friend Carole Muriuki.