Turkana Basin Institute Field School


Location: Lodwar, Kenya

Season: 
September 4, 2014 to November 17, 2014

Session dates: 
Fall semester and Spring semester, 11 weeks 15 credits . Fall Sep-Nov; Spring Jan-Apr

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014

Flyer: posterbio.pdf

Program Type

Field school

Affiliation:

Stony Brook University

Project Director:

Dr. Anja Deppe

Project Description

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!
Modules:

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.

Period(s) of Occupation: Pliocene, Holocene

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 11 weeks, 15 credits

Minimum age: 
18

Experience required: 
None

Room and Board Arrangements

The TBI facilitutes are newly constructed dormitories, class roomes and research labs. It is a remote and very safe location. Ample fresh water from a well, deliciuos freshly prepared food by our expert chefs includes, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, cheese, eggs, snacks,deserts. Students are provided with a shared room (although most move their beds outside onto the veranda for a cool breeze), a comfortable bed with moscito netting, all bedding and towels. Laundry service included. Very clean and comfortable. Showers, flush toilets, sinks. Wifi (slow) available, as is a small computer lab with netbooks. 

Cost: 
$ 6,500

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Stony Brook University, NY
Number of credits offered 15 upper level
Tuition: 
$ 3,000 NY residents, $ 8,900 other

Location

Contact Information
Anja Deppe
Turkana Basin Institute/Stony Brook University
Stony Brook
New York
USA
11794
Telephone: 
631-632-5808
Recommended Bibliography: 

The Turkana Basin Institute is a state-of-the-art new research facility in the Turkana region in northern Kenya. For over 40 years, the Leakey family-instructors of part of this program-have pioneered human prehistory research in this beautiful region often referred to as the "Cradle of Humankind".  The Turkana Baisn provides a wealth of ancient remains including tools and artefacts spanning the past 3 million years to very recent times, as well as fossils ranging form very recent to the dinosaurs. The 11-week Field School semester Program provides fifteen 300-level credits and consists of 5 modules (each taught by a specialist scientist/professor). Modules built on each other to provide a comprehensive understanding: Ecology, Geology, Vertebrate Paleontology & Paleoecology, Human Evolution, and Archaeology. This is a academic program where you do class room course work, learn lab and field methods. There are many excursions, some overnight to famous sites incl. Nariokotome and Lothagam.See our blog with lots of pictures and details about the courses and daily life in Turkana: www.facebook.com/fieldschool