Northern Tanzania is a hub of wildlife tourism. Home to world-famous national parks such as Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, this remarkably scenic area is the center of tourism in East Africa. It has also been the home of the Maasai, Iraqw, and other groups for centuries.
SFS’ field station is surrounded by wildlife using diverse migration corridors and seasonal dispersal areas. The Maasai, and now settlers from other ethnic communities, depend on these same areas as communal grazing grounds for livestock and for growing food. As a result, they often face economic hardship due to crop damage from migrating wildlife, loss of livestock, and resource depletion and competition. Agricultural expansion, pollution, and climate change threaten the already strained water supply and the health of people, livestock, and wildlife alike.
The program explores the human elements of these the complex conservation issues. Our curriculum and research focus on how changes in land use and resource availability in the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem can be managed to foster the well-being of local communities while safeguarding and promoting biodiversity conservation. Students learn about the socioeconomic, policy, and environmental drivers and implications of demographic change and land reform for wildlife conservation and rural development. Students hear lectures by park wardens, wildlife veterinarians, and field researchers. They also interview Maasai community members about challenges they face by the rapid loss of natural resources.
One semester of college-level ecology or biology, 18 years of age.
Students will be exposed to a rich array of issues in Tanzania related to wildlife management and conservation, presented by SFS faculty and guests who have field experience and knowledge of these areas. Visit the SFS program website for more information.
A note about housing: Students sleep in thatched-roof bandas with a main building, or chumba, which houses a dining room, kitchen, classroom, and library. Additional facilities include a duka (shop), bathrooms, and open-air showers.
Please visit the SFS program page, and speak to an OSU education abroad advisor regarding the overall program cost.