Field Geology and paleoanthropology in Tanzania
Dates: May 20-June 25 2015. Deadline for applications is April 15, 2015
This program offers an exciting six-week study abroad experience in Tanzania at the world’s most famous archaeological site. During this intensive field course students will learn fundamentals of geology, paleontology and archaeology and receive first-hand experience. The course will emphasize field observations, data recording and interpretation with the goal of understanding physical and biological processes of human evolution. Students will have the opportunity to conduct field experiments such as stone knapping and bone taphonomy. Students will work closely with the instructors and prominent scientists currently doing research at the Olduvai site to develop and carry out independent research projects.
The program includes two multiple-day field trips and two single-day field trips to spectacular geological and archaeological destinations that serve the purpose of providing important instruction in localities near Olduvai. These include excursions to Ol Doinyo Lengai (one of the most famous volcano in the world), Ngorongoro Crater and Embagai Craters. Students will study the impressive fault escarpment that marks the western boundary of the East Africa Rift Zone as well as understand the implication of the continental rifting and associated volcanism to evolution of early humans in the region. Students will visit nearby archaeological sites at Laetoli and Peninj that provide an important contrast to those studied in the Olduvai Gorge. Field instruction will also take students to Serengeti National Park where its diverse savanna ecosystem provides important modern analogs for understanding the Plio-Pleistocene evolution of African vertebrates (including hominins) as well as evolution of grass plains. Serengeti and Ngorongoro are world famous Safari destinations and students will have the opportunity to experience this lifetime ecological and educational safari.
This is a six-week, 6 cr. course listed as GEOL-G349 (Field Geo-Paleoanthropology) and is administered by Indiana University. Students will receive a grade from Indiana University after completion of the course. Please contact Dr. Jackson Njau (email) or Dr. James Brophy (email) for details and course information. The application form is available via this link.
Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher will be eligible to participate and are required to have taken at least one introductory course in geology, anthropology, archaeology and related fields in paleoanthropology such as evolution, ecology etc. IU and non-IU students are eligible to apply. Students will receive a grade from Indiana University after completion of the course.
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