Paleoanthropology & Field Geology in Tanzania

welcome to Olduvai

Olduvai Field School:  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 the fundamentals of geological processes and develop skills in fossil and archaeological exploration through first-hand field experience. The course will emphasize field observations, data recording and interpretation with the goal of understanding physical and biological processes of site formation and human evolution. Students will have the opportunity to conduct field experiments such as measuring stratigraphic sections, 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.



Dates: May 16–June 22, 2018. Deadline for applications is March 31, 2018.

This 6-week course fulfills the IU GenEd World Languages and Cultures International Experience requirement. 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 East Africa.


Sites include archaeological sequences in Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli, Ngorongoro volcanic highlands and rift escarpments. Students will visit nearby paleoathropological sites at Laetoli (3.5 million years old hominin footprint site) and Peninj that provide an important contrast to those studied in the Olduvai sites.

field trips

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.


application &scholarships


This is a six-week, 6 cr. course listed as EAS-X377/G549 (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 or Dr. Jim Brophy for details and course information.



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 encouraged to apply.


Financial assistance will be available, though limited, to students who are planning to attend the Olduvai Gorge summer field program. The "scholarships" section has a lot more information about other potential scholarships and funding for international field experiences.



contact information

dr. jackson njau | dr. jim brophy
department of earth and atmospheric sciences
indiana university
1001 e. 10th st. bloomington in 47405

phone: 812-856-3170 | 812-855-6417

email: |