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Field Research

Field research and first-hand investigation of issues and problems are at the core of this foreign study program. In Pretoria, South AFrica, we have classroom instruction at the university of pretoria and stay with our urban homestay families. This forms our base. From here, the Africa FSP features rural stays on African communal farms in swaziland, instruction in wildlife tracking, transects in the African bush and two extended field study trips. For the first time, the Africa FSP in 2003 will travel coast-to-coast across the African continent, from the Indian ocean to the Atlantic.

Students put their tents up first in Timbavati Camp and in Kruger National Park, "one of Africa's great parks" in true Big Five country with plenty of lion, elephant and buffalo. Here the AFSP team studies wildlife management and resource conservation measures with a focus on rhinos, elephants and lions. The tents go up next in South Africa's Kwazulu Natal where we study Ecotourism, social ecology, resource conservation, and wildlife management in Tembe Elephant Reserve, Ndumo Reserve and Kosi Bay on the Indian Ocean. This field trip also allows us to look at the historical, social and political interplay between resource management, economic development and environmental conservation and includes night wildlife safaris, snorkeling along the reefs off-shore, camping in the sand forest behind the dunes.

In Namibia we explore the ecologies of the deserts and savanahs, plus the rare coastline ecosystem of this still-wild country. Here we find the largest flocks of flamingoes south of Kenya, desert elephants, 1,000-foot high dunes, the rare black-faced lion, and the bat-eared fox. Here, too, we examine efforts to retain traditional african cultures among the San and Herero people.