Conservation and Biodiversity in South African Parks and Nature Reserves

Summer 2015: May 20 -June 17, 2015

Program Description

Southern Africa is home to some amazing biodiversity, including: 24,000
flowering plants, 1,500 trees, 900 birds, 324 lizards, 300 mammals, 156
snakes, and 130 frogs. How many can and will you find?

This program, offered by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will examine various parks,
nature reserves and ecosystems throughout South Africa, including the Kruger
to Canyons Biosphere and the Kruger National Park, Pilanesberg National
Park, the Kalahari desert, De Hoop Nature Reserve, the Fynbos biome and the
Western Cape, Platbos Forest, various Marine Protected Areas and Table
Mountain National Park. The role of nature reserves and national parks as
management tools will be investigated as well as a comparing natural area
management systems between South Africa and the United States.

Students will spend more than 14 days on safari, where you will be expected
to see and record as many South African species as possible, compare species
presence and absence between the different regions visited, discuss why
species do or do not exist across all locations, and what role management
has in species presence or absence. Students will also interact with
government officials and land managers and participate in hands-on learning.

** ACTIVITY HIGHLIGHTS  – Bushwalk through the Kruger ecosystem; Camping in
Kruger National Park; night game drives in Kruger and Kalahari national
parks; Rhino notching in Pilanesberg National Park; and interacting with
African Penguins just to name a few. This is a once in a lifetime
conservation adventure! **

Academic Overview

Students will be required to enroll for six (6) credits in the following

ISB 202                 Applications of Environmental and Organismal Biology
3 cr.
(ISB 202 credits still pending)

FW 480                 International Studies in Fisheries and Wildlife
3-6 cr.

Additional Requirements

This program is primarily intended for undergraduate and graduate students
majoring in biological sciences, environmental biology, natural resource
management, wildlife ecology, zoology, or a related field, but students from
all academic majors, as well as students from other universities, that  are
interested in wildlife conservation are encouraged to apply.

Students must be in good academic standing, with a grade point average of at
least 2.0 at the time of application.  Meeting this minimum grade point
average does not, however, guarantee admission. Preference will be given to
students with a biological, environmental, natural resource or fisheries and
wildlife-related background.

Additionally, students must submit an essay with their application stating
why they wish to participate in this program.

It should be noted that not all activities involved in this program are
accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Applicants¹ participation may be denied or their participation approval may
be revoked if their conduct before departure raises doubts as to their
suitability for program participation.

Housing Overview

Accommodations will include tourist-class motel or hostel facilities in
Middleberg, Struisbaii and Cape Town; and cabin-style facilities while at
the South African Wildlife College and in Kruger National Park, Tswalu in
the Kalahari, and Upington. There may be some tented camping while in Kruger
National Park and at Selous Bush Camp. All meals are included.

How much does it cost?

The program fee for 2015 is $4,590 and includes the following:

*       application fee ($100)

*       deposit ($200)

*       pre-departure orientation

*       accommodations

*       most meals

*       local transportation

*       accident and sickness insurance

*       field trips

Amounts not included in the program fee for which participants will need to
budget include:

*       MSU tuition and fees*

*       airfare

*       beverages

*       books and supplies

*       laundry

*       passport application fee

*       visa application fees (if applicable)

*       pre-departure doctor visits

*       pre-departure immunizations (if applicable)

*       personal spending money

Excluding tuition and fees*, these additional costs are estimated at $2,845.
Students may request a cost sheet which lists both the program fee and an
estimate of additional expenses by contacting the Office of Study Abroad at
(517) 353-8920.


JIM SCHNEIDER -Undergraduate Program Coordinator

Senior Specialist – Adviser & Certified Wildlife Biologist ®

Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Michigan State University
40 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222
Office:      517-353-9091
Fax:         517-432-1699
FW Web Site:

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