BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY OF AFRICAN MAMMALS (BEAM); ZOL (490)

This program, offered through the College of Natural Sciences at Michigan State University, focuses on the behavior of African mammals and the ecological variables that shape their behavior. Students begin by identifying and becoming familiar with resident mammals during twice-daily game drives in which vehicles are used as mobile classrooms. They then move
on to making detailed observations of individuals and groups, and monitoring their interactions. Ultimately, students use a variety of techniques for systematic data collection to test hypotheses suggesting explanations for particular types of observed behaviors. During daily lectures, invited talks, and student-led discussions, students apply the scientific method to the study of behavioral ecology, the effect of human populations on the behavior of wild animals, and conservation of Africa’s fauna. The course focuses on the African mammals inhabiting three of Africa’s most spectacular game-viewing areas. The curriculum is designed to exploit the extraordinary richness and diversity of each park’s mammalian fauna, as well as the ease with which it can be observed.  Students also have the opportunity to experience traditional Maasai culture and learn first-hand about its relationship with the Kenyan landscape.

*Program cost: *
Application fee: $100
Program fee: $3,900 (includes food, lodging, and travel in Kenya)
Tuition and fees: (based on 6 credits at Michigan State University)
Airfare: (TBA but likely ~ $1700)

For more information, go to http://hyenas.zoology.msu.edu/beam-course, orcontact Sarah Jones (joness94@msu.edu) or Julie Turner (turne239@msu.edu) with any questions.

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