TBI - Origins Field School
About the Program
About the Program
This field school, offered during both Fall and Spring semesters, is designed for students with an interest in Africa, science, and the essence of what makes us human. The Turkana Basin region, made famous over the past five decades through the work of Richard, Meave and Louise Leakey, has produced much of the world's most important fossil and archaeological evidence for human evolution. Our program addresses the place that humans occupy in the natural world and how they came to occupy that place. It offers fifteen upper-division or graduate credits in geology, ecology, vertebrate paleontology and paleoecology, human evolution, and archaeology.
Location Turkwel, Kenya Program Type Faculty-Led Program Program Term Fall, Spring Program Dates January 16 - April 1, 2018
Course of Study
- Ecology: Linking People and Nature (ANP 304/ANT 504) - Study the habitats of our early ancestors by examining analogous modern ecosystems.
- Sedimentary Geology and Geochronology (GEO 303/504) - A survey of the sedimentation, stratigraphy, volcanism, and tectonics of the area, which will include training in field methods.
- Earth & Life Through Time (ANP 305/ANT 505) - Glean information from vertebrate fossils about the appearance, evolution, and causes of extinction of major organisms.
- Human Evolution (ANP 306/ANT 506) - Lectures by senior paleoanthropologists, laboratory exercises using casts of important finds, and field trips to discovery locations.
- Prehistoric Archaeology of Africa (ANT 307/507) - Examine evidence for three million+ years of hominin technological adaptations around Lake Turkana, home to the world’s oldest stone tools.
- Optional: Independent Study (ANP/ANT 487 or ANT 610)
Graduate courses are now available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Language of Instruction English Language Proficiency N/A Program Term Fall, Spring Living Arrangements
The Origins Semester Field School program is based at TBI’s Ileret and Turkwel campuses, built respectively on the east and west sides of beautiful Lake Turkana. Students live in comfortable, safe, dormitory-style quarters. Clean water, showers, flushing toilets and electricity are provided, as are mosquito nets, towels and bedding. Internet and cell phone service is available.
Meals served are fresh and varied, and very healthy. Vegetarian options are made available.
The Ileret campus is situated on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana, and provides access to the fossil collection areas where Richard and Meave Leakey launched their groundbreaking hominin research in the 1960s and 70s. In this region live the pastoral Dassanatch people, often seen herding their goats around the lake, who are employed locally as lab technicians and essential camp staff.The Turkwel campus is located southwest of the lake, overlooking the picturesque Turkwel River, and is a relatively short drive away from important fossil and archaeological sites such as Lothagam, South Turkwel, and Nariokotome, where the famous Turkana Boy skeleton was discovered. This is the land of the Turkana people, after whom the lake was named. Like the Dassanatch, they are seen regularly herding their camels nearby, and are indispensable around camp as skilled specialists and support staff .
Credits earned on this program will calculate toward a student's GPA at Stony Brook University. Non-SBU students are advised to check their home university policy on grade and credit transfer.
“Take advantage of every opportunity you can through this program, the professors are amazing, the landscape and surrounding deposits are some of the best in the world” - Participant, Spring 2011 Semester
“Enjoy the delicious food, the lectures, movie nights, fossil hunting sessions and camping nights. The field school ends so soon.” - Participant, Fall 2016 Semester'
“Even if it's going to be really hot and intense, it will be one of the best and enlightening experiences in your life.” - Participant, Spring 2017 Semester
GPA 2.0 GPA or higher Other RequirementsN/A Application Deadline
Spring Admission: December 1
Students are encouraged to apply early as applicants are accepted on a rolling basis.
Candidates may be interviewed to determine their qualifications for participating and representing Stony Brook University abroad.
Application Fee $60 Tuition Rate
$ 3,335 per semester for NY residents
$12,090 per semester for non-residents
$6,500 per semester
International Health Insurance $55 per month approximately Other Fees Vaccinations as per travel doctor, visa fee of $50 Travel Costs Estimated Airfare: $1,500. All student participants will travel together to the study abroad site. Students who do not abide by this policy may be dismissed from the program Costs are estimates for planning purposes of the student and are subject to change at any point
Cost Comparison: The average cost for a full time Stony Brook Student including tuition, insurance, housing, and meal plan is approximately $10,445 in-state and $15,735 out-of-state