Skip Navigation

TBI - Geology Field Camp

  • Details and Cost

    About the Program

    Stony Brook University offers a four-week long geology field camp in the Turkana Basin of Kenya. Located in the remote northwestern corner of the country, the Turkana Basin occupies a sag in the East African Rift between the Kenyan and Ethiopian domes. The Cenozoic sediments that have filled this sag contain some of the most important hominid fossils, as well as fossils of the animals that lived alongside them. The lacustrine, fluvial, and alluvial sedimentary layers are intercalated with ashes and basalts which can be dated and provide traceable, basin-wide horizons. Faults with various offsets are found throughout the basin.

    During this field camp you will visit renowned fossil localities where stratigraphic sections and mapping projects can be tied into these records. The program will be based at the Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) facility on the Turkwel River near the town of Lodwar. We will examine modern fluvial and lacustrine processes and relate them to the strata filling this active extensional basin. In addition to mapping and stratigraphic column projects, students will visit locations with igneous rocks, both on the Central Island within Lake Turkana, and within an area where columnar basalts are found in archeological sites. 


    Location Kenya
    Program Type Faculty-Led Program
    Program Term Summer
    Program Dates Program will resume Summer 2025 (Summer Session II)
    Language of Instruction English
    Budget View Budget
    Living Arrangements

    The Geology Field Camp program is based at TBI’s Turkwel campus, which overlooks the Turkwel River and some spectacular fossil deposits. 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 Turkwel campus is located southwest of the lake, which 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. They are seen regularly herding their camels nearby, and are indispensable around camp as skilled specialists and support staff.
    Additional Information Faculty-Led study abroad programs may require group travel. Please reach out to your IAP Coordinator prior to making any travel arrangements.
    Program Housing Statement: Stony Brook University is required to comply with the housing policies of the host country, partner institution and/or hotel/hostel. These policies may include requirements such as sex-based housing placement.


    GPA 2.0
    Application Deadline March 1
    Candidates may be interviewed to determine their qualifications for participating and representing Stony Brook University abroad

    Student Feedback

    • “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

  • Academic Information

    Course Information

    GEO 405 - Field Camp for 6 credits - Students will learn fundamental geological concepts to the sediments and rock units in the Turkana Basin, Kenya, which collectively provide a foundation for the chronology and context for recorded events in human evolution. Emphasis is on sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, volcanism, and rift tectonics, as they apply to local geology, including training in field methods. Modern terrestrial processes and landscape evolution are examined using features present today in the basin. In doing this students will link geologic concepts to modern and ancient environments, archaeology, and paleoanthropology in northern Kenya.

    Academic Policies

    • 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.
    • Students following the Stony Brook Curriculum (SBC) may request for GLO and EXP+ in addition to requirements fulfilled by their coursework.

  • Apply