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TBI - Origins Field School Summer

  • Details and Cost

    About the Program

    Do you want to learn about the methods used to understand ancient humans and the environments in which they lived, discover fossils and artifacts, and visit field sites where some of the most important prehistoric discoveries were made? 

    TBI’s Origins Summer Field School addresses the place that humans occupy in the natural world and how we came to occupy that position. This program focuses on hands-on experience in field survey and excavation methods, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, taphonomy and more, and includes field trips to important paleontological and archaeological sites, diverse ecological settings, and remarkable geological features throughout the Turkana Basin. Participants will work directly with leading scientists and do fieldwork at active hominin fossil localities and archaeological excavations, such as at Lomekwi 3- the oldest stone tool site in the world! 

    Location The Turkana Basin Institute, Kenya
    Program Type Faculty-Led Program
    Program Term Summer
    Program Dates Summer 2022: May 21 - July 3
    Language of Instruction English
    Budget View Budget
    Living Arrangements

    The Origins Summer Field School 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
    Other Requirements N/A
    Application Deadline March 15Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis, and are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
    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, 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

  • Academic Information

    Course Information

    The program is comprised of three, 3-credit courses at the upper division or graduate level: 

    • Environments, Ecosystems and Evolution (ANP 310/ANT 510)
    • Paleoanthropological Field Methods (ANP 308/ANT 508)
    • Archaeological Field Methods (ANT 321/527)

    Students may also enroll in Independent Study (ANP/ANT 487 or ANT 610) for additional credits to perform research projects. 

    This program is offered each summer and courses are taught in English by top scientists in their fields. Students will earn at least 9 upper-division or graduate credits while studying in one of the most beautiful and interesting parts of the world. The Origins Summer Field School can be taken in conjunction with TBI’s Semester Abroad Program, either before or after, as the material covered is complementary rather than duplicative.

    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.

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