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Summer in Madagascar

  • Details and Cost

    About the Program

    The Madagascar Study Abroad Program has been running since 1998 as an undergraduate course through Stony Brook University. Stony Brook University is a leader in the fields of anthropology, as well as ecology and evolution. Nine credits can be earned through participation in this program. Courses will conducted by resident and visiting professors of Ornithology, Entomology, Ichthyology, Limnology, Botany, Anthropology, Zoology, Biology, and Primatology. Students work alongside Malagasy and foreign students and scientists, and research station staff, with guidance from field course professors. Your independent research will contribute to the understanding of Ranomafana National Park and the link between the Park and the people of the region.

    Program Highlights:
    • Anthropology, Biodiversity, Conservation, Ecology, Environmental Sciences Primatology, and Wildlife Studies
    • Join the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments (ICTE) for a semester abroad in Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

    Location Ranomafana , Madagascar
    Program Type Faculty-Led Program, Internship/Experiential Learning
    Program Term Summer
    Program Dates Summer 2023: May 26 - July 3
    Language of Instruction English
    Budget View Budget
    Living Arrangements Students stay at the Centre ValBio in comfortable and safe dormitory-style accommodations. Clean water, modern bathrooms, and internet are available. 
    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 1
    Candidates may be interviewed to determine their qualifications for participating and representing Stony Brook University abroad.

    Student Feedback:

    • "I went to the other side of the world-Madagascar. Seeing the awesome lemurs and the kind and gentle Malagasy people changed my life" - Lynn Lewis-Bevins, Fall 2015
    • “This experience immersed me into an experience that I will never forget. I didn't learn in a traditional classroom, but instead I was thrown out into the field with experts.” – Veronica Tuazon, Fall 2015
    • “Being immersed in the culture made things easier; I was living in the ‘coursework,’ the rainforest was my classroom!!” – Katie Seminarino, Fall 2015

  • Academic Information

    Course Information

    Participants take a total of 9 undergraduate credits.

    ANP 350: Methods in Studying Primates. One major goal of this course is to introduce  the issues in primate methods throughout the tropical regions of the world. We will begin with the history of primatology. Controversial topics will be discussed, such as the frozen zoos as a solution for extinction, reintroduction of primates back into the wild, methods to study infectious diseases, methods to evaluate sustainable development, and methods of fundraising, including crowd-sourcing for raising awareness of primates.

    ANP 307: Comparing Ecosystems in Madagascar (SNW). A cross-country trip will provide students with the opportunity to examine and compare ecosystems as diverse as rainforests, dry deciduous forests, spiny deserts, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs. At each stop, students will learn about the evolutionary adaptations that make the region unique and current conservation threats to local biodiversity.

    Additionally, students take 3 credits of Independent Research.

    ANP/ANT 387: Independent Research (3 credits)

    Details regarding the specific type of research project are determined in consultation with ICTE on campus or on arrival with the Resident Coordinator or faculty. Students work with staff and faculty to select and execute a project consistent with their interests and background.

    Independent Research projects include:

    Conservation Education: Work alongside the Centre ValBio education team to lead educational activities and games with the Conservation Club members and  My Rainforest, My World participants. Join with the Conservation Clubs and lead new activities. Reforest with native trees, help organize the conservation radio shows, assist in forest walks with club members. Visit elementary schools to explain watersheds, corridors and biodiversity preservation.

    Environmental Arts: Work with women weavers, basket making experts, wood carvers. Dance with the local villagers, paint with the local artists. Experience the arts, crafts and music of Madagascar. Assist Centre ValBio recording and studio technicians to record local artists and environmental messages. Create nature music, films, and videos. 

    Human Health: Shadow the Centre ValBio mobile health team to remote villages to experience basic health service, participate in demonstrations, and record basic health data. Students will observe local professionals in routine visits and assist in health data collection. Students can also work with the traditional healers, assist with medicinal plant gardens, and help in marketing some local plants as botanicals, massage oils, and health creams.

    Animal Health: Be part of the rapidly changing field of animal health, making important connections between animal health, human health and environmental health.  Study the fragmented forest and its impact on lemurs.

    Conservation Ecology: Jump in on any of the on-going research projects taking place at CVB.  Work with the reforestation team in examining the similarities of reforestation plots and nearby forests.  Work with local staff on area reforestation efforts and cash crop cultivation.

    Reptiles and Amphibians: January is a perfect time to study the 130+ species of frogs found in Ranomafana National Park.  Participate in frog diversity transects and population studies.

    Water and Climate: Measure water quality in rivers and streams.  Compute climate data, and put together plant phenology information. This hands on project will prepare you for understanding climate change and its effects in the tropics.

    Primate Research: Work alongside researchers as they embark on ground breaking lemur research.  Past projects included the bamboo lemur cyanide project or creating a GIS map with lemur species and densities.

    Data Analysis for Social Good: There is a plethora of data available. Engineers and scientists need to use this data to find solutions to challenging problems facing marginalized communities. This short data analysis project will use data collected by scientists at Centre ValBio to make meaningful contributions to the Madagascar.

    Sustainability Development Goals: The UN Sustainability Goals are focusing the world's attention on solving many of most challenging problems facing humanity. In this short project, students will pick a UN Sustainability Goal to understand how it is being addressed in and around Madagascar.

    Inclusive Engineering: Engineers design and develop artefacts. It is imperative that they use inclusive design principals to ensure their products are useful and help the lives of marginalized communities. In the projects, students will find engineering challenges around Madagascar and explore how engineers can make inclusive solutions.

    Summer in Madagascar


    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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