Looking for a way to earn biology hours while also satisfying the F11 requirement of the Foundations Curriculum? Then Environmental Field Study in Namibia might be the Maymester for you. Led this year by biology professor Jonathan Fitz Gerald and Tait Keller, director of the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program, the three-week program is an in-country exploration of the major environmental issues of Namibia. Students visit different ecosystems such as the Namib Desert, the dry thorn-veld savanna, and Etosha National Park, and meet with indigenous peoples, NGOs, and governmental officers involved in local environmental issues. Emphasizing critical thinking and interdisciplinary learning, the course covers such topics as wildlife conservation policies and community-based conservation projects, which are studied by integrating the ecological, social, political, and economic aspects of these systems.
The pictures below are from Shauni Cowan ’16 and Lauren Sylwester ’17, members of the 2015 Namibia Maymester class—which happened to be all female. Shauni says that, in addition to the field work and independent research conducted and the special relationships formed among the classmates, the trip provided some great adventures—including climbing 200-meter sand dunes, skydiving, four-wheeling in the desert, and being charged by a rhino.
To see more pictures, visit our Flickr gallery.