Primate Studies Field School

Primate Studies Field School
Dates, Deadlines, and Costs
TermApp DeadlineStart DateEnd DateCost
SummerFebruary 25early Julyearly AugustBudget
Program Information
  • GPA
  • 2.5
  • Language of Instruction
  • English
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • No
  • Class Eligibility
  • Freshman, Graduate, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
  • Program Open To
  • UA and Non-UA Students
    UA Students
  • Credit Type
  • UA Direct Credit
  • Level of Study
  • Graduate, Undergraduate
  • Housing Options
  • Other
  • Program Type
  • UA Faculty-led
Program Overview

The Primate Studies Field School offers students the opportunity to follow and observe several rare monkey and ape species in the wild and walk in Dian Fossey’s footsteps while collecting data on mountain gorillas.  Students will also take in Rwanda’s natural beauty and explore the cultural heritage of one of Africa’s most progressive nations.


***Running in Summer 2020***

This four-week Primate Studies Field School is based in Rwanda, one of Central-East Africa's most progressive countries and home to several species of monkeys and apes, including the famed mountain gorilla.  Students will go on adventure treks to observe gorilla families and golden monkeys on the slopes of the extinct Virunga volcanoes, follow groups of chimpanzees, black and white colobus and guenon monkeys in an afro-alpine jungle, and go on Safari to watch wildlife and study troops of baboons and vervet monkeys in a savanna setting.

In this course, students will study the dynamics of primate social relationships and their connection to social systems and local ecology,  while learning how a variety of quantitative field observation techniques and data gathering tools are used to describe and analyze social interactions, social systems, and environmental features. The program promotes a strong interdisciplinary and comparative approach to primate family systems, combining perspectives from evolutionary biology, psychology, anthropology, and human development. Students will earn credit in the following:

FSHD 493E/693  Externship (6 units)


Dieter Steklis holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley

Netzin Steklis earned her M.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University.

Together, they have conducted research on many species of primates, including nearly 20 years studying mountain gorilla biology, behavior and conservation in Africa.  Their work has been featured in national and international magazines, radio programs and television broadcasts (including National Geographic).


This program is based in the Central-East African country of Rwanda. Students will spend a month traveling around the country, visiting Akagera National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Rwanda's capital city, Kigali. 

In each National Park and while in the field, students will be active. Therefore, be expected to hike for several hours carrying hiking and field gear. 


Housing will be in a combination of hotels, guest houses and tents. Although students will not be roughing-it, there should be a level of comfort with camping. 

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