Semester Abroad in Africa! Fall 2021

CWRU Anthro and Ev Bio major Tim Fry on location at the Napudet site, where Nengo & Ekusi found the last-known common  ancestor of the living apes and humans in 2015

Fall Semester, 2021
No pre-reqs
Earn 15 credits grad or undergrad
About the same cost as a semester in Cleveland!*

Join Patricia Princehouse, Isaiah Nengo and other top scientists, and a terrific group of students from CWRU, and American and Kenyan universities for this unique opportunity to do field work while learning about Kenyan culture, and the science of life -past and present- in the living laboratory of African environments!

Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Zebra and other famous wildlife are common at Mpala conservation area where students do ecology field work

The famous “Turkana Boy” fossil remains one of the most complete skeletons of a human ancestor ever found.

Travel to fossil sites, dynamic ecosystems, pastoral villages and more with CWRU’s Institute for the Science of Origins in partnership with the Turkana Basin Institute and Stony Brook, the home university of ISO Fellow and famed paleoanthropologist Isaiah Nengo, Director of Science and Research at Richard Leakey’s Turkana Basin Institute!
Join top faculty experts from around the world and across a wide range of disciplines: biology, ecology, geology, paleontology, archeology, anthropology, evolutionary medicine, and more! See how to make and use stone tools! Explore the open questions in cognitive science raised by the fascinating implications of art and technology.

Awaiting health care

For humanities and social science majors, it’s a great way to earn your science credits in a way that complements your interests in history, psychology, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, social work, international relations, cultural and medical anthropology, art, gender studies, African-American studies…

Desert nomads build ingeniously engineered cool palm frond houses that last up to 2 years. People tend goats and walk miles a day to fetch water. Their cheerful, friendly nature belies the challenges they face as climate change makes their millenia-old lifestyle more vulnerable than ever before.

Work in the cradle of humankind. Turkana has fossil deposits beginning in the days of the dinosaurs and stretching continuously up through the evolutionary history of 100 million years of invertebrates and vertebrates, including major episodes of faunal radiations and interchanges, plus the birth of monkeys and apes, the moment human ancestors began to walk upright, the first members of genus Homo, the first stone tools, the earliest modern human beings, and the history of human culture including art, burying the dead, and even the darker side of human nature with the earliest archeological indications of warfare, plus the beginnings of pastoralism, the use of metal, and other fascinating cultural innovations.

TBI sponsors an elementary school and medical clinic with full-time nurse practitioner. CWRU has partnered with Turkana University on a new science outreach program for local villagers.

Embark on the trip of a lifetime, participate in scientific research including searching for fossils, studying wildlife and their ecosystems at Mpala field station, archaeology, geology, cultural encounters of many kinds, medical outreach to local villages -not to mention a great experience to mention on applications for grad and med school!

Meals feature fresh vegetables grown at TBI. Hydroponics + solar and wind = hands-on sustainable engineering

Grassland savannah, green desert, wetlands, and Lake Turkana -the world’s largest alkaline lake- provide a wealth of experience across complex ecosystems and how to preserve them

Origins club president Louis Nastasi discovered a new species of arachnid

Earn 15 credits 300/400-level
Open to undergrad and grad students
(And alums if desired -great gap year project before med or grad school!)
All instruction is in English

For most students there will be very little or no additional cost beyond your usual tuition and fees.
Fulfills 5 required courses and electives for Origins, Evolutionary Biology, ANTH, EEPS, BIOL and many other majors. Contact Dr. Princehouse for details on what courses credit can be earned for.

For more info and to apply, contact Patricia Princehouse at or call or text her at +1 440 478 5292

Please submit this Statement of Interest form. Thanks!
doc: Turkana-Field-School-App-Fall-2021 
pdf: Turkana-Field-School-App-Fall-2021