University professors will be teaching several courses for the Centre for Lion Conservation and Research. The courses give students practical field experience while contributing to a field research project. Students assist scientists, collect and analyze data, use field equipment, and participate in wildlife census and surveys as well as habitat assessment and restoration projects. Guest speakers and seminar leaders include some of the most eminent field biologists working in Africa today. Carole Tomlinson and Tina Ramme are also teaming up to study locomotion in lion and GIS applications for field work.
The Center offers several college-level classes:
Course Description: This course will present basic ecological principles, setting them against the background of East Africa. It focuses on science, evolution, conservation, and ecosystem management in the context of animal ecology by examining the fundamental processes and inter-relationships between the biotic and abiotic environment. Seminars, one-day field trips and workshops are also scheduled during the course.
Field Experience: A field seminar in the Massai Mara-Serengeti eco-region will be included in this course. Students will be introduced to indigenous agriculturalists’ and pastoralists’ relationships with natural resources; examine park management and land use conflicts in and around the Massai Mara National Park; and participate in a field practicum with daily field research exercises. Data collected in the course will contribute to research and a census and survey of African lion for the Lion Conservation Fund.
Course Description: This course will present fundamental concepts in Conservation Biology, including human-wildlife conflict resolution issues. Instructors from Harvard University will team with Samburu community wildlife experts and elders to merge scientific knowledge with traditional ethnozoological perspectives in this exciting course. The Samburu-Masai community will conduct medicinal plant walks, involve students in traditional ceremonies and activities, and offer optional lessons in Samburu and Swahili language. We will examine how land use practices and resource potentials found in group-ranch land can be sustainably managed to enhance the economic livelihood of the local population and at the same time promote wildlife conservation.
Field Experience: The course will be conducted at a community-based eco-lodge owned and managed by local Samburu communities within the backdrop of the spectacular Matthews Mountain Range in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya. This unique ecosystem has a very diverse concentration of wildlife, including many rare and endemic species such as the reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, wild dog, black and white rhino, and gerenuk. Students will have an opportunity to learn about basic principles of Conservation Biology and experience Samburu tribal culture first-hand, working directly with indigenous populations to understand human-wildlife interactions, attitudes, and conflicts.