Program Summary

This is a 6 week, 6 credit, course. Undergraduate or graduate students with a 3.0 GPA or higher will be eligible to participate. Students are required to have taken at least one introductory course (100 level class or above) in Geology, Anthropology (preferably biological anthropology) or Physical Geography. However, the course will be open to students in any related IU programs (such as Evolution, Ecology and Behavior) as well as students from other universities. Students should enroll in the course through Indiana University. Students will receive a grade from Indiana University after completion of the course.




Course Objectives

The objective of the course is to give students hands-on experience. Fundamental theories in geology, paleoanthropology, biology and evolution will be complemented by instructions on the outcrop and in the field classroom. Instruction will involve a combination of small (i.e., one day) to large (multiple day) problems in which the students will learn how to observe, record and interpret appropriate field data.

The course objectives and design distinguish this academic program from most international archaeological field schools in East Africa. Instead of focusing primarily on archaeological excavation, this course will integrate the principles of stratigraphy and sedimentology with those of tectonics, volcanism and paleoclimate to understand their impact on changing environments and human evolution.

Most unique about this course is the location of the field sites

Instruction in the field

As part of the field instruction the course will expose students to various geological and archaeological sequences in Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli, Ngorongoro volcanic highlands and rift escarpments.

Serengeti and Ngorongoro are world famous Safari destinations and students will have the opportunity to experience this once-in-a-lifetime ecological and educational safari. This includes excursions to Ol Doinyo Lengai (one of the most famous volcanos in the world), Ngorongoro Crater and Embagai Craters.

Day trips

The East African Rift System in northern Tanzania provides real interdisciplinary field experience that makes the course very attractive to students interested in geology, paleoanthropology and evolution. The program includes two multiple-day field trips and two single-day field trips to spectacular geological and archaeological destinations that serve the dual purpose of providing important instruction in localities near Olduvai Gorge.

Explore the syllabus