Students may download the full Primate Studies Field School Syllabus.


Syllabus Highlights

Expected Learning Outcomes


By the end of the course, you will be able to:


1.     Proficiently use scientific methods and instruments for collecting primate behavioral data

2.     Design and carry out an observational field research project

3.     Articulate the relationship between local ecology and primate social behavior

4.     Compare human family and social relationships using a broader primate social system approach

5.     Elaborate upon in situ primate conservation issues and approaches to their solution

6.     Cooperate and contribute to a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary collaborative team under challenging field conditions

7.     Describe the history and cultures of Rwanda


Research Themes

The course will be oriented around four broad themes that cut across the different primate species and ecosystems:

1. Parenting (maternal, paternal, alloparenting)

2. Leadership (dynamics of group leadership, dominance hierarchies)

3. Cognitive Ecology (problem solving of social-ecological challenges)

4. Commensalism (conservation, human-wildlife coexistence)

At the outset of the course, each student will be assigned to one of these themes that will be the focus of the student’s field research at each site. Students comprising each “theme team” will share and discuss their results with the rest of the class at the end of each weekly field session. In this way, all students will learn about each of the four themes.


Pre-Course Work

         Rwanda Orientation - Students: Sign-up for a Rwanda Orientation Presentation Topic

         Rwanda Primate Profile Project - Students: Sign-up for Primate Profile Project Presentation

During Course Work


         Theme Team Research Project Presentation

Post-Course work

         My Digital Story  - Students: Find all information about this project here


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