Students may download the full Primate Studies Field School Syllabus.


Syllabus Highlights


Learing Outcomes

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

  1. Proficiently use scientific methods and instruments for collecting 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 care, paternal care, alloparenting)

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

3. Cognition  (problem solving of social-ecological challenges, aka cognitive ecology)

4. Conservation (human-wildlife coexistence and challenges)

At the outset of the course, each student will be assigned to one of these themes (based on interests) 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 throughout the field experience and final results will be presented at the end of the course. In this way, all students will learn about each of the four themes.


Pre-Course Work (arrive with these projects completed and ready to present:)

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

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

During Course Work:


         Theme Team Research Project Presentation

Post-Course work (complete within 1 week of leaving Rwanda):

         My Digital Story (self-reflection) - Students: Post your VoiceThread link for your 

Primate Field School- My Digital Story link

Check out this example My Digital Story of a final self-reflection


<<Permission to view most links is restricted to enrolled students in this course>>