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Voices Out of Africa: Students Blog from Kenya

Turkanabasin 1

TurkanaBasinStony Brook students are having the experience of a lifetime learning hands-on about field research in Kenya’s Turkana Basin. Much of the record for human evolution is written in the rocks of the Turkana Basin in northern Kenya. The first anatomically modern people evolved there about 195,000 years ago, the population from which all of us are descended lived there about 70,000 years ago. Settled life supported by fishing and agriculture developed there about 10,000 years ago. The first bipedal humans lived there about 4 million years ago, and it is still one of the most remote and beautiful parts of Africa.

The University’s Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) offers a full-time program of 15 upper division credits each spring and fall semester that will expose students to all aspects of archaeology, ecology, geology, human evolution, and paleoecology, with courses taught by the world’s leaders in these fields, including Stony Brook faculty Meave and Richard Leakey, whose family’s work pioneered human prehistory research in eastern Africa for the past 80 years. The full cost to attend the Turkana Basin Field School (including tuition, room and board, and estimated international air fare) is about the same, or a little less, than to attend Stony Brook full time as a resident student.

The program is based out of TBI’s research facility at Turkwel, which overlooks the Turkwel River and some 3.5 million-year-old fossil deposits. The facilities are fully equipped with laboratories, a teaching area, accommodations, and a dining area.

For more information and to apply for the program, please contact Study Abroad Advisor Jennifer Green at or (631) 632-7030.

Read about students’ experiences during the field school on the Field School blog:

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