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  • Locations: Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Duke applicants only
Program Description:

Please note that the Duke Study  Abroad Fee will be charged to students enrolled in this program. For more information about the fee, please see

The Madagascar Study Abroad Program has been running since 1998 as an undergraduate course through Stony Brook University. Stony Brook University is a leader in the fields of anthropology, as well as ecology and evolution. A full semester of credit can be earned through participation in this program.

Students will take all five of the following for a total of 15 credits:
  • ANP 307 Comparing Ecosystems in Madagascar. A cross-country trip will provide students with the opportunity to examine and compare ecosystems as diverse as rainforest, dry deciduous forest, spiny desert, mangrove swamps and coral reefs. At each stop, students will learn about the evolutionary adaptations that make the region unique and current conservation threats to local biodiversity.
  • ANP 326 Lemurs of Madagascar. This course explores the biology, ecology, social behavior, and conservation of Madagascar’s lemurs. We will discuss case studies based on current field and captive research, in this way highlighting important principles in behavior and ecology. Critical thinking on current topics in general primate behavior will be emphasized through various discussion formats. Throughout the course, we will pay attention to conservation threats that menace the well-being of lemurs today.
  • ANP 350 Methods in Studying Primates. One major goal of this course is to introduce the issues in primate methods throughout the tropical regions of the world. We will begin with the history of primatology. Controversial subjects will be discussed such as the frozen zoos as a solution to extinction, reintroduction of primates back into the wild, methods to study infectious diseases, methods to evaluate sustainable development, methods of fund-raising including crowd sourcing for raising awareness of primates.
  • ANP 351 Biodiversity Assessment Methods for Tropical Field Research. This intense experiential learning course is geared towards undergraduate students interested in field research in the tropics. Students will explore both the practical aspects of field biological research and conceptual topics related to tropical biodiversity. Emphasis will be learning to measure the species diversity, and population density of the species of plants, birds, mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles of Madagascar. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking with regards to the origins of tropical biodiversity. Practical, hands on field techniques and methods will be conducted including safety, mapping, line transect surveys, mist netting, behavioral observations and collecting and preserving samples, photography, and measurement of environmental variables such climate.
  • ANP or ANT 387 Independent Study: Research in Biology, Natural History, or Anthropology (both Cultural and Physical).  Students will design and execute an independent research project on the topic of their choice. This usually involves collecting and analyzing data, which is then presented to peers, professors, and visitors at Centre ValBio. Students in the past have conducted projects focusing on topics such as primates, reptiles, amphibians, conservation, culture, sustainability, and more.

Students enroll in all courses and earn a total of 15 credits.Courses will conducted by resident and visiting professors of Ornithology, Entomology, Ichthyology, Limnology, Botany, Anthropology, Zoology, and Primatology.

Students work alongside Malagasy and foreign students and scientists, and research station staff, with guidance from field course professors. Your independent research will contribute to our understanding of Ranomafana National Park and the link between the Park and the people of the region.