Programs : Brochure
Drexel Summer Break in Cameroon: Biodiversity & Conservation (Outgoing Program)
- Locations: Yaoundé, Cameroon
- Program Terms: Summer
This course will take place at the Ganga Chimpanzee Research Station at Mbam & Djerem National Park in Cameroon. Mbam & Djerem is a rich quilt of savanna, woodland and forest habitats that is home to some of the planet’s most iconic wildlife: elephants, buffalo, warthog, red river hog, kob, bongos, hippopotamus, and 13 species of primates. The Park is home to about 1,000 chimpanzees. Among the National Parks of Cameroon, Mbam & Djerem is one of the most intact and best managed, having benefitted enormously from responsible shared management, relatively frequent anti-poaching patrols and biological monitoring carried out by a small but dedicated team MINFOF and WCS personnel. The impacts of these efforts on the local wildlife are obvious. Over the last decade, Mbam & Djerem has transformed from a place where hunting signs were once commonly observed and into a place where chimpanzees and other rare wildlife are commonly heard and seen – and at Ganga – chimpanzees show little fear of humans – a testament to the impact of effective conservation measures over the years.
Because of the nature of this course, students will not only be given tropical field research training, but also be given the opportunity to participate in a partially-funded research project in Cameroon.
By participating in this program, students will:
Credit/Registration: Drexel students will be registered for BIO 499 Special Topics, 2 credits during the Spring 2019 term.
Suggested Pre-requisite: All students are suggested to have taken at least one college level French course, but preferably more. Course instruction will be in English.
All U.S., Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea undergraduate participants will be required to participate in a mandatory 1-3 week online seminar prior to the commencement of the program. For 2019, the seminar is scheduled to begin at the end of May-- students will be able to attend either virtually or in person. Topics covered include tropical field ecology and conservation research, health and safety guidelines, French language training, vaccinations and visa/passport issues. U.S., Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea students will also be placed into research teams and encouraged to get to know one another via Skype.
Instructors: This course will be taught by faculty from the US and Cameroon.
Depart US: July 5, 2019
Arrive Cameroon: July 6, 2019
Depart Cameroon: July 27, 2019
Students will be provided with more details, including flight information, closer to the departure date.
Location: This course includes activities at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Bilingual Academy of Yaoundé (IBAY-SUP) and Regional Centre for Special Education in Agriculture and Forestry (CRESA) in Yaoundé, Cameroon, the Njuma research station of the Ebo Forest Research Project (EFRP) in the Ebo Forest, and the training center of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) at Mbam and Djerem National Park.
Program logistics: All students will spend the first three days of the program attending classroom-based lectures, literature discussions and guided seminars focused around the development of their team research project in Yaoundé. The entire class and instructors will then travel to the WCS training center at Mbam &Djerem National Park for ten days. During this time, students will be expected to collect field data in teams and organize their data for analysis. All students will be expected to keep a field log while they are at Mbam et Djerem. Students will then return to Yaoundé to analyze their data, present their research findings and write up their project report.
Accommodation: While in Yaoundé, students will be housed at Drexel’s facility in Cameroon which is within easy reach of the IITA & IBAY-SUP campuses. At the Ganga Chimpanzee Research station, students will stay in tents.
Travel: Students arriving from the U.S. will arrive at Yaoundé Nsimalen International Airport. A flight itinerary will be provided to students upon acceptance into the program. US students should arrive in Yaoundé no later than the evening of July 6th and plan on leaving Yaoundé no earlier than the evening of July 27th.
Visa: US students are also expected to be in possession of a valid passport, required Cameroon visa and take all required vaccinations prior to travel. While in Cameroon students will need to take appropriate malaria medication.
A $500 Advance Payment is due with application. This payment will be refunded if not accepted into the program. Accepted students will be refunded the payment upon completion of the program.
This course is partly-funded by a United States Fish and Wildlife Service Great Ape Conservation Grant. Participating students will have in-country costs funded by the grant. Without this subsidy, the actual program cost would be over $4500 per student.
Covered by Great Ape Conservation Grant (Estimated $1,800):
Out of Pocket Expenses (Estimated $2,750):