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Tropical Field Biology and Conservation
Summer Field Course in Gabon, Africa
July 18 - August 8, 2016

The Central African Biodiversity Alliance (CAB-Alliance) is pleased to announce a three week undergraduate field course in tropical biology and conservation that will run from July 18th to August 8th (2016) in Gamba, Gabon. This field course will be hosted by the Gabon Biodiversity Program of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Classroom and field instruction will be given on site by scientists from collaborating institutions including the University of New Orleans, Université des Sciences et Techniques de Masuku, Institut de Recherche en Ecologie Tropicale, University of California Los Angeles, Drexel University and Universitat de Halle-Wittenberg. A ten-week online seminar prior to departure will also be provided to all successful applicants prior to their departure, as well as instruction in the French language.

Application deadline: 11:59 pm on Sunday, January 3, 2016

Course objectives:

This course will provide an introduction to tropical field biology and field research methods. U.S. and Gabon student participants will work with instructors to collaboratively design their own research project, collect and analyze field data, and present their findings as a research paper and oral presentation to other team members.


Course content:

Ten-week online seminar (Spring 2016):

Topics include:
* Principles of tropical ecology and evolution
* Natural history of study organisms
* Field safety
* Health & vaccination requirements
* French language skills


Gabon Map

Three-week field course in Gabon (July 18 - August 8, 2016)

Topics include:
* Sampling and design methods
* Data collection and management
* Statistical Analysis
* Preparation for the field
* First exam
* Selection of study sites
* Collection of field data
* Organization of field journals
* Preliminary analysis
* Analysis of field data
* Preparation of research reports
* Oral presentation of research
* Second exam
* Exit interviews



  • Currently registered as an undergraduate at a U.S. institution
  • Minimum GPA of 2.7
  • One semester of sophomore level ecology or evolutionary biology
  • One semester of college-level French (can be taken in Spring 2016)
  • Hold a valid passport and Gabon visa
  • Obtain all necessary vaccinations
  • Enjoy working in a multi-cultural setting
  • Able to work under physically strenuous conditions
  • Available to participate in Spring 2016 online seminar


  • This course is optionally available for four credits (applicable course fees apply) through the University of New Orleans.
  • All successful applicants will be required to pay a nominal registration fee.
  • All travel expenses, room, and board associated with participation in the program are provided.
  • Space is limited; top candidates will be interviewed following initial application review in January.
  • All students should read our health & safety information

How to Apply:

  • Fill out the online application
  • Submit your unofficial transcript to the Program Administrators (see contact information below). Official transcripts will be required for successful applicants.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation to the Program Administrators
    * One letter should be from a professor who can speak to your academic experience, study skills, etc.
    * The second letter should be from someone who can address your attributes applicable to participating in a rigorous program in a challenging environment. These might be such things as flexibility, adaptability, experience in a challenging environment, etc.
    * NOTE: Referrals may not be obtained from immediate family members
  • Your application will not be considered complete without all documents (online application, transcript, and 2 letters of reference)
  • Application Deadline: 11:59 pm on Sunday, January 3, 2016
For more information, please contact:

Nicola Anthony, PhD
Project Leader, UNO
Department of Biology

Katy Morgan, PhD
Postdoctoral Program Coordinator, UNO
Department of Biology
(504) 280-6645

Click here for a downloadable PDF of the 2016 Program Brochure
Here's some feedback from 2014 participants:

"As a young researcher, the 2014 Gabon field course was the perfect balance of scientific education and field exploration. Working with local students in such a biodiversity rich environment was a truly rewarding experience. Not only did I gain skills in project planning and collaboration, but I also made valuable professional and non-professional connections. This experience also helped set the pace for my current graduate studies by helping me solidify the research direction I wanted to take."

-Courtney Miller, 2014 Participant


"The Conservation Field Biology course in Gabon, 2014, was one of the best experiences of my life, both as a scientist and a young adult.  We spent time in the classroom with devoted and experienced professors from across the globe, and in the field we explored ecosystems not found in the USA.  Living for a month in this developing - yet safe - nation, I practiced my language, budgeting, and interpersonal skills.  Finally, interacting with students from around the USA and from Gabon was enriching and invaluable.  Despite the language barrier, we all left feeling at home in Gabon."

-Miles Hegedus, 2014 Participant


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