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  • Locations: Ileret Camp, Kenya; Karari Ridge, Kenya; Koobi Fora, Kenya; Laikipia, Kenya; Loiyangalani, Kenya; Nairobi, Kenya; Nanyuki, Kenya; South Horr, Kenya
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Cost Estimate: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Description:

Koobi Fora Field School Program
(ANTH 3832 or ANTH 6832)



Koobi Fora SU24


Contact Information: 

David R. Braun
The George Washington University
Department of Anthropology
2110 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

Joyce Waithira
Program Teaching Assistant
The George Washington University
Department of Anthropology
2110 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20052


The Koobi Fora Field School is designed to introduce students to the science of paleoanthropology, the sub-discipline of anthropology focused on the study of human origins. We utilize differentiated instructional methods to make this material relevant to all students who participate. Traditional teaching methods such as formal reading assignments and lectures are integrated into a program of structured field exercises and actual paleoanthropological research. We believe that much can be achieved by students when much is expected and therefore all exercises involve written assignments which are graded and critiqued as the field school proceeds.



After a one day orientation conducted in the National Museum in Nairobi the field school travels to a private “game ranch” where the students camp at a remote location and spend one week experiencing life on the African savanna. The students are divided into small groups and are exposed to many of the sub-disciplines of paleoanthropology. Formal exercises in behavioral ecology , taphonomy, geologic stratigraphy, archaeological survey, and wildlife ecology (each with a written assignment) provide background and context for the work to follow. Once at Koobi Fora the students become immersed in all the exciting aspects of paleontological field work. Formal lectures continue and are accompanied by individual instruction in faunal analysis, lithic analysis, hominin evolution, and methods of field survey and excavation. Throughout the time at Koobi Fora, the students are required to maintain a detailed field notebook. 

Physical Requirements

The field school takes place in a very remote part of northern Kenya. Students should be able to hike 3-5km per day, over rough terrain, carrying their daypacks and water. Travel to Koobi Fora is by road, and travel days can be 8-12 hours long. While we do take breaks, students should expect to remain in vehicles for most of the travel days. Accommodations are in tents and students are expected to be able to sleep comfortably in their tent, i.e. on the ground or on the bedding they provide themselves. 

Application Information:

The application process for the Koobi Fora Field School is competitive. We accept students that we feel can excel in the program. We limit the number of students to ensure a high quality training program for all students. If you are interested in the program please apply early as positions on the program often fill up before the April deadline.


  • During your stay in Kenya all food and housing expenses will be covered from the night before formal instruction begins until the night you arrive back in Nairobi (after the trip down from Koobi Fora)
  • DATES: June 7th until July 21st. (6 weeks)


  • Flight to Kenya: We will try to organize a group flight so several students arrive at the same time. We will collect you from the airport
  • Health Insurance: Part of your tuition is covering health insurance with GeoBlue for the duration of your stay in Kenya. You will need to register with GeoBlue. We will be supplying emergency evacuation insurance.
  • Preventative Vaccinations and malarial prophylactics: Please see a travel health care professional for advice on what is necessary for Kenya. This is a good guide.
  • Equipment for the trip: Good boots, a tent, a backpack, at least two water bottles, a field notebook, sunscreen, and loads of enthusiasm.

2024 Dates and Deadlines

Deadline for first round of fellowships is January 3rd.
Decisions on first round of fellowships by Feb 28th.
Second round of fellowship applications due by March 15th.
Decisions on second round of fellowship applications by April 1st.
Final deadline for student to commit to the program is April 15th.

(Most years our program is full well before the April deadline, once the program is at capacity we will no longer review applications) 

Additional Information
Koobi Fora Field School Website