Announcement: Human origins field school

Nate Osgood hacrat at catfish.LCS.MIT.EDU
Sat Mar 14 22:41:02 EST 1992

I'm posting the following description of the Koobi Fora Field School
because I think it might be of interest to people in this group
(despite the fact that it emphasizes more traditional approaches to
the study of evolution than the recent breakthroughs in molecular
biology).  I'm a past student of the field school, and recommend it
very highly.

The 6 week program provides a thorough introduction to the theory and
practice of palaeoanthropology, and includes detailed discussions of
topics in archaeology, geology, ecology, paleontology, and other
areas.  The program is open to students from all backgrounds (I'm a CS
grad student), and some of the best students in the program have been
drawn from other areas.  

The instructors are excellent; Harry Merrick led the American
archaeological team on the Omo expedition, was head of the Department
of Archaeology at the National Museums of Kenya in the 1980s, and has
done some pioneering work in obsidian utilization and transport in
East Africa.  Craig Feibel's doctoral dissertation is the definitive
work on the geology of the Koobi Fora region, and he represents one of
the foremost geologists in his area.

Instruction in all areas is by experts in the subject being discussed
(both in the lectures and in the field).  The teaching staff is
extremely friendly and welcomes questions at all times.  The
environment of Koobi Fora and that seen during the Ecology Safaris is
truly stunning.  The tuition is considerable, but in my opinion, if
you can manage it it is truly worth every cent.

I invite questions about the program (send to
hacrat at catfish.lcs.mit.edu); a somewhat more substantial course
description is available electronically upon request, along with a
copy of last year's program schedule.  For a complete packet of
information and application materials, just return the coupon at the
bottom (or call Dr. Merrick at the number listed, or at (617) 253-7270
on Mon-Wed during working hours); please mention on what newsgroup you
saw this announcement.  I would also be glad to pass on any requests
for applications.

						Nate Osgood


Harvard University Summer School and National Museums of Kenya

Human Origins and Prehistory in Kenya:
The Koobi Fora Field School

First Session: June 7-July 18; Second Session: July 23-September 2, 1992

Starting with the pioneer researches of Louis and Mary Leakey, the
Rift Valley of eastern Africa has become justly famous as a source of
evidence regarding human origins.Within the Rift, Koobi Fora in
northern Kenya is among the richest study locales.  For the past 20
years an international, multi-disciplinary team of scientists
coordinated by Richard Leakey and the late Glynn Isaac have
investigated early hominid origins and behavior in the region. From
layers between 1 and 4 million years old, more than 180 fossil
hominid specimens have been found and more than 20 early sites
excavated. Further, the environments and ecology of early prehistory
can be ascertained from studies of geology, fossil fauna, pollen,
etc., all of which are preserved at Koobi Fora. The area also contains
a rich Holocene archaeological record of the past 10,000 years which
provides crucial evidence for the development and spread of a range of
the technologies and economies that characterize fully modern peoples.


To introduce students firsthand to the multi disciplinary approaches
of modern human origins research, the National Museums of Kenya, in
cooperation with the Harvard Summer School, are offering an
international Summer field school. The program emphasizes both an
introduction to the wealth of palaeoanthropological evidence found at
Koobl Fora and an introductlon to field methods used in early-man
research. The field school will conduct two six-week training sessions
each with four weeks at Koobi Fora in the National Museums' field
facilities. A further two weeks are used for museum study, visits to
archaeological sites and to examine the ecology of the savannah
environments in which early hominids lived.

Instruction will take place at the localities of the major finds and
at early and late period sltes where current research is in progress.
Undergraduate and graduate students from Kenya and from foreign
countries will jointly participate in a rigorous academic program
which should prove to be a broadening intercultural experience as


The program's principal instructors are Dr.  H.V. Merrick,
archaelogist and Dr. C.S. Feibel, geologist. Also participating will
be Dr. C.  Koch, archaeologist, and Mr. J. Kimengich, faunal analyst.
Guest lecturers, including Richard Leakey, will be drawn from
early-man researchers working in eastern Africa as their research
commitments allow.

ANTH S-160                                       
Introduction to Field Research in  Palaeoanthropology
(8 units)
First Session: June 7-July 18          
Second sesseion: July 23-September 2
Dr. H.V. Merrick and staff                                                   

The course will provide classroom and field instruction in methods
used in palaeoanthropological research, emphasizing practical
instruction in excavation techniques, field mapping, site survey,
palaeontological survey and stratigraphic studies within the framework
of research on locales in the Koobi Fora area.  Lectures cover aspects
of human evolution, stone-age prehistory, and the local archaeology,
geology, palaeontology, and ecology which provide both the background
for and results of palaeoanthropological research in the Koobi Fora
region.  Because an appreciation of the ecology of African savannahs
is an integral part of understanding the early stages of human
evolution, the program includes a five-day study tour examining
wildlife ecology and natural history in several parks and conservation
areas.  Enrollment is limited.

The Koobi Fora region is one of the most remote and inaccessible
areas of eastern Africa and participation in this program should not
be considered lightly. The environment is hostile, hot, and windy. The
field living conditions and accommodations are simple. There are no
stores or other amenities.  Participants must be prepared to "rough"
Costs. The cost of the program is $3,550 for tuition, room and board,
and local transportation in Kenya. Mandatory international health
insurance ($35) and transportation to and from Nairobi, Kenya are


Advmission to the program is by regular Harvard Summer School
application.  For further information, return the coupon below or
contact H. V. Merrick, Koobi Fora Field School, Harvard Summer School,
Department 008, 51 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.  Telephone:
(617) 495-4024, Summer School information; (203) 481-0674, Field

|								|
|								|
|    								|
|    Please send a Harvard Summer School catalogue/application 	|
|    and Koobi Fora information packet.				|
|    								|
|    								|
|    Name___________________________________________		|
|    								|
|    Street_________________________________________		|
|    								|
|    City___________________________________________		|
|    								|
|    State______________________ Zip________________		|
|    								|
|      Return to:						|
|    								|
|		    Harvard Summer School			|
|		    Attn. H. V. Merrick				|
|		    51 Brattle Street				|
|		    Cambridge,  MA 02138			|
|								|

Nate Osgood				| ARPA: nate at im.lcs.mit.edu
CS Graduate Student			| 
MIT LCS Room NE43-636			| UUCP: ...!uunet!im.lcs.mit.edu!nate

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