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  • Locations: Antananarivo, Madagascar
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Area of Study: Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences Program Type: Faculty Directed
Class Eligibility: Graduate Student, Junior, Senior, Sophomore, Student At Large Housing Options: Hotel
Language of Instruction: English Program Provider: NIU Faculty
Program Description:
 

Madagascar Past and Present: Biodiversity, Extinction and Conservation

OverviewMadagascar

 

 

Faculty Directors:
Associate Professor Mitchell IrwinAssociate Professor Karen Samonds
 

Program Overview


IMPORTANT - Please download the complete program description for comprehensive information on
dates, courses, travel, cost, and more.
Click here:
Madagascar Field School 2019.pdf


This study abroad program is coordinated by the Northern Illinois University Study Abroad Office (SAO), in cooperation with the NIU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the NIU Departments of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, as well as the Mention Anthropobiologie et Développement Durable (ADD) at the University of Antananarivo, and SADABE, an NGO based in Madagascar.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW/OBJECTIVES:  The primary purpose of this program is to provide participants with the opportunity to learn first-hand about primate biodiversity, extinction, forest fragmentation and conservation in Madagascar, one of the world’s foremost biodiversity hotspots.  The program will focus on building an experiential knowledge of:

1. Madagascar’s existing biodiversity, especially its >100 primate species.
2. The 17 primate species that have been lost to extinction in the past few thousand years.
3. The complexities and challenges of conservation in this third-world nation.

This course is intended to expand upon students’ theoretical background in either primatology, biology, or conservation biology.

HIGHLIGHTS:

1) See first-hand the world’s leading collection of subfossil lemurs at the University of Antananarivo, and have the chance to participate in research projects using these rare specimens.
2) See first-hand rare and threatened Malagasy lemurs, such as the diademed sifaka, the aye-aye, and the greater bamboo lemur.
3) Work alongside Malagasy students and research assistants
4) Meet with and learn about local community associations in rural Madagascar, and the unique challenges they face in basic subsistence, health and education.
5) Collect subfossil field sites in the Sambaina basin north of Antsirabe.
6) Conduct an independent research project within one of these themes, following all the steps of field research: designing a project, formulating methods, data collection, analysis and presentation. Past students have presented research results at academic conferences and submitted for publication.

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Course Offerings

For satisfactory participation in the program, participants will receive 6 semester hours of undergraduate or graduate credit in one of the following NIU courses. The courses taken while participating in this program cannot be audited. Applicants must participate in the entire program and satisfy NIU admission and course requirements.

UNDERGRADUATE CREDIT:

ANTH 493D Anthropology Field Study: Physical Anthropology - 6 semester hours
Description: Directed field study or field school. Each topic may be repeated to a maximum of 12 semester hours.

Program Director Prerequisites: ANTH 240 or consent of Professor. Suggested preparation includes one upper-division course in physical anthropology.

Prerequisite: Consent of department.
OR
BIOS 489 Madagascar Field Biology - 6 semester hours
Description: Field biology experience devoted to studying the paleontology, evolution, ecology and behavior of the fauna native to the island of Madagascar. Includes lectures, museum field trips, and hands-on experience at a rainforest field camp. Independent research projects, data collection, and results presentation in a research talk and final report.

Prerequisites: BIOS 209 and BIOS 211


GRADUATE CREDIT:
 
ANTH 593D Anthropology Field School: Physical Anthropology - 6 semester hours
Description: Directed field study or field school. Each topic may be repeated to a maximum of 12 semester hours.

Prerequisite: ANTH 240 and at least one graduate-level course relevant to primatology, ecology or conservation, or consent of Professor.

Prerequisite: Consent of department.
OR
BIOS 589 Madagascar Field Biology - 6 semester hours
Description: Field biology experience devoted to studying the paleontology, evolution, ecology and behavior of the fauna native to the island of Madagascar. Includes lectures, museum field trips, and hands-on experience at a rainforest field camp. Formulation of independent research projects, data collection, and presentation of results in a research talk and final report.

Prerequisite: Consent of department.


This course will focus on Madagascar’s endemic primate radiation, the lemurs. Currently there are 107 known lemur species, and 17 more were lost to extinction in just the last few thousand years. Madagascar is universally recognized as a globally important biodiversity hotspot, yet its natural habitats continue to shrink due to human population growth and illegal exploitation. Its lemurs are a rich source of knowledge (including primatological knowledge which helps with understanding the evolution of humans), a cultural and biological heritage of the Malagasy people, and a key tourist attraction (ecotourism is currently the highest-grossing industry in Madagascar). Lectures will be combined with topically-based visits to universities and zoological parks, and hands-on research experience to explore Madagascar’s past and present primate diversity, as well as the unique and urgent conservation challenges it faces. A large component of the course is the cultural exchange between NIU students and students from the University of Antananarivo, who will also participate. In addition to background knowledge about Madagascar’s primates, students will learn first-hand the steps needed to conduct primatological research, from project design through completion and presentation of results. They will also meet with local community associations at the field site to talk about local perceptions of lemurs and wildlife conservation, and pressing basic needs faced by rural Malagasy communities today.


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Student Life

In Antananarivo, participants will reside in hotels, in twin bedded rooms with private and/or shared bath and toilet facilities and will be provided three meals daily throughout the period of residency.

At Andasibe and Antsirabe, participants will reside in hotels, in twin bedded rooms with private and/or shared bath and toilet facilities and will be provided three meals daily throughout the period of residency.

At Tsinjoarivo, participants will reside in tents that they supply themselves. The camp contains leveled, covered tent sites, one research lab/storage building, one refectory (covered eating area), one rudimentary toilet and one rudimentary shower. Participants will be provided three meals daily throughout the period of residency in addition to snacks.


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Application Information

APPLICATION FORMS AND DEPOSIT:  Click 'Apply Now' to begin the online application process for this program. The online process provides guidance on requesting information, advising, or applying for the program. Please note that at the time of application, non-NIU applicants will be expected to submit a signature verification form and copy of their ID to the Study Abroad Office. More detailed instructions can be found in the application.
        
$200 APPLICATION FEE/DEPOSIT:  A $200 application fee/deposit is required of all applicants.  The $200 is broken down into $100 for the non-refundable application fee and $100 for a program deposit.  Both the application fee and the deposit will be applied to the total balance of the program cost.  The $100 deposit is refundable only if the participant withdraws prior to the withdrawal deadline indicated on the program materials or for medical reasons verified by a physician if the withdrawal takes place after the deadline.
               
NIU Students - The $200 application fee/deposit will be charged to NIU students’ NIU Bursar account.  (Checks and money orders cannot be accepted from NIU students).  
   
Non-NIU students must submit a check or money order in the amount of $200.  More detailed instructions can be found on the application website mentioned above.  

IMPORTANT – All applications will be categorized as “Pending – No Deposit” until the $200 application fee/deposit has been received (or, in the case of non-NIU students, once a check has been received).  The Study Abroad Office will not consider or process applications without the $200 application fee/deposit.  In order to reserve your place in the program you must submit the $200 deposit within 14 days of application.  After 14 days applications without a deposit will be changed to inactive. 

Application Deadline:  February 1, 2019
 
Upon acceptance into the program, applicants must change their status to “Committed” and complete all post-decisions items on the Study Abroad Portal in order to be considered an active participant and reserve their place in the program.
    
Applicants who have not changed their status to “Committed” will be withdrawn from the program.

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Eligibility

Space is limited and qualified applicants will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis. The content of this field course will be geared towards students interested in (1) Anthropology (especially, but not exclusively, physical anthropology and primatology); (2) biology (especially those students interested in ecology, animal behavior and conservation); and (3) students interested in conservation biology and environmental studies. However, students from all majors would be welcome if a tangible link between their specialty and the course content can be established. Non-traditional students as well as non-NIU students are welcome.

PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:
  • Brief essay questions on the field school application will ask you to outline your background in physical anthropology or biology, your interest in this program, as well as how the program will assist you academically and in the future.
  • Approval from Professor Irwin and Professor Samonds.

APPLICATION AND ADMISSION PROCEDURES: The program is open to undergraduates and/or graduate level students who meet the NIU general admission
requirements, and who are interested in Physical Anthropology, Biological Sciences and/or Environmental Studies. Currently enrolled students must meet College of Liberal Arts and Sciences course GPA requirements. Graduate level students must also meet NIU Graduate School admission, course and GPA requirements.

Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the time of application. Students who are on academic or disciplinary probation are not eligible to participate in study abroad programs. Applicants must participate in the entire program and satisfy NIU undergraduate or graduate admission and course requirements.

Students cannot have any encumbrances against their NIU records. Any encumbrances placed on a student’s records by NIU (i.e., the Graduate School, Undergraduate Admissions, Bursar’s Office, Accounts Receivable, Registration and Records, Office of Student Conduct, Health Services, Parking Services, etc.) must be cleared before a student is granted admission to a study abroad program.

For any student to be admitted into a study abroad program, an applicant’s transcript must be on file with the NIU Study Abroad Office. Students who are currently enrolled at NIU, or who have previously enrolled at NIU, do not need to request an official transcript; SAO will make this request on behalf of the applicant.

Non-NIU Students: Non-NIU Students who want to participate in the program and earn academic credit from NIU, who have not previously enrolled at NIU, should send a copy of their transcript (official or unofficial) as soon as possible to the SAO.

Students can send transcripts to the SAO via email to niuabroad@niu.edu, fax a copy to (815) 753-0825, or mail or hand-deliver a copy of their transcript to the following address:

Northern Illinois University
Study Abroad Office
Williston Hall 417
DeKalb, IL 60115
    
Undergraduate students must apply and be accepted as a visiting student to NIU to be admitted to this program. Graduate students who have not previously enrolled at NIU, or who are not currently enrolled at NIU, who will participate in the program in order to earn academic graduate credit as a "student-at-large" (SAL) must be admitted as an SAL to the graduate school and the program.
 

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Program Fees

NIU PROGRAM COST: The program cost pays for the following cost related services:
1) Housing throughout the program.
2) All meals.
3) Program-related land transportation in Madagascar.
4) Admission fees to cultural and historical sites visited as part of the daily schedule.
5) Fee for acquiring a visa to enter Madagascar.
6) NIU tuition for 6 hours of undergraduate or graduate credit.
7) NIU major medical insurance for the duration of the program.

PROGRAM COST: $4,195

ADDITIONAL COSTS TO PARTICIPANTS:
• Airfare
• Cost of acquiring a passport (approximately $140).
• Passport size photos.
• Additional costs associated with obtaining a visa for non-U.S. passport holders.
• Immunization fees (if immunizations are required)
• $40 Undergraduate application fee for non-NIU undergraduate students or $10 Student-at-Large application fee for graduate-level students
• Independent travel and visa costs associated with independent travel.
• Expenses for free-time pursuits.
• Expenses and purchases of a personal nature.

All prices quoted are subject to change. The information contained in the program documents and forms is presented in good faith and is believed to be correct as of the date presented. Northern Illinois University reserves the right to amend, modify, revise, or delete any information appearing in these documents, including but not limited to the cost of the program. Non-NIU students should consult with their home institutions regarding additional costs that may apply to study abroad. Non-NIU students are responsible for any study abroad charges imposed by their home institution.

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Financial Aid

As a participant in a study abroad program through NIU, you may be eligible for: Pell Grant, SEOG, PLUS Loan, Subsidized or Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, MAP Award or your privately awarded scholarship with consent of awarding organization.

If you are an NIU student and plan to apply for aid or loans to supplement this study abroad program you must contact the NIU Financial Aid and Scholarship Office in Swen Parson 245, (815) 753-1395 to discuss your current aid package and what you might be eligible for during the Summer term. Tuition waivers do not apply. Please contact the Study Abroad Office at niuabroad@niu.edu for more information or visit https://www.niu.edu/study-abroad/costs/index.shtml.

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Withdrawal Policy

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE PROGRAM:  Applicants withdrawing from the program after February 1, 2019 will not be refunded the $200 application fee/program deposit.

Applicants withdrawing from the program after this date will also be held accountable for any funds obligated to overseas vendors and agents on the applicant’s behalf.  This provision is in effect even if the applicant has not submitted the $200 deposit or additional payments, and if the applicant is applying for financial aid.

If the applicant must withdraw after February 1, 2019 for medical reasons, funds obligated on their behalf to overseas vendors can only be refunded if:

1)    The request is submitted to the Study Abroad Office in writing and accompanied by a signed statement stating that travel is not advised from a physician on the physician’s letterhead; and
2)    NIU is able to obtain refunds from overseas vendors and agents; and
3)    The program has the minimum number of participants required to operate.
   
CANCELLATION OF THE PROGRAM: The Study Abroad Office reserves the right to cancel this program if the minimum required enrollment is not attained.  If, prior to the commencement of the program, a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory is issued for Madagascar, all applicants will be notified promptly of the warning and the possibility of cancellation of the program.  If, during the course of the program, a U.S. State Department Travel Advisory is issued for Madagascar, students will be promptly notified of the warning and the advisability of canceling the program.


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Passport/Visa Information

All participants are expected to possess a passport in order to participate in this seminar. Important Note: U.S. passports must be valid SIX months beyond the intended stay overseas.

Individuals who do not currently posses a valid passport should apply for one immediately.

Information on acquiring a passport is available at the U.S. State Department’s Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports.html. Foreign passport holders may need special visas for travel in Madagascar and are responsible for obtaining all necessary visas.


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Contact Information

 

QUESTIONS?
Please contact the Study Abroad Office
Williston Hall 417
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-0700
Email: niuabroad@niu.edu

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This program is currently not accepting applications.