Location: Gaborone, Botswana
Dates: Fall 2020: September 22–November 4, 2020
Accommodations: Primarily camping, occasional hostel or rural lodge
Credits: 15 quarter credits or 10 semester credits
Language: English instruction
Courses: ESCI 437A, ESCI 437B, ESCI 437C
Prerequisites: One college level course of ecology or similar,
18 years of age
Botswana Fall 2020
$ 150 Application Fee
$ 5,550 Program Fee
$ 3,100 Estimated In-Country Group Fee
$ 2,000 Estimated Airfare
$ 1000 Estimated Food Money/Personal Spending
$11,800 Total Estimated Cost
Fall 2020: Program fees due by August 1, 2020
Join us in Botswana as we discover the diverse ecosystems and incredible wildlife of this biodiversity hotspot. We begin our course in the semi-arid Kalahari Desert to study the ecology and geography of the Kalahari Basin and explore the cultures, traditions, and languages of the peoples of Botswana. Our team will be introduced to the local wildlife (giraffe, elephant, rhino, lion, cheetah, impala - just to name a few) and begin our discussion on the many local threats that impact wildlife populations as we compare a diverse array of ecosystems and examine how each contributes to wildlife migration patterns. It is here that we begin to understand the many entities involved in wildlife conservation and the environmental, political, and socio-economic pressures influencing the region’s conservation efforts. Local communities, government agencies, non-profit, and international organizations each play a unique role in protecting the wildlife that depend on this region’s resources.
As we enter the Okavango Delta region, the importance of this oasis in the desert becomes immediately apparent. Angolan rainfall makes its way into Botswana, taking up to six months for the floodwaters to reach the Okavango Delta. The floods provide much-needed relief from the dry season, resulting in some of the highest concentrations of African wildlife, including the world’s largest concentration of African elephants. Here we will examine the rich biodiversity of the Delta, and learn the importance of the Delta’s resources for sustaining local livelihoods of the region’s five ethnic groups. We will also come to understand the economic value of the Okavango Delta to wildlife conservation, community-based conservation efforts and ecotourism opportunities.
Throughout the course, we will expand our skills in conducting scientific research and apply our new-found skills to real situations. By immersing ourselves in our surroundings and engaging with conservation practitioners and researchers from local to international scales, we will take an active role in wildlife research and gain a greater understanding of the multiple perspectives of wildlife conservation in Botswana.
MSc in Water Resources Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016
Aimee is a fish and wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where her work focuses on threatened and endangered species recovery. Before beginning her career with the Service, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana and participated in research related to trout habitat improvement, urban phosphorus runoff, aquatic invasive species impacts, hawk rehabilitation, and carnivore distribution. Her interests lie in human-wildlife conflict, aquatic ecosystem health, and wildlife conservation in the face of anthropogenic threats. As an educator, she believes that experiential learning increases awareness and inspires action. In her spare time, Aimee can be found on mountains, rivers, and trails backpacking, canyoneering, trail running, snowboarding, and kayaking. Aimee will lead our Botswana program in Fall 2020.