Now accepting applications for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018

  • Dates for the Fall 2017 Program are September 5th to November 20th. Application deadline is June 15th.
  • Dates for the Spring 2018 Program are January 17th to April 3rd. Application deadline is November 15th.
    (Dates subject to change)
  • Earn 15 upper-division credits
  • Open to all majors


The Turkana Basin preserves a wealth of ancient remains unrivaled anywhere in the world. Here you will find dinosaur fossils, 18 million-year-old leaf impressions, and diverse extinct mammals, including our human ancestors. Archaeological remains in the basin span from earliest times – 2.3 million years – to megalith sites built 4000 years ago. For over 40 years, the Leakey family—instructors for parts of this program—have pioneered human prehistory research in this immense and hauntingly beautiful region of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, considered by many to be the “cradle of humanity.”

TBI offers a full-semester Field School for undergraduates every Fall and Spring semester at the Turkana Basin field centers for students with an interest in Africa, science, and the essence of what makes us human. Our program addresses the place that humans occupy in the natural world and how they came to occupy that place. It offers fifteen upper-division credits in geology, ecology, vertebrate paleontology and paleoecology, human evolution, and archaeology.

Classes are taught by renowned experts in their fields. Past instructors have included William Anyonge, Rene Bobé, Raymonde Bonnefille, Doug Boyer, Alison Brooks, Craig Feibel, Mikael Fortelius, Fred Grine, Sonia Harmand, Lisa Hildebrand, Bonnie Jacobs, Louis Jacobs, Cara Johnson, Bill Kimbel, Richard and Meave Leakey, Chris Lepre, Fredrick Manthi, Dino Martins, Hélène Roche, Matt Skinner, and Bernard Wood.