Program Overview
Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the only places in the world where one can see the world's biomes, from tropical rainforest to alpine tundra, in one place that can be accessed on foot. Mount Kilimanjaro provides an unparalleled field experience where one can interact with an amazing diversity of biomes. We will hike to Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit at almost 20,000 feet above sea level over the course of a week. Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, a major destination for those who wish to study the megafauna of East Africa up close and personal. In addition to summiting Kilimanjaro, we will spend a week on safari where we will visit the Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara National Parks to observe Africa’s famous large mammals and birds in their native habitat. We will also get to spend some time in a native Maasai village and will visit Olduvai Gorge where some of the oldest human ancestor remains have been found.
Course Information
BIOE 491 - 3 credits (Summer 2020)
Students must have completed BIOB 170
The purpose of this course is to use Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania as a proxy to explore the biomes of the world.

The following will be covered in the course:
1) An overview of the history and culture of Tanzania
2) The world's major biomes, what differentiates them, and how they are arranged in Tanzania
4) How the different plants and animals of East Africa are adapted to the different communities in East Africa
5) The key distinguishing characteristics of the plants, mammals, and birds that make up the communities of East Africa and their taxonomic relationships
6) The human ancestor family tree
7) Interspecific interactions among large mammals, focusing in on predator-prey dynamics

Dates Abroad
May 23, 2020 - June 6, 2020
May 11-14: Instruction at MSU 4 hrs/day. Tanzania cultural history, natural history overview, Mount Kilimanjaro orogenesis
May 18-21: Instruction at MSU 4 hrs/day. East African plant communities, mammals, and birds
May 24-30: Travel to Tanzania game reserves to observe East African mammals/birds
May 31-June 5: Climb Mount Kilimanjaro studying the plant communities on the way up (and down)
June 6: Return to Bozeman

All accommodations will be included in the program fee.  Housing will be a combination of hotels/hostels, game reserves, and camping.

All meals will be included as part of the itinerary and with the program fee while in Tanzania.

Program Fee
$4,611 plus airfare

Eligibility Requirements
2.5 GPA
Successful student interview
Completion of BIOB 170

Faculty Leader information

Dr. Brian Smithers
219 AJM Johnson

Application Deadline:  November 29, 2019         Decision Date:  December 6, 2019
  • APPLY ONLINE HERE through My Global Connection.  A complete application includes: 
      • $300 Faculty Led Application Fee
      • Official Transcript
      • Acknowledgement of Faculty Led Participation and Pre-Departure Requirements
      • Additional Application Information
      • Faculty Led Application Short Essay
      • FERPA Information
      • Health History Form
      • Passport Information
      • Complete an interview with the Faculty Leader 
      • Upon program acceptance, confirm participation and complete Post-Acceptance Application Materials in My Global Connection

      Please contact Wendy Rivers, Faculty Led Coordinator

Have questions? Click to see drop-in advising hours.


Language of Instruction: English

Language Prerequisites: None


Minimum GPA: 2.5


Housing Options: Lodgings


Program Type: Faculty Led

Subjects Available

  November 29, 2019