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Sustainability and Climate Agility in West Africa

January 4 - 18, 2016

West Africa is recovering from a prolonged drought, while trying to confront the challenges of urbanization and prepare itself for oncoming changes in climate. Will rainfall increase or will the Saharan desert consume Senegal? Will sea level rise bring recovery to the mangroves estuaries or will hypersalination persist? How do the communities of Senegal preserve their lifestyle, improve their life quality, and become climate resilient?

These are the questions that motivate our journey to Senegal. We will explore the estuaries and townships, making basic environmental measurements and contemplating solutions to the loss of mangrove habitat and the maintenance of sustainable fisheries. Our group will explore the political and urban conditions in Dakar, capital of Senegal, and we will learn first-hand from stakeholders and communities confronting these challenges. We will study and observe the ecosystem-based management of fisheries. We will propose and test ideas for improving the sediments for mangrove recruitment and growth. We will experience the richness of Senegalese culture - the sites, the sounds and the way of life. Join us!



The course will explore the theory and practice of sustainable resource management and the mitigation of habitat loss. Students will examine the state of the art and witness concrete examples currently underway in West Africa. Design and experimentation will be encouraged as we explore the effort to recover mangrove habitat through planting and desalination of sediments. The basics of ecosystem-based fisheries management will be introduced through readings and discussions. Throughout the course and our time in Senegal, we will experience the nuances of working in a foreign culture and the immense challenges of attempting purposeful stewardship of scarce resources.

Students will practice and develop the skills of recording in field journals, fieldbased environmental measurements, metadata collection, and basic data visualization. Studetns will be graded on participation (50%), quality of field notes (25%) and visualization of data collected in the field (25%).


Course work will be supplemented with a safari at Bandia National Park, fieldwork in Sine-Saloum Delta and cultural tours in Gambia, Dakar and Foundiougne.



Senegal covers a land area of almost 76,000 square miles, and has an estimated population of approximately 13 million. It has a tropical climate with dry season and a rainy season.

Accommodations and Meals:

Students will stay in double occupancy dormitories and will be provided breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakdown of Program Cost:
Program Fee:
Total Cost:
In-State (Ugrd)
Out-of-State (Ugrd)


In-State (Grad)
Out-of-State (Grad)


Program Fee Includes:
Round-trip airfare
In-country transportation
Excursions and cultural activities
Health insurance


 NOTE: All fees subject to change



Program Deadlines:
Application Deadline: October 2, 2015
Final Payment Due: December 1, 2015


For more information, please contact:


Program Director
Program Director
URI Faculty-Led Programs Office
Brice Loose
Najih Lazar
International Center
Graduate School of Oceanography
CELS, URI Fisheries Center
37 Lower College Road



The University of Rhode Island prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national origin, handicap, or sexual orientation and discrimination against disabled persons and veterans.

URI Summer Faculty-Led Programs

Brochure 2015