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Lemur Conservation Foundation

Primatology Field Methods Course
at LCF

Taught by Professor Natalie Vasey of Portland State University

Course Description:

LCF Fieldwork 2009Primatology Field Methods includes an intensive week-long session in a natural habitat reserve, the Lemur Conservation Foundation’s Myakka City Lemur Reserve in Florida.  This course will introduce students to methods used for collecting behavioral and ecological data on free-ranging primates through a combination of lectures and field exercises.  These will include development of ethograms, sampling methods, recording rules, mapping sites and animal movements, and estimating resource availability.  By the end of this course students will be able to assess whether their interests lie in gaining further advanced training in primatology, such as graduate training or a field or lab assistantship with a senior scientist. 


LCF fieldwork 2009Applications are reviewed upon receipt and will be accepted after Fall Term until the course is filled.   Early application and acceptance into the course will allow you to shop for an economical airfare well in advance.  The March session corresponds to Spring Break for many universities on the quarter system.


A university-level biology course, or a course in biological anthropology.  Enrollment is not limited to university students.  Skills acquired can be applied toward continuing education (e.g., for zoo professionals or other allied fields).  All participants must be at least 18 years of age.

Course assignments:

Participation in field school, take home exam due one week afterwards, and five page essay due two weeks afterwards.
LCF Field School 2009

How to enroll:

Enrollment is limited to 10 students.  Apply early to ensure a spot in the course!  Fill out the attached application forms and mail them in hard copy to the address indicated in the application forms.  You will be contacted shortly thereafter concerning admittance and next steps.  Once you are accepted into the course, we will send you detailed information about the curriculum, a list of equipment and clothing to pack, and an itinerary with pertinent dates.

Your application should include a $100 application fee which will be applied towards course fees.

Course Information and Application Forms:lemur on the Myakka City Reserve


Course Fee:


This fee includes field school tuition, lodging and meals at the reserve, ground transportation in Florida, and some supplies; students purchase airfare separately.

Course Credit:

LCF Fieldwork 2009You may opt to take this course for college credit either through your home institution or through Portland State University.   To discuss how this course can contribute to your undergraduate or graduate studies, contact us for a course syllabus and share it with your academic advisor.  Students can arrange credit from their home institution via an independent study program.  Alternatively, students can arrange for credit through Portland State University.  It will cost an additional $500 (approximately) to receive undergraduate credits from Portland State University.  Depending on the tuition charged at your home institution, this could be a cost-effective way to fulfill required or elective courses for your degree.  Upon completion of the field methods course, students can arrange to receive an official transcript from Portland State University to transfer the credits back to their home institution.

This course can contribute to degrees in fields such as Biology, Anthropology, and Environmental Science.  At Portland State University this is a 4-unit course on the quarter system and meets the methods requirement for Anthropology Majors and Graduate Students.

Direct inquiries about the course to Natalie Vasey:


About the Professor:

Natalie Vasey

 is currently Associate Professor of Anthropology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon

Her work explores the behavioral ecology, life history adaptations, and evolution of primates, with a focus on the endangered and recently extinct primates of Madagascar.  She has presented her research at international venues, published in leading scientific journals, and edits a monograph series titled “Primate Field Studies” (Prentice Hall).   She is dedicated to educating students and the public-at-large about the lifestyles and conservation status of our closest relatives in the Animal Kingdom.  She is perhaps best known for her long-term work on wild red ruffed lemurs of the Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar.   

To return to Field Training Programs home page - click here

Photographs are of Professor Vasey's previous field school courses conducted at the Myakka City Lemur Reserve.

Association of Zoos & Aquariums                                     
P.O. Box 249, Myakka City, Florida 34251 | 941-322-8494 | copyright ©2009 Lemur Conservation Foundation                                                              
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