Dr. Anna Estes is an ecologist with over 20 years of experience teaching and doing research in Tanzania, where she also spent part of her childhood. Her primary interests are in human-wildlife interactions through the lens of changing landscapes and habitats, with the goal of producing science that contributes to human-wildlife coexistence. She is passionate about experiential education and has designed and led courses in Tanzania for a number of different universities. Her courses are based on the premise that a thorough understanding of Tanzania’s ecosystems and the challenges facing them cannot be achieved without understanding the human and political contexts in which they exist.
During the term, students on Carleton’s Ecology and Anthropology in Tanzania Program will learn Swahili while living with Tanzanian families. The program integrates Ecology and Anthropology to encourage a holistic understanding of human-environment interactions. Students will learn core principles from each discipline, with a focus on the ecological principles that shape the ecosystems of northern Tanzania, the major cultural groups in the region, and how socio-political factors and ecological patterns and processes interact to influence human livelihoods. The course will incorporate primary literature, frequent guest lecturers, stakeholder interactions and student-facilitated discussions of course readings and topics. The experiential, site-based approach, which includes learning from people who live in and manage these ecosystems, allows students to gain insight into the practical applications of ecological and anthropological concepts in monitoring and maintaining Tanzania’s ecosystems, and the complex socio-ecological systems that depend on them.