Welcome to Conservation Media-Kenya, a St. Lawrence University Blog where we’ll document the adventures of SLU  students and their instructors during the three-week intensive introduction to the field of Conservation Media. This SLU summer program offers an opportunity for students to learn about modern-day Kenya’s major ecological and environmental issues with a particular focus on birds of prey.

Munir Virani, a Kenyan-based conservation biologist who works around the world on raptor research and conservation with the Peregrine Fund, leads in-the-field demonstrations of survey techniques, scientific observations, and data collection. Teeku Patel, a Kenyan photographer, and Meera Subramanian, a New York-based environmental journalist, then teach participants how to use their new knowledge to create compelling stories about the natural world through words and photographic images. Field trips and guest lecturers bring an additional depth to the level of learning.

Students range from sophomores to the nearly graduated and major in such subjects as conservation biology, environmental studies, anthropology, and fine arts. They intimately encounter some of the most biologically rich conservation areas in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, including Lake Naivasha, private conservancies, and the Masai Mara National Reserve, interacting with local communities as they experience one of the world’s greatest, and most threatened, hotspots of biodiversity.

The summer 2011 class includes: Tyler Pigeon, Liz Grogon, Roger Miller, Eric Newman, Jeremy Ramos, Kaitlin Summers, Rebekah White, and Jonathan Williams.

The inaugural summer course in June 2010 included five intrepid students: Maria Hall, Arian Jones, Brian Free, Drew Perni, and Chris Wight.