Globalization of Education

Sustainability and Climate Agility in West Africa

January 2017

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!


Students will earn 3 URI credits for OCG 491.

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 while in Senegal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.

Breakdown of Program Cost: TBA

Program Fee Includes:

  • Round-trip airfare
  • Accommodations
  • Meals
  • In-country transportation
  • Excursions and cultural activities
  • Health Insurance

NOTES: All fees subject to change.

Program Deadlines:

Application Deadline: TBA

Final Payment Due: TBA


For more information, please contact:

Program Director
Brice Loose
Graduate School of Oceanography

Program Director
Najih Lazar
CELS, URI Fisheries Center

URI Faculty-Led Programs
37 Lower College Road
International Center

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