Students will travel to Africa to learn about international conservation and development in national parks and wildlife areas of Zambia and Botswana. This course will cover issues of livelihoods and sustainable development in Zambia and Botswana using the Livingstone region of the Zambezi as a model to explore the complex interactions between natural resources, local people, NGO’s, government agencies, tourism providers, resource managers and tourists. We will focus our discussions on livelihoods, conservation, livelihood change and nature-based tourism in the context of sustainable development.
The Livingstone region is a unique area in that it is Zambia's tourist capital and enables us to begin by looking at areas of global significance that demonstrate global issues, and reduce in scale through national, regional, community, NGO and individual business scales. Zambia is endowed with numerous natural landscape features, including one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls World Heritage site. The Victoria Falls lies on the Zambezi River, which is Africa's fourth largest river and Zambia's longest. The Livingstone area also contains unique cultural sites, as well as the Mosi-O-Tunya National Park, which is one of Zambia's 20 national parks. As a result of its unique natural landscape features, Livingstone appeals to both domestic and international tourists. The livelihoods in the area are heavily reliant on tourism. Over the years, Livingstone has been experiencing rapid tourism growth. This growth has been a major driver of development in Livingstone and this poses diverse impacts for nature-based tourism and sustainability.
View the Syllabus (pdf)
If you are registered as a full-time student (12 credits for undergraduate students and 12 credits for graduate students) in the spring semester 2020, the 6 credits of this course will already be included in the flat-rate tuition. If you are not at the flat rate, you will need to pay tuition for the additional credits. No summer tuition is required for this course.
Sample course schedule
May 18 Depart Missoula
May 19 Overnight in Johannesburg, South Africa
May 20 Arrive in Livingstone Zambia. Check into the Kaazmein Lodge; Meet our Zambian cohort; Driving tour of the city.
May 21 Orientation to Livingstone Area; Livingstone Museum; Livingstone area background; Bird counts on the Zambezi River
May 22 Victoria Falls World Heritage Site.
May 23 Mosi-a- Tunya National Park
May 24 Tour of Sekute Community Trust/African Wildlife Foundation
May 25 Chief Mukuni Village
May 26 Alert Program – Walk with Lions
May 27 Livingstone Tourism Association
May 28 Panel Discussions with Community Stakeholders Heritage, ZAWA, Ministry of Tourism, James, AWF
May 29 Field projects
May 30 Field projects
May 31 Field projects
June 1 Close out the Livingstone Experience
June 2 Depart for Chobe Elephant Park
June 3 National Park Safari Management
June 4 Chobe National Park Environmental Education in an expedition context
June 5 Return to Livingstone
June 6 Depart for Missoula via Johannesburg
June 7 Return to Missoula or beyond
About the instructors
Jennifer Thomsen is an assistant professor of Park, Recreation, and Tourism Management at UM
Jane Kwenye is a lecturer at Copperbelt University, Zambia
PTRM 345 (undergrad)/PTRM 595 (grad): Sustaining Society & Natural Environment, 6 credits (pdf file)
Open to undergraduate and graduate students
Next trip May 2020
Interested students can contact Jennifer Thomsen at email@example.com
$2,961 + airfare (cost includes all meals, lodging and tuition)