Parks and People: Tanzania

Udzungwa Mountains National Park forms the front line of conservation for what remains of nature in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania, highlighting several critical dimensions of environmental sustainability:

  • Conserving biodiversity amid human impacts, such as resource extraction activities.
  • Protecting fresh water to sustain humans and other species, and for other uses such as irrigating agricultural fields.
  • Maintaining the health of humans vulnerable to environmentally-induced illness.
  • Ensuring the resilience of local cultures faced with growing influence from the developed world.

This is a 9-credit, faculty-led service learning program based at the Udzungwa Ecological Monitoring Centre.  The program is open to all majors and focuses on biodiversity conservation in the 21st century–maintaining biological diversity and the essential services provided by functioning ecosystems in a world increasingly dominated by humans.

Using a service-learning model long-acknowledged as the most effective means to engage students as agents of change, we employ multidisciplinary teams of students in socioeconomic evaluation and community design and planning to address key social and ecological issues, creating plans and designs that incorporate village activities as well as biodiversity conservation. Led by faculty conducting research in and around the park, the program also involves partners from Tanzanian universities and government agencies and international non-government organizations, exposing students to inter-disciplinary and inter-organizational expertise.

For further information see the Parks and People: Tanzania description under the Program tab or go to the Tanzania page on the landscape Architecture website, or contact Larry Gorenflo (ljg11@psu.edu) or Brian Orland (boo1@psu.edu).

Application to this program is on-line through the Education Abroad website at Mang’ula, Tanzania: Parks and People.

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