top of page


Studying abroad is an incredibly effective and rewarding experience.  I've had the pleasure with such experiences in numerous countries, particularly Mexico, Costa Rica, and Kenya.  From either a student and/or teacher perspective, study abroad works.

While a Ph.D. student at George Mason University, I founded the GMU Kenya Study Abroad program and have since remained active.  This was usually a winter break course (in between semesters) offered through George Mason University's Global Education Office. It is open to any students from any university - as well as non-students!

George Mason GEO Website:

JANUARY 2023 Program: 

TITLE:       KENYA Wildlife & Landscapes
DATES:     January ( 2 weeks )
CREDIT:    George Mason University (3 credits, 4 departments to choose from)
GROUP:    Average - 10 students, 2 faculty, 2 drivers


The Kenya Wildlife Ecology and Landscapes program is designed to expose students to several key areas of conservation science with the additional benefit of interacting with field researchers, tourism professionals, and conservation practitioners.  An engaging exploration of Kenya's vast and diverse ecosystems, this course will provide participants with a close-up view and experience of East African biodiversity and the many challenges managing such incredible resources.  We will accomplish this by visiting multiple protected areas on safari, meeting key conservationists at various levels and at each destination, and studying a wide range of current conservation issues.  Below is a list of our main program destinations:


Topics covered in this course will include conservation biology, animal behavior, climate change impacts, ecological and landscape conservation, protected and non-protected areas management, human-wildlife interactions, and community-level conservation.

To achieve a high-quality safari experience and optimize group interaction, this program’s size is limited, so we suggest you submit your application as soon as you can.

Program Highlights

  • Conservation in action: field research to applied science

  • Wildlife management: species conservation and conflict resolution

  • Ecosystem and geography: acacia savannas, Great Rift Valley, grasslands

  • Climate change:  impacts, NGO and government challenges, community

  • Culture and conservation: human dimensions of wildlife conservation

  • Business and leadership: tourism, marketing, and politics

  • Communications:  visual, written, community-based, NGOs.








Great Rift Valley:


Maasai Mara:

MuKenya group shot.jpeg

© 2023 by Ryan Valdez.  All rights reserved

bottom of page