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Explore Bioko Island




 In these courses, you have this great opportunity to learn about how field research is done in the remote and pristine areas of the island.   

Previous courses


Winter 2016

Fall 2015

Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea

Explore Bioko Island
Course preparation

Specific Goals

  • Learn the fundamental concepts of the scientific method

  • Practice experimental design and use basic research tools and techniques

  • Learn how to use basic statistical tests

  • Practice making inferences from observations

  • Learn to write scientific papers and give scientific presentations


During this course, you will practice how to design, collect data, analyze, and present a research project. These research projects are a great opportunity to be imaginative and develop skills in experimental design, data analysis, and presentation of scientific work. This can be a great and memorable experience that could change the way you see nature and define whether ecological research is something you would like to pursue in your professional life.

The ‘Field Research in Tropical Ecology’ (FRTE) course is an intensive field course with a strong focus on hands-on experiential learning and training in biodiversity research. The course will be based at the Moka Wildlife Center (MWC). During this course, we will take advantage of the field research opportunities in the Gran Caldera-Southern Highlands Scientific Reserve (GCSH) on the southern third of Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, the presence of staff from the BBPP and the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE), and finally, a number of superb visiting scientists.

Moka Wildlife Center (MWC)

Ongoing projects


Previous student projects

In this course you will be introduced to the rich biodiversity found among the forests and beaches within the Gran Caldera-Southern Highlands Scientific Reserve on Bioko Island. Through participation in numerous ongoing research projects conducted by BBPP staff and visiting scientists, you will also be provided with a sound foundation in ecological concepts and field techniques used in the study of tropical rain forest ecosystems.  This can be a great opportunity to change the way you see nature and ecology.

Specific Goals

  • Being exposed to field research in the rain forest

  • Practice field research techniques and use field research tools (focus taxa: turtles, amphibians, monkeys and birds).

  • Practice working in groups (communication and cooperation are very important in field-based programs).

  • Become committed to accurate and organized work

  • Keep a daily field journal

Ongoing projects


Previous student projects

Course Preparation

Minimalist List

Travel documents


  • You need a passport to travel to Equatorial Guinea. We recommend that your passport is valid 3-6 months after the end of the program. If you are not a US citizen you may require a Visa.

  • Evidence of a yellow fever vaccination is also required to enter Equatorial Guinea



  • Yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Equatorial Guinea. See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.

  • Malaria. Travelers to Central Africa should take one of the following antimalarial drugs: doxycycline or Malarone™. We do NOT suggest that you take Larium or its generic form.

  • Recommended vaccinations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


  • Computer

  • Adaptor (EG uses a higher voltage (220v) than we do in the States (110V))  

  • Spanish-English Dictionary (Book or Computer Program).  If you aren’t fluent in Spanish this can be invaluable for communication with UNGE students who don’t necessarily speak much English.

For UNGE classes

The University has a dress code: men must wear long pants, close-toed shoes and appropriate shirts, and women must wear

close-toed shoes, non-revealing shirts and pants/skirts that go well below the knees. 

For the research projects you are require to:

1) Take the CITI online training ( This training
usually takes 3-4 hours. In this website select: “Learner Group 2” and "Drexel University" (not
College of Medicine).
Instructions here.

You need to complete four modules:

- Aseptic Surgery,
- Reducing Pain and Distress,
- Working with IACUC, and
- Wildlife Research.


2) Get the Annual Health Certification (requires a doctor visit and
the document is HERE).


This minimalist list below was extracted and summarized from the Bioko Island guide and 2014 & 2016 winter students

What to Pack

The climate in Equatorial Guinea is tropical year round. Rainfall is common for most of the year, decreasing dramatically in the capital of Malabo between December and February. During this time Malabo can be very dusty from the Harmattan winds that come from the Sahara Desert. Recommended clothing include Coolmax and other lightweight fabrics. Moka is at a higher altitude and gets cold at night and in the morning (50-60F).


Stuff for the Field


  • 3-4 pairs light-weight, quick-drying pants (shorts and long pants). Avoid blue jeans (it is too heavy and it takes a while to dry)

  • 3-4 T-shirts (Coolmax better, quick-drying fabrics) shorts sleeves and one long sleeved shirt. Long sleeves are good to keep bugs off, and prevent plant material from scraping your arms

  • At least 3-4 sets/prs underwear. Cotton dries slowly; nylon or Coolmax better.

  • 3-5 pr thicker crew “hiking” socks (long enough to pull over pant legs) that dry quickly

  • 1 pr sturdy waterproof sandals, water shoes or Crocs

  • 1 hiking shoes or boots 

  • 1 bathing suit. 

  • 1 poncho (perfectly adequate), windbreaker (light), or rain suit (Goretex is nice, but expensive).

  • 1 fleece or sweatshirt with hood (Moka and Grand Caldera are cold at night ~50-60 F)



  • 1 headlamp with red light function

  • Lots of extra batteries. The amount varies for electronics you have

  • 1 large field backpack to carry your stuff between camps.

  • 1 daypack 

  • 1 lightweight sleeping bag or sleep sack

  • 1 Thermarest pad

  • 2 Dry Bags (at least): keep your clothes, electronics and sleeping bag dry.

  • 1 sport or camp towel

  • 20 assorted size Ziplock plastic bags to keep everything from clothing to cameras.

  • 2 water bottles (1L Nalgene best)

  • 20 iodine tablets for treating drinking water

  • 3 small spiral-bound field notebooks, preferably waterproof

  • 5 ballpoint pens and lead pencils

  • Binoculars 


Toiletries: (Keep it simple)

  • Toothbrush

  • Toothpaste 

  • Dental floss

  • Soap

  • Shampoo

  • Hand sanitizer and/or Sanitary Wipes

  • Sunscreen



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