Course Description

The Centre for Biodiversity Information Development (BID-C) at the School of Tourism and Hospitality offers a field studies programme, a research-based field studies programme in Kenya’s diverse conservation areas. This field course is developed to advance students knowledge and understanding of conservation practice including wildlife behaviour and ecology, wildlife management in the wild, land use change and habitat quality, wildlife adaptation and social behaviour, human interactions with wildlife, conservation and livelihoods, socio-economic, legal implications of conflicts at conservation areas, business of conservation, conservation entrepreneurship and survival skills in the field among other elements. The course is developed for students who have a special interest in experiencing conservation in action, wildlife behaviour and human-wildlife interactions in the natural environment. It targets students who are keen to engage in experiential learning and teamwork and research-based approach in an active multi-cultural field setting. The field sites for this course are carefully selected among Kenyans key tourism hotspots including Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo East and West, the Kenya’s Coastal and Nothern regions, Mt. Kenya and select community conservancies. 

Learning Methods

Interactive learning approches in cluding roup discussion and research work, field observation and engagement with the indigenous community in conservation areas, field drives and tours, problem identification in groups on conservation, problem-solving through short term field research projects, interaction with indigenous groups and peers from different cultural backgrounds and disciplines, project write up and presentation. This is a field-based program that emphasizes direct and onsite hands-on activities and engagement in teams and with rural communities.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. To examine wildlife conservation approaches, successes and challenges in wilderness areas in Kenya
  2. To experience wildlife tourism and culture of indigenous communities
  3. To comprehend the linkages and departures between wildlife conservation and community livelihoods.
  4. To experience research-based learning through field activities
  5. To learn in a multicultural and multi-disciplinary environment through engagement with peers and facilitators from different cultural backgrounds.

This field course is designed for: 

  1. Registered Strathmore University Students (ALL programmes)
  2. Overseas students registered in their mother universities and are keen to explore a multidisciplinary and a multi-cultural field studies in Kenya.

Course schedule:

The course will be offered twice a year:

Module A: March-April

Module B: June-July

Course duration: 3 weeks

Minimum  contact  hours: 90 hrs

Facilitators Profile:

Dr. David Chiawo (Facilitator and course coordinator-Senior Lecturer, School of Tourism and Hospitality, Strathmore University, Kenya

Dr. Sharon Kahara (Facilitator)-Lecturer and Research Associate, University of New Haven, California, USA.

Mr. George Njagi (Facilitator), Research Fellow, School of Tourism and Hospitality, Strathmore University, Kenya

Ms. Veronica Muniu (Programme manager), School manager, School of Tourism and Hospitality, Strathmore University, Kenya

The Centre for Biodiversity Information Development (BID-C) is a biodiversity research center established to lead major research initiatives on biodiversity conservation and to implement conservation and human well-being projects in different landscapes in Kenya and across Africa. The center will mobilize and use data to generate knowledge and integrate it into conservation policy and capacity development, to provide concrete solutions to biodiversity conservation challenges in Kenya and across Africa both at landscape level and regional scales.

The approach of BID-C is to form sustainable partnerships between development and conservation practitioners, decision-makers, scientists and students at Masters and PhD levels to co-produce biodiversity information and innovations to contribute to conservation management.

The center applies the full life-cycle of conservation action, which will involve identifying needs and challenges, conducting interdisciplinary research and disseminating results, engaging partners, identifying further interventions and encouraging action at the local and regional level. These interventions will fall within the following 3 categories:

  1. Biodoversity and Human Livelihoods
  2. Biodoversity and Climate Change
  3. Biodversity and Ecosystem Services

What we offer:

Towards the achievement of our mission, BID-C will focus on the following core activities:

  • Research and Publication
  • Partnership development and linkages
  • Training and research mentorship
  • Data management and data sharing
  • Contributing to conservation policy development
  • Fundraising and grants management
  • Field studies
  • Consultancies
  • Development and implementation of conservation projects

BID Grant & Project

Title: Capacity development for mobilization and use of Biodiversity Information Development (BID) data on endangered bird species in Kenya | BID-AF2020-014-NAC

Grant Awarded by: Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)


This project emphasizes the training aspect of the BID programme’s mission, by establishing a local community of practice for bird conservation professionals and students in Kenya, and helping to improve the data acquisition, analysis and scholarly publication skills of this community using GBIF data. There are three main objectives of this project, focused on enhancing national-level capacity to use Biodiversity Information Development (BID) data on endangered bird species in Kenya: 1) integrating GBIF Biodiversity Information Development data into conservation decision-making via conservation policy briefs created in collaboration with graduate students, early-career scientists, and conservation managers; 2) enhancing the use of BID data by graduate students and early-career scientists through the publication of peer-reviewed articles; 3) strengthening the capacity of conservation managers to collect policy-relevant biodiversity data through citizen science. The project applies a Training of Trainers (TOT) model, to enhance the capacity of graduate students, early-career scientists, and conservation managers to use BID data through collaborative publishing of conservation briefs and peer-reviewed articles. Our approach will lead to an increased usage of BID data while mainstreaming biodiversity data into conservation-decision making in Kenyan conservancies. The impact will be measured via; 1) the number of graduate students, early-career scientists and conservation managers trained; 2) number of BID datasets downloaded from the GBIF data portal; 3) number of peer-reviewed articles and conservation policy briefs published in reputable journals with joint authorship of graduate students, early-career scientists and conservation managers; 4) number of data records published during the workshops onto the GBIF IPT via Strathmore University.


The project will be implemented by Strathmore University in partnership with iDigBio, International Foundation for Science, Kenyatta University, South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU), African Conservation Center(ACC), The National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA) for the period 2021-2022.

Graduate Students

Our Mission
To provide a platform for research collaboration on biodiversity conservation to address conservation challenges in Africa through data use, data sharing, science publishing and capacity development on biodiversity and climate information.
Our Vision
To lead in the development and dissemination of biodiversity data and information to aid in decision-making across diverse levels towards the transformation needed to secure people, species and biodiversity areas under threat.
Our Values
Our core values at BID-C are:
  • Collaboration and partnership
  • Innovation
  • Transformational research
  • Excellence
  • Ethical practice
  • Diversity
  • Service to society