Students embarking to Africa this fall for the ACM Tanzania Program will have an experienced director to guide them as they navigate the cultural and academic challenges that await them.
Chet Cain, who has been appointed Director of Tanzania: Human Evolution & Ecology for fall 2009, has lived and conducted a wide variety of field research and cultural heritage work in southern and eastern Africa during the past 15 years. An anthropological archeologist who specializes in the study of human-animal interactions in Africa, his background is a good match for the academic and experiential aspects of the ACM program.
Through his work on several projects in Tanzania, Dr. Cain has contacts at the University of Dar es Salaam, where the ACM program is based, and experience at Laetoli, an archeological site where ACM students often have conducted research. “One of the highlights of my career was meeting Mary Leakey when she visited during one of our field seasons,” he says, referring to the legendary British paleoanthropologist who did extensive research at Laetoli with her husband, Louis Leakey.
Chet Cain works with at a student at the Middle Stone Age site of Sibudu (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa).
Dr. Cain has conducted research in South Africa on the origins of culturally modern humans and worked on a project to protect biodiversity and promote sustainable ecotourism to the mountain areas between Lesotho and South Africa. He earned his PhD in anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, where he is currently a Research Associate. He has taught at several colleges in the U.S. and has supervised student research projects in Africa.
On the Tanzania Program, Dr. Cain will supervise the students’ independent field projects, both in Dar es Salaam and in the field. During the first part of the semester, he will also teach a Methods course that will prepare students for their field work and guide them through the process of preparing a project proposal.
Read more about Tanzania: Human Evolution & Ecology.