Skip to content
Programs : Brochure
URI FLP - Florida: Primate Behavior and Organization
Orlando, Florida, United States; (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter J-term
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Winter J-term
Program Description:
Florida Primates

This program provides a field-based opportunity to study of the behavior of wild prosimians, monkeys, and apes, and the use of primate data by anthropologists. From the seat of a kayak, students will immerse themselves in the primatology of a wild monkey colony in north central Florida. Based on extensive daily observations, students will assess the impact of these relatively new primate arrivals to this region of the world, as well as the fascinating impact of the new habitat on the monkeys. Through an anthropological lens, students will debate whether and how non-human primate behavior helps us understand human behavior.

The program will travel to Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida. Roughly 120 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) live freely along the banks of the Silver River in north central Florida, mostly within Silver Springs State Park. The population is descendant of monkeys transplanted to the location from Asia in the 1930s, in an effort to boost tourism to the park. Studying this unique population of monkeys presents a wonderful opportunity to maximize student experiential learning in anthropology and primatology.

Students will earn three credits for APG 412: Primate Behavior and Organization. The course is entirely based in Silver Springs State Park. Students will spend three hours per day in the field observing the monkeys, and attend three-hour seminars in the evening to discuss daily observations and reading. In between monkey observations and the evening seminar, students will read, write, and have time to explore the park.

Note: High physical activity and swimming ability are expected for students to be safe and successful in the course. Students will be observing wild monkeys for two weeks from the sear of individual kayaks for three-hour blocks of time, daily. Hiking is also a major component of the program, as students will be hiking about 5 miles per day to travel to several locations in the park.

Students will stay in double occupancy cabins in Silver Springs State Park. Meals will be provided throughout the program.

Program Cost:
Residency Program Fee URI Tuition Total Cost
In-State $1,500 $834 $2,334
Out-of-State $1,500 $1,251 $2,751

Program Fee Includes:
  • 3 URI Credits
  • Accommodations
  • Meals
  • Cultural activities and excursions
  • On-site transportation
NOTE: All fees subject to change.


Holly Dunsworth, Ph.D.
(401) 874-7297  -
Dr. Holly Dunsworth is an evolutionary-minded anthropologist. She teaches courses in biocultural anthropology with new and original approaches aimed at overturning evolutionary misconceptions and outdated evolutionary dogma that students bring to college. Although she began her career as a paleoanthropologist, she has a broad background that is carrying her interests beyond the fossil record. At the early Miocene sites on Rusinga Island, Kenya she has performed paleontological research where ancient fossil apes are preserved, but she is increasingly learning about live and recently live primates including, of course, humans. Dr. Dunsworth is particularly interested in how the anatomical, physiological, and behavioral traits related to making, growing, and raising offspring evolved, how we narrate that evolutionary history, and how our narratives impact other realms of knowledge and practice, like parenting, healthcare, and medicine. She has contributed her research, scholarship, and writing to various books and journals. She regularly contributes to the science blogs The Mermaid’s Tale and Origins.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Think Big We Do

Copyright © 2015 University of Rhode Island.