Project Description


Through an online field school offered jointly by the Institute for Field Research and the Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF), you will be virtually transported to the tropical rainforests of Borneo to learn the latest techniques in primate research and conservation. BNF works to protect some of the most important tropical rainforests in Borneo by conducting wide-ranging biodiversity and forestry research to make the case for conservation and to demonstrate and mitigate the impact of human activities. The expansive peat deposits of the Sebangau Forest in Borneo make it one of the world’s largest terrestrial carbon stores in the world. This tropical peat-swamp forest and other crucial rainforests in Borneo support globally-significant populations of several endangered primate species.

This online course focuses on the behavior, ecology and conservation of three sympatric Bornean primate species in a tropical peat-swamp forest: orangutans, gibbons and red langurs. Students will investigate primate behavior, including diet, patterns of activity, ranging and social behavior. During the 10-day course, students will learn different field techniques for monitoring primate populations, including the use of camera traps, and they will work with real data to practice methods for analyzing and interpreting these data. Students will also explore the challenges and potential solutions for Borneo primate conservation. BNF directors who have a combined 20+ years of primate research experience in Borneo will lead instruction and share their personal experiences, explaining the realities of a field researcher in a tropical environment. Comprising a combination of online lessons, practical exercises, and discussion groups, this virtual program will immerse students in the primatology world.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: June 14-June 25, 2021

  • Enrollment Status: Closed

  • Total Cost: $1,750

  • Course Type: Virtual Field Program

  • Payment Deadline: April 30, 2021

  • Instructors: Dr. Susan Cheyne and Dr. Helen Morrogh-Bernard

  • Orientation: May 23 at 9 am PDT / 12 pm EDT / 4 pm UTC / 5 pm BST
  • Academic Credit: 2 semester credit units (equivalent to 3 quarter credit units)


The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. Susan M. Cheyne
Dr. Susan M. Cheyne
Dr. Cheyne is a Co-Director of Borneo Nature Foundation International and an Associate Lecturer of the MSc Primate Conservation course at the Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, UK.
Dr. Helen Morrogh-Bernard
Dr. Helen Morrogh-Bernard
Dr. Morrogh-Bernard is a Co-Director of Borneo Nature Foundation International and a Daphne Jackson Fellow at the University of Exeter, UK.


This is a new IFR virtual program. No student testimonials are available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credit Units

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is a $25 fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Deposit: A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information. In the event that IFR must cancel a field school, all accepted students will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a refund of all tuition paid including the deposit fee. IFR offers students the opportunity to transfer to another field school, permitting that there are spots available and the program director approves the student to participate in their field school. Upon approval of the program director, IFR staff will make the arrangements to transfer the student’s application and payments.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 3.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).