students doing fieldwork research

Fieldwork Opportunity in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Program Overview

The Indonesia Fieldwork Experience is a competitive, grant-funded immersive fieldwork experience that takes place in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Over the course of three weeks, selected students will travel with Dr. Erin Riley to conduct fieldwork, engage with and collaborate with Indonesian university students and will also live with an Indonesian family in a rural village in Southest Sulawesi, Indonesia. Through the project, SDSU students will develop critical skills needed to become successful researches and global citizens, as well as invaluable life skills, such as interpersonal and cross-cultural communication.

Dr. Erin Riley (Professor, Anthropology) is recruiting students to participate in her project titled “Whose woods are these?: Human-wildlife conflict and biodiversity conservation in Sulawesi, Indonesia.” She has been awarded a Student-Faculty Fellowship grant from ASIANetwork which will provide three (3) SDSU undergraduate students a funded opportunity to gain practical knowledge of this contemporary issue via an immersive field experience in Indonesia alongside Dr. Riley and her local partners. The ASIANetwork’s Student-Faculty Fellows program aims to introduce U.S. students to current global issues in an Asian context, while at the same time enhancing students’ practical and professional skill development and career and professional preparation via strong faculty mentoring of students.

Info Sessions:

Dr. Riely will be holding three info sessions this year to share more abou this unique fieldwork opportunity, and answer any questions you may have. A past participant of the program--and now a graduate Anthropology student--will also attend the info sessions to share their experience as well!

Friday Sept. 17

Wednesday, Dec. 1

Friday, Feb. 4

Time: 12:00 - 1:00pm

Zoom Meeting ID 89268458114

Click here to watch the recorded Sept. 17 Info Session.

Program and Application Details


As part of the fieldwork experience, students will attend lectures & meetings with faculty and leaders of governmental and non-governmental organizations focused on: 

  • Sustainability development and biodiversity
  • Field training modules in primate/wildlife ecology
  • Ethnographic research methods
  • Conservation education methods

SDSU students will also have a chance to work with Indonesian university students to collaboratively create educational tools to inform conservation education outreach efforts and the management of human-wildlife conflict in the area. After returning from the fieldwork, the students will have an opportunity to conduct further research related to the core issue and present their work at academic conferences. Through this project, SDSU students will develop critical skills needed to become successful researchers and global citizens, as well as invaluable life skills, such as interpersonal and cross-cultural communication.

Upon returning from the fieldwork, students will be given the opportunity to enroll in an independent study course under Dr. Riley’s mentorship in which they can further practice some of these skillsets learned during fieldwork. The team will also have an opportunity participate in a poster session and a roundtable discussion at the 2023 ASIANetwork annual conference.

students with Indonesia university students


A note on Covid-19: The Indonesia Fieldwork Experience is scheduled to take place during Summer 2022, however, the dates could possibly change due to potential future Covid-19 travel restrictions. Social distancing and mask-wearing may also be necessary while participating in this fieldwork experience. Once we are closer to the program start date, Dr. Riley will provide any necessary travel guidance and protocols.

Tentative Itinerary:

Spring 2022   -   Attend several mandatory pre-departure orientation meetings
July 2022      -   Arrive Jakarta, Indonesia
2-3 days        -   Capital city of Indonesia
5-7 days        -   Provincial capital of South Sulawesi (Makassar)
11-14 days      -   Rural areas around Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park


Accomodations: Housing in the cities will be in hotels. For the remaining two weeks of the trip, students will live with a family in the village of Bengo, South Sulawesi, where Dr. Riley regularly resides during field research. This location serves the dual purpose of 1) positioning the team close to the National Park and to agricultural land for the field training modules and 2) enabling cultural immersion and cross-cultural exchange for the students. This homestay experience, and living in a rural village more generally, will provide ample opportunities for students to engage with local community members (e.g., meeting with the village head, attending the weekly market) and to learn about Indonesian culture.

Transportation: In-county transportation will include car, taxi, and moped/motorcycle (as a passenger).

students conducting fieldwork

Student expenses will be reimbursed up to $5000 for approved expenses. Expenses will include the cost of visas, vaccinations, roundtrip airfare, ground transportation, field supplies, and food and lodging. 

  • SDSU undergraduate student
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Students will be expected to be respectful of socio-cultural norms in Indonesia
  • Preferred qualifications
    • Applicant will have an interest in:
      • conservation and sustainability, primatology and/or wildlife ecology
      • learning about and experiencing other cultures
      • and expanding your cross-cultural communication skills
    • Applicant has previously taken or is currently (Fall 2021) enrolled in ANTH 355 - Exploring Primate Behavior

** Competence in Bahasa Indonesia (the national language of Indonesia) is not required for participation. English is spoken by many people in the capital city of Jakarta and by faculty and most students at our partner university, Hasanuddin University, in South Sulawesi. English is not widely spoken in rural areas, however, so students will have an opportunity to begin learning some Bahasa Indonesia through interactions with students and local community members.

The application is now open!

Click here to apply. 

Application deadline: Feb. 15, 2022