The SIT staff worked tirelessly to help me have a great semester. They were ready to assist me with any issue or answer any question I had but also didn’t hold my hand or stop me from trying new things. They didn’t shelter me from the difficult realities of developing nations. I felt that the SIT staff beautifully balanced supporting us with challenging us, and I hope that they understand how large an impact they have on the lucky students who arrive on the program each semester.
Tyler Plante, Franklin and Marshall College
Helen Peeks, Academic Director
Helen Peeks received a BA in environment and social values from Glamorgan University, Wales, in 1996 and a master's degree in environment and development from Cambridge University in 2001. For the last 20 years, she has worked in Zanzibar, mainland Tanzania, Uganda, the United States, and Japan in the field of education. Helen directed a volunteer teacher and environmental education program in Tanzania and managed a school-linking program in Uganda in 2002. More recently, Helen worked with the award-winning marine conservation and eco-tourism project Chumbe Island Coral Park in Zanzibar, where she was the general project manager for five years. In addition to her background in environmental education, she is a published photographer and has studied counseling and alternative healthcare. Helen was the academic director of the Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management program from 2008 until 2013 when she took a year off to do the Master’s in Social Anthropology program at the University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.
Said Hamad Omar, Program Assistant
Said has served as program assistant with SIT Study Abroad for more than a decade. His responsibilities include helping to coordinate the students’ daily activities, academic schedule, and excursions; assisting the academic director; and advising students on Zanzibari culture.
Said received a diploma in fisheries science from Kunduchi Fisheries in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He holds a BSc (Hon) in zoology and botany from the Open University of Tanzania 2011 and is currently working toward a master’s degree in environmental studies (MES) from the Open University of Tanzania. The title of his thesis is “Abundance and species composition of crabs in undisturbed and disturbed mangroves caused by salt pan in the eastern coast of Pemba.” Previously, Said worked with fishermen and coastal villagers both in Pemba and Unguja. He has a long history of working to increase conservation awareness of both marine and terrestrial natural resources in conjunction with forest and fisheries departments in Tanzania.
BiAsia Abdullah, Swahili Language Coordinator
BiAsia is the coordinator of the program’s Kiswahili language course. She is a trained teacher from Zanzibar who has taught with the SIT Tanzania-Zanzibar program since 1998. She has been a language teacher for almost forty years.
Anuna Mukri, Homestay Coordinator
Anuna Mukri joined SIT in 2009 as a homestay mother. She was recently appointed homestay coordinator. Anuna studied professional beauty care and hairdressing in Canada for two years and is also a successful business woman. She has traveled to India, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada. Anuna enjoys traveling and learning about new cultures. She is also an excellent cook.
Moza Said Salim, Homestay Coordinator
Moza Said Salim has more than 30 years of teaching experience. She has worked in the Zanzibar English Language Improvement Project as an English Language Training (ELT) teacher trainer and at a teacher center in Zanzibar as a primary-level teacher trainer. She is a women’s coordinator in the Zanzibar Teachers Union and serves as a chairperson at the NGO Community Development and Environmental Conservation of Zanzibar. In 2009, Moza established STAR, a nursery school designed to support the community in her home island Pemba as it implements Zanzibar’s newly adopted government education policy. In 2007, Moza joined SIT Study Abroad as a homestay coordinator for the Tanzania-Zanzibar program.
Narriman Jiddawi, Program Coordinator
Ms. Jiddawi is a senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam's Institute of Marine Sciences. She has been program coordinator of the SIT Tanzania-Zanzibar program since its inception. Ms. Jiddawi has a PhD in marine biology from the University of Dar es Salaam (2000); her thesis was a study on the age, growth, reproductive biology, and fishery of Indian mackerel (rastrelliger kanagurta) in Zanzibar. Dr. Jiddawi also holds an MS in fisheries biology and management from the University of North Wales and a BS in zoology/botany/education from the University of Dar es Salaam. For a comprehensive outline of Ms. Jiddawi's research and teaching experience, as well as a listing of her publications, please click here.
Lecturers for this program typically include:
Matthew Richmond, PhD
Matt Richmond is a marine biologist with a PhD from the University of Wales, Bangor. His doctoral thesis focused on the biodiversity and biogeography of shallow-water flora and fauna of the Western Indian Ocean. Mr. Richmond edited A Field Guide to the Seashores of Eastern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean Islands (now in its third edition), which is the textbook for SIT’s Zanzibar coastal ecology program.
Dr. Richmond has over 20 years of professional experience with diverse tropical marine environmental issues (mainly in East Africa), including oil/gas exploration, artisanal fisheries, environmental education, and taxonomy. He has extensive consultancy experience involving environmental impact assessments (EIAs), coastal zone management, and conservation. Dr. Richmond has worked with diverse international NGOs, the World Bank, BBC, and the Tanzanian government, among other entities. His field research includes surveys of crown-of-thorns starfish and coral spawning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, fisheries data collection on the Falkland Islands, and crustacean taxonomy for Operation Raleigh’s “Pacific Island Crossing” expedition.
He is an accomplished diver and underwater photographer, as well as writer, speaker, and lecturer. He is equally at home teaching intertidal biodiversity to students in the field and working as an expert witness for governmental EIA proceedings.
Mr. Richmond teaches a module on coral reef training and serves as an ISP advisor for the SIT Zanzibar program.
Professor Yunus Daud Mgaya, PhD, Lecturer and Program Coordinator at the University of Dar es Salaam
Professor Mgaya holds a PhD in aquaculture from University College Galway, Ireland; an MS in fisheries biology from the University of British Columbia, Canada; and a BS in zoology and marine biology from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Today, he is a professor at the University of Dar es Salaam as well as the university’s deputy vice-chancellor for planning, finance, and administration. Previously, he served as dean of the Faculty of Aquatic Sciences and Technology (2003–2006).
Dr. Mgaya’s ongoing research projects include:
- The use of peri-urban mangrove forests as filters and potential phytoremediators of domestic sewage in East Africa
- National and regional analyses to improve management
- Evaluation of different stocking densities for commercial production of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) with Ningu (Labeo victorianus) and African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) in earthen ponds
- The importance of mangroves and seagrass beds as nurseries for coral reef fishes in Tanzania
His numerous publications include articles in refereed journals, books, chapters in books, edited and published conference proceedings, and consultancy reports. Awards include WIOMSA (Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association) recognition of outstanding contribution to advancement in the knowledge of marine and coastal science in the Western Indian Ocean region, 2007 (certificate and trophy). Dr. Mgaya is currently the chairman of the board of directors of the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute.