African Ecology Training Center

Imagine a hub where young aspiring biologists and conservationists can come for scientific training and education in understanding and solving complex questions about wildlife and ecosystems in Africa.

Dr. Greg Rasmussen and the community members of Sizinda, Zimbabwe, have been hard at work designing and building just that. But it takes a team, and now they need your help to take the building to the next level!

Construction is underway

The ecology research center is situated  at the hub between Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in the heart of a region known as the  Kavango - Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) of Africa.

This prime location is essential and pivitol to training the next generation of researchers who will answer some of the toughest questions facing ecosystem landscapes in Africa.



The center is built on 20 acres of land,  providing an excellent launch point for ecology studies on grasslands, insects, birds, food web dynamics, best farming practices, and more.

The building foundation has been strategically designed to have a minimal footprint;  its round shape has utilised 27% less materials to build.


Keeping it local

By using stones chipped by the community from a local quarry,  5 tonnes of CO2 emissions and needless destruction of granite hills from commercial quarries have been avoided.


Building teams comprise members of the community and 78 local households have benefited from a total of $16,000 paid in construction labor wages. Investment in the building of this center, is directly returned to the community, which has meant a great deal to them!


Sustainable water use

In keeping with a conservation-based theme, a basin was dug and blasted to harvest rainwater. During this season's December rains, the basin became a pond, which provides new breeding sites for four frog species, two terrapins (freshwater turtles) and a flurry of bird species. 

Similar basins will be developed in the future and used as a natural bio-remediation wetland to treat waste water on location. 


Student accomodations

A young field biologist dreams of having a base they can stay at long term--a place in the field where they can really dig in and learn, collect data, process samples, and analyze results.


Without these types of resources readily available, consequently, most aspiring young African conservationists never realize their dreams.

This center will solve that.

Currently 10 student housing units are also in construction and will have the abiliy to house up to 40 students at a time, providing a perfect access point to field study sites and much needed retreat space for student studies.


Now, we need your help

The beginning foundations have been laid and we couldn't be more proud watching this vision take shape.

The center is ready to proceed to the next level, but it will take $25,000 to get there.

Support young biologists, future researchers, and the community of Sizinda by donating today


"If you build it, they will come." ~Field of Dreams

Thank you for your support*! 

To learn more about the project visit,
Painted Dog Research Trust - Zimbabwe



*Allison Lee is a friend and colleague of Dr. Rasmussen as well as a biologist and strong advocate for training young scientists around the world. Allison is the U.S. contact for managing the GoFundMe campaign. Your donations are withdrawn by the Wildlife Conservation Network's (WCN) Financial Controller Veleta Allen
and will go directly to Dr. Greg Rasmussen and the PDRT team in Zimbabwe.






  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 24 mos
  • Sarah Williams 
    • $15 
    • 30 mos
  • Mari Smultea 
    • $50 
    • 49 mos
  • Tammy Cloutier 
    • $10 
    • 52 mos
  • Steven King 
    • $500 
    • 60 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Allison Lee 
Organizer
San Diego, CA
Wildlife Conservation Network 
Beneficiary