PWS students visit Koshima Island as one of the first PWS field courses
they attend. Koshima is a 0.32km2
island located in the southwest of Japan, off the coast of Kyushu.
There are approximately 100 Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata
, popularly known as snow monkeys) on Koshima.
The Japanese macaques on Koshima, are well known for the behavior of washing sweet potatoes. Sweet potato washing behavior was first observed in Koshima, in 1953; then regarded as a pre-cultural behavior in nonhuman animals. At the revered birthplace of primatology in Japan, PWS students learn fundamental fieldwork skills over the course
of an intensive week. Students learn actively, by designing and conducting a field study or experiment by themselves.