Welcome to the Turkana Basin Institute Field School blog. We will post weekly updates of students’ adventures and will also discuss what we are all learning along the way. There are 5 modules over the next 10 weeks- Ecology, Geology, Paleontology, Human Evolution, and Archaeology. Please share with others that might be interested in what the students are up to! In addition, check out the TBI Origins Field School video on our website at http://www.kenyastudyabroad.org/.
Spring 2016 Origins Field School students have started their studies at Mpala Research Centre located in central Kenya, Laikipia county. Here are a few pictures of camp where we have 3 hot meals a day, laundry service, hot showers, and tea time with cake! On top of it all we get to see African wildlife!
On Friday, students began their studies for the Ecology module instructed by Kenyan entomologist/evolutionary ecologist/conservationist/naturalist and more, Dr. Dino Martins. Our lesson began with an introduction to ecology and evolution, where Dr. Martins brought the students on an expedition to Mukenya (which means Little Mount Kenya) on Mpala Ranch. This was a great way for the students to do some physical activity and work off their jet lag while learning about the ecology of Laikipia at the same time!
On the way to class, we passed a group of Grevy Zebras. The Grevy Zebras are the largest and most threatened of the three species of zebra in Africa and are only found in Kenya and Ethiopia. Dr. Martins explained to the students how Grevy Zebras have different stripes and larger ears than other species. They are an endangered species and only 2,350 are left in this world so the students were really lucky to see them!
After class, the students went back out to watch hippos in a nearby waterhole!
At Mpala, there are animals everywhere you look! One of the students rescued a baby mouse and everyone worked together to nurse it back to life.
We took Saturday and Sunday off to sleep-in and explore the nearby area, including the town of Nanyuki. Some students visited the equator and local shops for souvenirs, while others chose to participate in the ongoing Laikipia Rabies Vaccination Campaign.
Check in weekly to see what the students are up to!