mattiapickett

|Mattia Pickett

About Mattia Pickett

Hi I'm Mattia. I am the teaching assistant for the TBI Field School Fall 2016. I recently graduated from American University in December 2015 and am an alumni of the field school. I am thrilled to be returning to this wonderful program and excited to share this life-changing experience with this year's students.

Osteology and FUNctional Morphology

We started the Paleontology module from a broad perspective, making sure to cover a brief history of life on earth as well as the history of evolutionary theory, including the work of such academic greats as Mayr, Simpson, and Dobzhansky. With such a solid base under our belts, we can now start learning mammalian anatomy! To [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:32-08:00October 15th, 2016|Fall 2016, Field Schools|Comments Off on Osteology and FUNctional Morphology

Going back to where it all began… Koobi Fora

Map of the Koobi Fora Region As an educational and celebratory culmination to the geology module, we went on a geology-based camping trip to the Koobi Fora region, particularly close to where Richard Leakey established the Koobi Fora Base Camp in 1968. In the early 1970s Richard and Meave Leakey led a crew [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:32-08:00October 7th, 2016|Fall 2016, Field Schools|Comments Off on Going back to where it all began… Koobi Fora

Coring in the Ileret Delta

Throughout the history of the Turkana Basin, the dominant hydrographic systems that have fluctuated throughout the basin have been fluvial and lacustrine systems. While this fluctuating environment has been a main theme throughout most of the Geology module, students are now turning to studying current day environments to better understand sediment accumulation in past environments. While [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:32-08:00October 3rd, 2016|Fall 2016, Field Schools|Comments Off on Coring in the Ileret Delta

Geology week 1: Introduction to Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of the Turkana Basin

For this module, titled Sedimentary Geology and Geochronology of the Turkana Basin, Professor R. Linda Martin will be leading the students back in time as we reconstruct the past landscapes of the Turkana Basin. Professor Martin is currently the Academic Director for the Origins Field School and has been conducting research in the Turkana Basin since 2011. [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:33-08:00September 28th, 2016|Fall 2016|Comments Off on Geology week 1: Introduction to Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of the Turkana Basin

Safari Salama Dr. Martins!

One of the final concepts we learned about in ecology was the relationships between organisms.  Specifically, the relationship between intimacy (a measurement of the proximity in which these animals interact) and lethality (how harmful the relationship is). For example, a lion and a zebra would have low intimacy and high lethality, because they spend very [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:33-08:00September 27th, 2016|Fall 2016, Field Schools|Comments Off on Safari Salama Dr. Martins!

A rose in a desert

On Tuesday, the field school explored near the edge of Sibiloi National Park to learn more about adaptive strategies of vegetation in such an arid environment. In particular, we focused on the desert rose, Adenium obesum, a rather amazing tree. The desert rose is an incredibly slow growing tree, growing an average of 1 millimeter [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:33-08:00September 26th, 2016|Fall 2016, Field Schools|Comments Off on A rose in a desert

Ecology Week 2: Vectors

The field school spent a few days learning about vectors, parasites, and the effect they have on people and the communities in the Turkana Basin. A vector is an animal that actively or passively transmits a pathogen from one organism to another; the most obvious example would be the mosquito, whose diverse family is known [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:33-08:00September 25th, 2016|Fall 2016, Field Schools|Comments Off on Ecology Week 2: Vectors

Ecology Week 1: Vegetation and Herbivory at Mpala

On Monday and Tuesday, we had the opportunity to learn from Mpala researcher Kimani Ndung'u who specializes in vegetation studies and is currently investigating the effects of termite mounds on the locale-specific environment. He is also a part of a project (www.forestgeo.si.edu/site/mpala) run by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute where they are collecting data for the only savannah plot in their global network. [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:34-08:00September 17th, 2016|Discovery, Fall 2016, Field Schools|Comments Off on Ecology Week 1: Vegetation and Herbivory at Mpala