Spring 2015

Rivers- past and present

Interpreting and reconstructing depositional environments of the past involves an understanding of modern processes acting on the Earth surface that can form a particular rock and/or sequence of rock layers. In the Turkana Basin, the bulk of the last 4 million years are made up of ancient river deposits. One river in particular, the Omo, [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:49+00:00 February 25th, 2015|Field Schools, Spring 2015|Comments Off on Rivers- past and present

Map it!

The rock record of the Turkana Basin contains a history of tectonic movement, volcanic activity, and climatic alterations that have all affected precipitation patterns, river systems, lake levels, and more. Understanding these morphological changes provides a more complete picture and possible factors that have affected early life in this region. Vital to this research are maps and [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:49+00:00 February 24th, 2015|Field Schools, Spring 2015|Comments Off on Map it!

Local Turkana students visit researchers at TBI

The Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) is not only a non-profit organization interested in scientific research in the Lake Turkana region, in addition, TBI works closely with local communities on health and education. The vast majority of the people (population near 900,000) that live on this semi-arid, harsh environment are nomadic pastoralists with cares focused on [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:49+00:00 February 23rd, 2015|Field Schools, Local Community Outreach, Spring 2015|Comments Off on Local Turkana students visit researchers at TBI

I want to be a paleontologist!

In the past week, we have learned about a variety of animals* and how the habitat has changed in the ancient Turkana Basin. *Note: There are many more species of animals (including hominins) that are still "waiting" to be unearthed and will help our understanding of life on the past landscape. In addition, not everything that [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:49+00:00 February 13th, 2015|Field Schools, Spring 2015|Comments Off on I want to be a paleontologist!

What did they eat?

Before examining fossilized bones and ancient life, it is important to look at the anatomy of modern mammals. Our next activity looked at skulls, limbs, axial skeletons, and teeth of various carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores in present-day Africa. Sam examines the teeth of a zebra while Aileen looks at the mandible of a warthog. [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:49+00:00 February 11th, 2015|Field Schools, Spring 2015|Comments Off on What did they eat?

What a crock!

The Vertebrate Paleontology & Paleoecology Module began last week under the instruction of paleontologist Dr. Mikael Fortelius from the University of Helsinki.  After an introductory lecture on processes that affect the preservation of organisms and their traces, we set out to unearth crockery that was buried within the TBI facility. As part of a taphonomy experiment, TBI students [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:49+00:00 February 9th, 2015|Field Schools, Spring 2015|Comments Off on What a crock!

A day off

Here are a few images from our day off at the end of the Ecology module.  More pictures will be added to this post. Anna looks like she doesn't need the extra hour to sleep in. Jayde and Larisa have a mudfight At sunset... Jayde and Rachel doing yoga. Dr. Mikael [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:49+00:00 February 4th, 2015|Field Schools, Spring 2015|Comments Off on A day off

Shoo Fly, Don’t bother me!

This past Saturday, TBI Field School students ended their Ecology module and finished their major project on disease vectors. Their professor, Dr. Dino Martins, had noticed that a blinding disease called trachoma was endemic in the Turkana area and almost no data existed for this remote region.  Therefore, students researched background information on trachoma and conducted [...]

By | 2017-01-04T18:04:50+00:00 February 4th, 2015|Field Schools, Spring 2015|Comments Off on Shoo Fly, Don’t bother me!