Welcome to our second blog post! The students have now arrived at Turkwel, the Turkana Basin Institute Research facility on the West side of lake Turkana. Before we made our way out here, we spent our remaining time at Mpala studying the ecology of African bushlands. The students listening to a lecture by Dr. [...]
As paleontology neared the end, students were able to demonstrate what they learned throughout the course by designing research experiments. These projects focused on a wide array of paleontological methods and topics including excavation, tooth wear, and how an animal's chewing rate correlates with its body size. The students worked quite hard on these projects [...]
Our Origins Field School students observe a pack of African wild dogs at Mpala Research Centre in the Laikipia region of central Kenya.
Stony Brook University professor John J. Shea recently published a new work through Cambridge University Press entitled Stone Tools in Human Evolution: Behavioral Differences among Technological Primates. From the publisher's description: In Stone Tools in Human Evolution, John J. Shea argues that over the last three million years hominins' technological strategies shifted from occasional tool use, [...]
The next morning in class, we were introduced to archaeological vocabulary, necessary to accurately understand and describe stone artefacts. We learned how to describe the physical characteristics, such as: ventral (internal) and dorsal (external) sides of a flake; cortex, or the external skin of the original rock; and negatives (signs of a flake removal) and positives [...]
After learning about the primary producers (vegetation) and their primary consumers (herbivores), we moved on to discuss those animals higher up the food chain. Carnivores play crucial roles in ecological systems – they keep prey species’ populations in check, allowing for natural regenerating of grazed areas on the landscape. They also cull sick animals to [...]
The Turkana ecosystem is home to a wide range of species, including many different kinds of insects. One of the challenges of understanding biodiversity is the fact that many species have not yet been classified, and are in general poorly known or studied. This is true for most of the remote, tropical areas of the [...]
We had a high profile visit a few weeks ago at TBI-Turkwel and TBI-Ileret by the Deputy President William Ruto, Dr. Hassan Wario, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Sports, the Governor of the Turkana County, Governor Nanok and several senior government officials. The visit was at the invitation of Richard Leakey. They visitors arrived by helicopter in [...]