The TBI Origins Field School has been a great place to learn for students. But also, it is a wonderful place to inspire scientific thinking. As an integral part of many of our modules, we often have presentations and discussions in class. At the end of the Human Evolution module, students gave presentations of their own topics of choice about what makes us humans. We had a wide range of topics, going from bipedalism to the origins of arts, from dietary adaptations to sexual and violent behaviors. We learned a lot from each other’s study and had excellent discussions about some of the topics. The session went on for 5 hours until we had to leave for dinner! Take a look at our dedicated students at presentation!


Mattia talks about brain evolution and language


Taylor talks about the origin of violence


Meredith talks about the Denesovan fossils


Laura and Pam talk about the evolution of sex


Maria talks about the evolution of human skin color


Meg talks about the middle Pleistocene hominins


Kenneth talks about “Out of Africa” events


Brian talks about the evolution of diet


Tristan talks about rifting events and their influence on the Turkana Basin


Abel talks about the evolution of arts

After seven weeks of stay at Ileret, we are ready to start a new module of the Field School. We are going to put all we have learned together to interpret the material culture of hominins in the Archeology module, which will be held at TBI Turkwel research center. It has been a wonderful seven-week experience with all the instructors we had, all the field expeditions, and of course, our strong bond with the Ileret research center and the supporting staff members. We have had a great time doing sports with the staff members, including soccer, volleyball and Ping-Pong. We played and interacted with each other like friends and families and we will for sure miss their company as we move on to a new stage of life. I will post a follow-up blog about how Field School students and staff have interacted with local communities at Ileret.


It took two flights with Air Turkana to transport all the students over to the other side of the lake. And here we are at TBI Turkwel! Turkwel has been hosting the Origins Field School since the very first Field School semester, so some of the photos here may not be very new to you. But students have grown to like Turkwel for its different environment and culture. We are new living close to the Turkana people instead of the Dassanech at Ileret. Perhaps the best part of Turkwel camp is that it is right next to the Turkwel River where students can have a dip there every day! Take a look at a few photos right after our arrival!


Ferguson’s Gulf from Air Turkana


Arriving at Turkwel airstrip!


Afternoon tea at TBI Turkwel


Sleeping on the veranda (with mosquito nets)


Student laundry


Such environment inspires discussions!


Our camp dog Tom!

Stay tuned for the last module of the Fall 2015 Origins Field School!