About Abigale Koppa

Hello! I am Abby Koppa, the TBI Field School TA for Fall 2014, a third-year PhD student at Stony Brook University in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and a TBI Graduate Fellow. My research interests include the nutritional and mechanical properties of East African savanna plants, paleoecology, and hominin paleodiet.


We are almost at the end of the archaeology module, and thus at the end of the Fall 2014 Field School. Ten weeks have flown by! This week, students got to try their hand at knapping stone tools, a much-anticipated activity. Dr. Harmand accompanied students on a trip to collect raw materials, in this case [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:51+03:00November 14th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Knapping!

Final Field Day in Napaget

Today, students headed out for their last day in the field before the Field School ends on Sunday. It's hard to believe that we have already reached the last week! Dr. Harmand took the students to Napaget, a very rich Holocene archaeological site right next to beautiful Lake Turkana. Both the view and the artifacts [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:51+03:00November 11th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Final Field Day in Napaget

Some Friendly Competition

Yesterday, students participated in an illustration competition. After learning about the Acheulean stone tool industry in lecture, Dr. Harmand showed the students several Acheulean artifacts from the TBI collections, including handaxes, cleavers, and cores. Students were then tasked to accurately illustrate one of the artifacts. Artists at work. Students worked extra diligently when [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:51+03:00November 8th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Some Friendly Competition

Stone Tools in the Lab and the Field

The Field School is in its final two weeks, and that means we are in the final module, Archaeology, taught by Dr. Sonia Harmand. So far, students have learned about the Oldowan and Acheulean stone tool industries, with lots more coming in the next week and a half. A box of various geofacts and [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:51+03:00November 6th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Stone Tools in the Lab and the Field

Excavating an Elephant

Yesterday, the Field School students got to take part in an excavation, giving them the opportunity to hone recently acquired skills and learn new ones. A fossil elephant skeleton had been eroding out of deposits near South Turkwel, only 30 minutes from the TBI compound. Previous Field Schools have worked at extracting the bones, but [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:51+03:00October 26th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Excavating an Elephant

Screening and Fossil Hunting in South Turkwel

Hi, we’re Katie and Letty and we’re students from UCL. On Thursday, we went on a trip to South Turkwel and some deposits nearer the TBI compound to learn about surveying and excavation techniques used in Paleoanthropology. Currently we are taking a course on Human Evolution led by Dr. Jason Lewis. In the morning, we [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:51+03:00October 23rd, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Screening and Fossil Hunting in South Turkwel

An Afternoon in Eliye Springs

Hi, I’m Melina, a sophomore from Stony Brook University. I’m interested mainly in archaeology and came to TBI for the amazing experience. Two Sundays ago we went to Eliye Springs for a well-deserved break. We started out after lunch for an afternoon of swimming at Lake Turkana. Tom, our resident pet, looked so sad as [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:51+03:00October 20th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on An Afternoon in Eliye Springs

Vertebrate Paleontology Begins!

Yesterday marked the beginning of the third Field School module, Vertebrate Paleontology, taught by Dr. Doug Boyer of Duke University. Students have already learned about the geologic time scale, biostratigraphy, and the history of evolutionary thought in lecture, and today they got some first-hand experience working with fossil material from a wide variety of taxa. [...]

By |2017-01-04T18:04:52+03:00October 7th, 2014|Field Schools|Comments Off on Vertebrate Paleontology Begins!
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