Mpala facilitates and exemplifies sustainable human-wildlife co-existence and the advancement of human livelihoods and quality of life. We do this through education, outreach, and by developing science-based solutions to guide conservation actions for the benefit of nature and human welfare.
Mpala . . . A Living Laboratory
Mpala Research Centre was very happy to participate in NACOSTI's 5th Annual National Science Week on May 16th - 20th. Mpala presented a booth in the Kenyan International Convention Center. We had over 200 visitors to our booth who heard from visiting researchers about their work at Mpala and about the events we have hosted at Mpala in the past year. It was an awesome opportunity to share the great work that is being done at Mpala. Thank you to the visiting researchers Doug Branch, Dr. Jacob Goheen, John Gitonga, Boniface Kimathi, Duncan Kimuyu, Dr. Adam Ferguson and Dedan Ngatia. Also thank you to the staff who organized the event and all the visitors who stopped by to learn about the Mpala.
Left: Boniface Kimathi shows one of the instruments used in the work done by Dr. Kelly Caylor's lab. Right: Dr. Jacob R Goheen presents some his research to a booth visitor.
Over the Easter Holiday, Mpala Research Centre was privileged to host Ambassador Robert F. Godec, NTV Wild crew(NTV is a local Media Group) and Daraja Academy students. The interaction was incredible and the student had a lot to learn as they visited different Research Sites on Mpala.
This engaged students in interactive processes. In the fields, the learning experience becomes richer, more textured, memorable and understanding through direct experience and/or observation of the world, linking theory and practice.
We plan to have more this as we go on.
Ambassador Robert F. Godec,NTV wild Crew, Daraja Academy and part of MRC Team.
Dr. Dino Martins with Daraja students in the field.
Kid's Twiga Tally
As a follow up to the Great Grevy's Rally, Mpala hosted a Kid's Twiga Tally in March. Children from Nairobi, Nanyuki and some of the Northern Kenya Conservation Club member schools gathered at Mpala to count reticulated giraffes and take part in citizen science based research. The children took pictures of the giraffes and using the same 'Hotspotter' software from the GGR individuals will be differentiated based on their patterns. This data will be used to compare the number of reticulated giraffes on conservancies and community lands.
Hear more about the experience from the Kibera School for Girls below.
Mpala Participates in the Great Grevy's Rally
Ambassador Robert F. Godec, Prof. Daniel Rubenstein, Mpala Academy Teachers and students during the GGR Rally.
Mpala was thrilled to participate in the Great Grevy's Rally in January. This rally was a wonderful feat of citizen science. It brought people together to more accurately estimate the population of the endangered Grevy’s Zebra. During the GGR, scientists, land owners, conservancy managers and members of the public traveled around different parts of Kenya in groups to take as many photographs of Grevy’s zebras as possible. Then, a software called ‘Hotspotter’ embedded in an Image Based Ecological Information System (IBEIS) will be used to differentiate unique zebras based on their stripes.
Mpala Tick Day
Mpala and University of Illinois held Tick Day at the Research Centre on December 5. The event strove to share cutting edge research on ticks to members of the surrounding communities. Ticks are constant presence in most of the landscape in Laikipia. They not only affect not only us but also our livestock. Therefore it is hugely important that increasing information about them be shared not only within the research community but also the local communities.
A Letter from the New Executive Director Dr. Dino J. Martins
Dear students, scientists, friends and the wider Mpala community,
I am deeply honoured and humbled to have been selected to serve as the director of the Mpala Research Centre. I thank the Search Committee, Board of Trustees, National Museums of Kenya, Kenya Wildlife Service, scientists and Laikipia community for their support and feedback during this process. This is a very exciting time to be a scientist in Kenya and I look forward to meeting, talking and exploring how we can work together to sustain, grow and celebrate science and education at Mpala.
Read the rest of Dino Martins' message in the Director's Corner.
Mpala welcomes you to Mpala Live!, an interactive website featuring a round-the-clock view of the hippos, elephants, and other incredible species that frequent Hippo Pools. Experience Mpala with scientists as they study relationships among humans, animals, and ecosystems. Learn about the wildlife of Laikipia with a field guide featuring a wide range of species from aardvarks to zebras. In addition, the Mpala Live! classroom introduces teachers and students and parents and children to a unique curricula keyed to Mpala's flora and fauna.
Welcome, and enjoy!
Earlier this month, a student group from Goshen College (including 2 Kenyan students from U. of NBI and 2 students from Karatina U.) visited the Lekiji school to install rain gutters. This completes an earlier project that MRC started where a tank was provided on a cement slab for rainwater collection. Read more about the project here!
Mpala Research Centre's 20th Anniversary!
In 1994, the Mpala Research Centre was nothing more than a small idea born amongst colleagues and friends. Today, it is a world-renowned center that brings in researchers, professors, and students from countries all around the globe. Celebrate our 20th year with us with this month’s special edition of the Mpala Memos!
In this issue, researchers Truman Young, Dan Rubenstein, Ira Rubinoff, Laurence Frank, and Adam Ford reflect back on how far MRC has come in the past two decades, while MRC director Margaret Kinnaird looks to the future of the Research Centre. Learn about the major projects that have been a part of Mpala's history, and dive into the past with our Mpala Time Capsule. Also enjoy anecdotes from current Mpala researchers as they consider what it means to work, study, and explore on Mpala.
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Save the Date!
July 5th, 2014 marks the next Community Conservation Day! Join our students, community members, and researchers as members of the Northern Kenya Conservation Clubs share their knowledge of the environment through games, songs, and demonstrations. You can check out photos from last year's Community Conservation Day here.
We look forward to seeing you there!
This year the Mpala Research Centre celebrates its 20th anniversary! From humble beginnings in 1994 MRC has grown into a world-class ecological research centre that welcomes hundreds of researchers and students annually from around the globe. Our facilities have expanded tremendously over the years with a conscious eye for sustainability and a minimal ecological footprint. Our portfolio of projects includes studies that embrace new and exciting technologies that put MRC at the forefront of ecological advances, and has diversified in ways that allow MRC to contribute significantly to the conservation of Laikipia, Kenya and beyond. We hope that you will join us in celebrating how far we have come in the past two decades and our plans for the future. Keep an eye out for our special anniversary edition of the Mpala Memos this April!
Mpala Research Centre in 1994 [top] and today [bottom]