Mpala is jointly operated by the Mpala Wildlife Foundation, Princeton University, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and the National Museums of Kenya. Mpala provides interdisciplinary research and training programmes in ecology, evolution, geology, and resource management to scientists from Kenya and around the world. Researchers, representing all our partners, are drawn to Mpala to study the centre’s remarkable ecosystem, making Mpala a hub for collaborative research.
Mpala Wildlife Foundation
In 1989 George Small created the Mpala Wildlife Foundation to fund the activities necessary to achieve his vision. It supports the wildlife conservancy, a primary school for employee’s children, community outreach projects, a Mobile Clinic, as well as a working cattle ranch that successfully coexists with an abundance of wildlife.
Princeton University serves as the managing partner for Mpala. Through Princeton University, Mpala has been awarded several National Science Foundation grants to improve facilities and completely rebuild the campsite. Most recently the grants were used to construct a cutting-edge genomics and stable isotope laboratory. Throughout the year, Princeton faculty, researchers, and graduate and undergraduate students visit the property to expand on their knowledge of the African landscape and to undertake research.
The Smithsonian Institution is a Trust Instrumentality of the United States that administers a group of museums and research centres. Mpala is the Smithsonian Institution’s first permanent research facility in Africa. The Smithsonian Institution offers multiple fellowship opportunities with Mpala to promote the study of biology, anthropology, geology, hydrology, material science, social science, soil science and related areas. The Smithsonian also collaborates with Mpala on long-term research and monitoring on the greater Ewaso ecosystem.
Kenya Wildlife Services
The Kenya Wildlife Service is the government agency tasked to protect and manage the fauna, flora, and ecosystems of Kenya. KWS undertakes and coordinates biodiversity research and monitoring. Multiple research projects collaborate with the KWS when scheduling collaring of wildlife. More recently, the Smithsonian-Mpala Veterinary Fellow has been working with KWS veterinarians to treat injured or sick wildlife on Mpala and surrounding conservancies.
National Museums of Kenya
The National Museums of Kenya is a state organisation that manages museums, museums sites and monuments in Kenya. It carries out heritage research, and has expertise in subjects ranging from paleontology, ethnography and biodiversity research to conservation. Multiple researchers at Mpala are officially affiliated with NMK and collaborate with NMK scientists, making extensive use of their facilities, materials, and expertise.