Training and Education

Every year, Mpala hosts over 100 researchers and students representing more than 40 different institutions and organizations from around the world.

An Mpala researcher shows TBI Origins Field School students the compound leaves of Acacia brevispica, a common tree species at Mpala. Photo by Deming Yang

Recent Courses: Highlights

* From March 16-18, 2017, Mpala hosted a three-day course, titled "Monitoring Livestock and Wildlife Health for Healthier Ecosystems", led by UK veterinarian Prof. John Cooper and lawyer Mrs. Margaret Cooper. The participants, who ranged from conservancy staff and environmental professionals to students of agriculture and biology, received both - classroom instruction on the principles underlying health and disease, and hands-on training in minimally invasive health monitoring. Read more about the course in our May 2017 Mpala Memos.

* Dr. Jake Goheen, Dr. Adam Ferguson and Simon Musila co-led a 9-day course on field methods in mammalogy for 10 Kenyan students. Read more about the course in our December 2016 Mpala Memos.

* 20 undergraduates Makerere University (Uganda), led by Dr. Joelia Nasaka and Dr. Sente Celsus, attended a research skills training program hosted by Mpala Research Centre from July 24 to 29, 2016. The students attended talks and worked on one of four projects, directed by Dr. Daniel Rubenstein, Dr. Ray Schmidt and Kimani Ndung'u.

* The Turkana Basin Institute Origins Field School bases part of its Ecology module at Mpala Research Centre. At Mpala, participants study vegetation ecology, plant-herbivore and plant-insect interactions, predator-prey dynamics and ecosystem services.

Recent Workshops: Highlights

* Mpala hosted two workshops funded through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility’s Biodiversity in Development programme (January 14-18 and March 21-26, 2017). Led by Dr. Adam W. Ferguson and Dr. Andres Lira Noriega, the workshops trained 17 Kenyan students and young professionals in the fundamentals of biodiversity informatics, data digitization, georeferencing and ecological niche modelling.
Attendees will use their skills to contribute to a research project that will lead to the development of a national conservation strategy for Kenya’s small mammalian carnivores.

* Space for Giants hosted three training workshops (attended by 78 people in total) for magistrates, prosecutors and investigators at Mpala, in collaboration with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenya WIldlife Service, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Judicial Training Institute, among others. The training workshops aimed to build capacity among those involved in prosecuting wildlife crimes and bringing poachers to justice.

GBIF workshop attendees after a productive day at their computers! Picture by Duncan Kimuyu

Daraja Transition Programme Internships
* The Daraja Transition Programme is a life skills training program that seeks to develop self-reliance and career readiness in promising female high school graduates from Kenya. After attending workshops and trainings at Daraja Academy, the students spend up to 2 months interning at an organization. Over the past two years, Mpala Research Centre has hosted 6 Daraja interns, who gain valuable experience in research, teaching/ educational outreach, IT and science communication, and administration.

Daraja girls at their graduation ceremony (August 2016). Picture by Anchal Padukone