Ants and smoke – the final survey


Friday May 9th, 2014 – I wake up with my two tent mates at 6:30, first thing we do is open the tent flaps and let the dawn light pour in. Next is to make our beds- very tightly (we don’t want to find bugs in them tomorrow). After a quick breakfast, we go to … Keep reading »

Assessing grazer use of glades


Thursday May 8th, 2014 We spent the day out in a glade, Where much good eating grass is made. We sampled dung so we could see, Where different grazers like to be. Elephant, zebra, giraffe, and hare, All left their droppings so we could stare, And feel their scat with our bare hands, Surprisingly, no … Keep reading »

Effects of grazing/fire on grass composition


Wednesday May 7th, 2014 I just have to begin with this – I am so happy that I am doing a blog on this website.  So then lets continue and see what happened today (7th May of 2014). By 9:00 a.m we were at the KLEE plots (Kenya Longterm Exclosure Plots) and like almost everyone in … Keep reading »

Fire! Fire! Ant evacuation…


Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 Today marks almost a week since we have arrived in Kenya. The morning began with breakfast prepared by Agnes and the wonderful Rivercamp staff. We then headed out in the land rovers to complete another day of research. Today’s research focus was to determine if the four ant species that reside … Keep reading »

Fieldwork and wildlife sitings


Monday May 5th, 2014 I still can’t get over the amazing sites of yesterday. We went to the hippo pool and we saw a bunch of hippos!! We got to see so many baby vervet monkeys! They are the cutest thing ever! It is just pretty awesome to see them playing. I don’t know how … Keep reading »

Sunday relaxation


Sunday May 4, 2014 Today was a day of much needed rest and relaxation after our long day of burning yesterday. We woke up to a lovely late breakfast (7:30, woohoo!) and spent the morning doing homework, reading, and enjoying the savanna singing it’s beautiful songs to us. To contrast our experience at the rustic … Keep reading »



May 3rd, 2014 This was our third day in Laikipia county at Mpala ranch, and the beauty, significance, and novelty of this place is no less awesome than when we arrived. The wonder of Laikipia is compounded by the fact that humans first evolved in savannah ecosystems like this one over 100,000 years ago.  About … Keep reading »

Arrival at the River Camp


May 1-2, 2014 On Thursday morning we made the 4 hr trek from Nairobi to the Laikipia region of Kenya, which is in the western rainshadow of Mt. Kenya. We enjoyed lunch at the River Camp which will be our home for the next 12 days (later we’ll move to the dorms at Mpala Research … Keep reading »

Students all arrived safely!


All 14 Goshen College students of the 2014 Kenya Conservation and Research Methods in Savannas class arrived safely last night.  After three trips to the airport, the last at 2:00 a.m., the students enjoyed a short night of sleep at the Mennonite Guest House in Nairobi. Today’s plan is to rest, recuperate, and orient ourselves … Keep reading »

Kenya Conservation & Research Class – 2014

The 2014 Conservation & Research Methods in Savannas class blog is about to launch. We just need the students! The students are eagerly finishing up the semester in Goshen and will fly to Kenya on Tuesday April 29th.  After spending 2 nights in Nairobi, we’ll make the 4 hour drive to Mpala Research Centre, our … Keep reading »