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Mak Wildlife Students to Train at MRC Kenya

Dr. Joelia Nasaka (C) at Mpala Research Centre-MRC with Dr. Dino Martins-Executive Director MRC (Left) and Prof. Dan Rubenstein-Princeton University (Right) during her visit to the Centre in 2015

Thanks to efforts of Dr. Joelia Nasaka, an Assistant Lecturer at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Biosecurity (CoVAB), the Mpala Research Centre (MRC) is prepared to host at least 20 Makerere University students of the Bachelor of Wildlife Health and Management, CoVAB for a week. The Centre Management, Science Initiative Group (SIG) at the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University has offered US$5,000 as a contribution to costs required for the students training.

MRC is a well-respected, international research facility located beneath the shadow of Mount Kenya in Laikipia County, with over 200km² landscape. MRC is home to over 7,000 elephants, most of the world’s wild dogs, the endangered grevy’s zebra  among other wildlife species. The Centre is also surrounded by livestock populations of the Turkana natives and other privately owned ranches. It is home to researchers and scientists from all around the globe who use state- of-the-art technologies like drones to tackle issues of human-wildlife conflict and thus ensure that both conservation and human-livelihood goals are met.
The MRC camp facility for Students' classroom and dining
The Centre is also moving to work with other East African researchers and research institutions. Thanks to Dr. Nasaka’s efforts, Makerere University has also been identified to build a partnership with Mpala Research Centre. This working partnership will ensure that wildlife students from Makerere University can acquire more knowledge on drylands resources management and skills in use of world-class technologies like drones to ensure more effective conservation of wildlife resources in Africa and beyond. The Centre is also ready to offer   experiential learning through field studies, internship opportunities, research assistantships and fellowships in the near future.
MRC's Fire pit for recaps after a day’s work. Left is Prof. Rubenstein and Right is Ms. Chloé Cipolletta, Program Director of the National Geographic East Africa Fund
The training is a grand opportunity for Makerere’s Wildlife Health and Management students change their mindsets, get exposed to quality research and improve their networks and working relationships. It follows Dr. Nasaka’s visit to Princeton University, USA in November 2014 where she met Prof. Dan Rubenstein- Head, Department of Zoology and Evolutionary Biology and other Professors at the Institute for Advanced Study. Through the Science Initiative Group, and RISE which funds her PhD, she was invited to visit MRC where Prof. Rubenstein also serves as a board member.

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