Anna Pinkerton ’23



Project Title

Study of Rock and Water Samples From Mpala Research Centre

My project aimed to help establish a comprehensive geologic analysis of the Mpala Research Centre in central Kenya. The goal of this long term project is to determine the viability of groundwater in the region for use as drinking water or for crops. The field samples for this project are still in transit from Mpala Research Centre, so the majority of my work was to conduct a literature review and to gain familiarity with the necessary laboratory methods, for example thin section analysis and basic petrographic and geochemical analysis. Through this research experience, I have gained experience in fieldwork, lab work and literature review. My contributions to the project are in its groundwork, and understanding the rocks in this region is essential to future research on the water found in nearby aquifers. The project is of a much larger scope than I had originally anticipated, and I have chosen to continue with the project as part of my senior thesis research.

* This internship is connected to the HMEI Water and the Environment Grand Challenges project, “Initiating Natural History and Groundwater Research at Mpala Research Center.”

Internship Year


Project Category

Water and the Environment


Niespolo Research Group, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey


Elizabeth Niespolo, Assistant Professor of Geosciences