Emily Bobrick ’15
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Field Research at Mpala Research Center
This summer I worked as an intern at Mpala Research Center in Kenya helping to collect data used to monitor the Center’s wildlife population. Every six months, Mpala performs a rigorous survey of the wildlife population using distance sampling; I collected data for their June and July 2013 samplings. The Center could then compare the data I helped collect with data from a more easily executed survey the rangers conducted to ascertain whether the ranger-based method was reliable and efficient. I spent early mornings and late afternoons with another Princeton student and some members of the Mpala staff driving along two kilometer-long transects collecting information about species sighted, size of herds, and distance from the road to the animal. The data we collected could then be analyzed using a computer program, Distance, that provided an estimate of the population density of each species at Mpala. I learned a lot about the nature of field work and research, and this internship confirmed my interest in pursuing a research-related career in the future.
Mpala Research Center, Kenya
Daniel Rubenstein, Class of 1877 Professor of Zoology. Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Director, Program in African Studies