Max Silver, 2014, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

I spent the summer in Kenya as an intern with Grevy’s Zebra Trust, a non-profit Kenya-based organization dedicated to conserving the endangered species of Grevy’s zebra. My time in Kenya was divided between working in an office at Mpala Research Center and field work in the Samburu Heartland, a remote region in north-central Kenya. In Samburu, I helped install a new water monitoring project, through which we made water more accessible to wildlife across Samburu during its dry season, when water is a limited resource for much of the wildlife. I also helped spread awareness to local community members about the importance of conserving wildlife, with emphasis on Grevy’s zebra. My office work centered around analyzing data that recorded Grevy’s zebra sightings in Samburu. This data included the sexual class of each member of the herd, their habitat, and other details about the sighting such as what, if any, wildlife or livestock they were seen with. I then analyzed this data using the statistical software program JMP, with the goal of better understanding what we can do to contribute to a more viable Grevy’s zebra population. I plan to return to Kenya next summer to conduct further research on zebras that will form the basis for my senior thesis.