• Turkana University College fraternity welcomes Fresher for the Academic year 2020/2021

  • Address by the Ag. Principal Prof. G. Chemining’wa during Orientation for Academic year 2020/2021

  • Visit to Dr. Richard Leakey’s Office

    Turkana University College, Council members led by Dr. Solomon Muchina l, VC MMUST Prof. Solomon Shibairo, and Ag. Principal Prof. George Chemining’wa on 30th November 2020 had an opportunity to meet with Dr. Richard Leakey. The meeting was held at Dr. Leakey’s Office in Karen, Nairobi to further discuss the collaboration/ partnership between the two Institutions.
    Dr. Leakey appreciated the initiative taken by the TUC council and VC MMUST to pay him a visit and assured him of his full support to both Institutions.

  • Tour of Turkana Basin Institute, Research Station

  • Chancellor Dr Muthoka meet TUC Council Members

    Chancellor Dr muthoka and TUC council members during a chancellor meeting held on 4th Dec 2020 at Karen County club

  • Induction and Evaluation By SCAC at DRI-KARLO,NAKURU COUNTY

  • Council welcome new AG TUC Principal

    The Council chair Dr. Solomon muchina(second from the right, first row) and other council member welcomed the new Ag TUC principal prof George Ndiema(first from the right, first row)

PARTNERSHIP ON ECO-TOURISM, ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION, TRAINING AND RESEARCH, HALLER PARK, MOMBASA
 The Turkana University College (TUC) Council visited Haller Park, Mombasa on Friday 18th December 2020. During the visit, the Council had the opportunity to hold a consultative meeting with Haller Park Officials. The delegation from Turkana University College was led by Dr. Solomon Munyua, the Chairman of TUC Council. The other Council members present were Eng. Justus Wambutura- and Ms. Mercy Kareithi-Council.
Members of TUC staff present during the visit included: Prof. George Muthaa-Ag. Deputy Principal, Administration, Finance and Planning, Ms. Beatrice Ondago-Corporate Affairs/Council Secretariat and Mr. Daniel Mutiso-Council Secretariat.
The Haller Park staff present included: Mr. Albert Musando-Restoration/Ecosystems Manager, representing Chief Operations Manager, Ms. Linda Sogot-Environmentalist in Charge of Information Services. Mr. Karima-Environmentalist
 The goal of the visit was to enable the TUC Council and Management to explore opportunities for partnership on eco-tourism and environmental restoration, training, and research among other areas of mutual interest to the two institutions. This was achieved through the presentation, discussions, and an extensive tour of the Haller Park site.
The TUC Council was taken through an exciting presentation by Mr. Albert Musando. The presentation focused on the History and Milestones of Haller Park towards an Eco-tourism site, Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Ecosystem Management Community integration Sustainable Environmental Management Conservation Education/skills transfer by scientists, students, policymakers and the general public. Core areas of training include field based training, internship programmes and eco-tourism. Deliberations and resolutions.
 The TUC Council reported that TUC envisages establishing Eco-tourism courses and environmental conservation part of unique areas. The Council assured the Haller Park staff of their commitment to establishing a partnership between the two institutions and the intention to rehabilitate land belonging to TUC as well as community engagements.
The Council reported that the partnership between TUC AND Haller Park would be reinforced through engagements with other stakeholders in conservation such as Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) among others. This would be valuable to TUC as the institution seeks to initiate training on Natural Resource Management and Eco-tourism.
The Council Chair and members acknowledged that Haller Park’s experience in environmental restoration and ecosystem management will be of great value to TUC in this endeavor. The two institutions agreed to work together towards realizing the partnership.
COLLABORATION BETWEEN KENYA MARITIME AUTHORITY AND TURKANA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

The Chairman, Board of Directors Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), the KMA Director-General and other officers paid a courtesy call to the Turkana University College (TUC) on 24th February 2021. This was a follow-up to an earlier visit by the TUC Council to Kenya Maritime Authority in December 2020.

The KMA Board Chair, Mr. Geoffrey Mwango in his remarks thanked the TUC Chair Dr. S.J. Muchina Munyua, and the Management for the warm reception and for their interest to collaborate with the Authority. He noted that the Authority had engaged stakeholders in Kalokol who had expressed their desire for education on maritime matters, an opportunity which the University College should take up. He also informed the TUC management on the recent agreement entered into between the Authority and the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) to fund students in maritime education and training in Kenya.

The Chair of TUC Council, Dr. Munyua thanked the KMA Board Chair and Management for the visit and noted the good cooperation that has existed between the two institutions. He pointed out the niche areas in education which the TUC has identified including virtual technology, drone technology, nursing, and maritime studies. He appealed for support from KMA in order to achieve the TUC vision. He noted that the University College had positioned itself to attract students from northwestern Kenya and the neighboring countries of Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The KMA Director-General Mr. Robert Njue applauded the University College for identifying maritime training as one of its core areas of focus. He briefed the members on the role of the Authority including the implementation of maritime Conventions that Kenya has ratified under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He noted that the development of the blue economy is the new frontier for growing the gross domestic product (GDP) for Kenya and therefore the University College needs to position itself to unlock the blue economy potential in the Lake Turkana region. Mr. Njue highlighted some of the training that the University College could develop including maritime safety, maritime security, diving, mechanical fishing, refrigeration, fish processing, access to finances, and income diversification by the lake community. He noted that most community members using the lake had challenges communicating in English and did not meet coxswain certification requirements, these being opportunities that the University College can take advantage of. He also highlighted that the University College needs to identify and undertake relevant research for the benefit of the community.

The Principal, Prof. George N. Chemining’wa, thanked the KMA Board Chair and management team led by the Director-General for extending a hand of collaboration to TUC. He noted that the collaboration between the two institutions will open opportunities for the University College to develop and implement maritime training programs and conduct research and outreach activities in the Lake Turkana region. He further observed that academic members of staff in the Schools of Education and Social Studies, Business and Economics, and Science and Technology have roles to play in maritime training, research, and outreach.

Further discussions were held on ways in which the two institutions could collaborate to fulfill their mandates and reach out to the community to improve their livelihoods. It was agreed that a technical team comprising members from both institutions will be facilitated to work on the Memorandum of Understanding. The team would also work on identifying some maritime-oriented courses (plus the necessary infrastructure) that the University College could mount with guidance from the Authority.

 

Consultative meeting between Chairman Board of Directors (HELB),CEO and Board Secretary (HELB), Chairman Council, TUC, Council Members and Ag. Principal.

Turkana University College Council Chairman, Dr. Solomon Munyua, Council Member, Mr. Oliver Lowoton and Ag. Principal, Prof. George Chemining’wa held a consultative meeting on 2nd December 2020  with the Chairman Board of Directors Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) Hon. Ekwee Ethuro and the Chief Executive Officer & Board Secretary Mr. Charles Ringera at Anniversary Towers Office, Nairobi. Dr. Munyua in his remarks said that plans are underway to see that Turkana University College gets its Charter in 2 years. He also mentioned that there is need to help students from needy families to get education support through HELB and bursary funds so that the Institution can benefit the Community and the Country at large.
Hon. Ekwee Ethuro in his remarks said that the University should be able to sensitize students on how to access HELB loans. He offered to personally  address TU students on the importance of HELB loans and how to access them.He also advised that the
 University College should work closely with the Education Committee of the County Assembly to address community issues on Education.
The CEO Mr. Ringera said that students enrolled in universities located in marginal areas are advantaged in the amounts of loans awarded. He appreciated the efforts made by the Turkana University College team to pay a courtesy call and promised that HELB will give Turkana University College full support.

PUBLIC LECTURE ON DIPLOMACY

Turkana University College held a public lecture Themed Diplomacy on the 25th February 2020 at TUC Main, Hall.

The lecture on Diplomacy was delivered by Public Affairs Counsellor, Paul Watzlavick , US Embassy
During the lecture the public affairs Counsellor, Paul Watzlavick appreciated the hospitality accorded to him during his visit at the University College. He said that the US Government Embassy has contributed to about 300,000 people leaving in Turkana County through Education, Food, Health and Security and they are also looking forward to expanding more cooperations. He also mentioned that he will be working with Turkana Basin Institute initiative of bringing Scholars, Researchers and scholarships to Turkana University College
He expounded more on # USA MARAFIKI commitment to Kenya’s Prosperity, the offering of exchange programme so that Students from Turkana University College can be able to interact with students from USA.

The Ag. Principal Prof. F. Kassily said that partnership will flourish to a point whereby we can get researcher and Professors from USA  to partner with Turkana Basin Institute to promote Education.

PROF. GEORGE MUTHAA TAKES OVER AS ACTING DEPUTY PRINCIPAL (ADMINISTRATION, FINANCE, AND PLANNING)

Turkana University College (TUC) Council has, with immediate effect, appointed Prof. George Muthaa as the Ag. Deputy Principal, Administration, Finance, and Planning (AFP) to replace Prof. Stephen Odebero. Prof. Odebero will proceed on terminal leave from 11th December 2020 to 30th January 2021 after which he will resume his duties at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST).

The handing over ceremony took place on 11th December 2020 in the presence of the Ag. Principal Prof. George Chemining’wa. Prof. Odebero handed over a report containing notes to facilitate a smooth transition for the in-coming Ag. Deputy Principal. In his remarks, Prof. Odebero thanked the TUC Council and Management for the opportunity to serve Turkana University College and for supporting him amidst a myriad of challenges. He thanked Prof. Chemining’wa for cordially working with him and for providing him with guidance and administrative advice that proved vital in the execution of his duties and responsibilities. He also thanked TUC staff and students for their support in the last 3 years he has served in the office of the Deputy Principal (AFP).

Prof. Muthaa, in his remarks, noted that he had obtained a handover report from the out-going Deputy Principal (AFP) Prof. Odebero. He extended his appreciation to Prof. Odebero for what he had done in the Division and the notes he had given him specific areas of action. He said that he would study the report and implement it for the benefit of TUC. He assured the Council and the Principal of his commitment to effectively play his role in realizing the institution’s target of attaining a Charter in under two years.

Prof. Chemining’wa (Ag. Principal) thanked Prof. Odebero for working hard to ensure that the administrative systems and processes are put in place and for cordially working with him. He noted that Prof. Odebero is leaving the AFP division in the right trajectory. He wished him the very best during his terminal leave and in all his future endeavors. Prof. Chemining’wa further noted that since MMUST is the mentor for TUC, the latter would continue benefiting from Prof. Odebero’s knowledge, experience, and advice even after he has gone back to MMUST.

In the same vein, Prof. Chemining’wa congratulated Prof. G. Muthaa on his appointment as the Ag. Deputy Principal (AFP) and welcomed him to TUC. He assured him of his full support as he takes over a critical division. He emphasized that the division needs to build robust policies, procedures, and processes that would enhance the performance of University College in all aspects.  Prof. Chemining’wa noted that he will count on Prof. Muthaa’s honest and unfettered advice. Further, he exhorted the need to work together as a team, promote institutional harmony, and provide efficient services to all TUC stakeholders.

SIGNING OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU) BETWEEN TURKANA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE (TUC) AND KENYA MARINE AND FISHERIES INSTITUTE (KMFRI)

The MOU between Turkana University College (TUC) and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute (KMFRI) was signed on 14th December 2020 at the KMFRI headquarters in Mombasa, Kenya. During the signing of the MOU, The delegation from Turkana University College consisted of the following: Eng. Justus Wambutura-Rep. TUC Council Chair, Ms. Mercy Kareithi-TUC Council Member, Mr. Felix Odimmasi-TUC Council Member,  Mr. Archer Arina- TUC Council Member, Rep. PS Ministry of Education, Mr. Oliver Lowoton-TUC Council Member, Prof. George Chemining’wa-Ag. Principal, TUC Ms. Beatrice Ondago in-charge of Corporate Affairs and Council Secretariat Mr. Daniel Mutiso-Council Secretariat. The KMFRI team was represented by Hon. John Safari Mumba-Chair, KMFRI Board of Directors Prof. James Njiru- Director/CEO KMFRI Other members of staff consisting of Senior Researchers.
The TUC delegation was taken through a tour of the KMFRI research laboratories and other facilities within the KMFRI headquarters.
 Prof. George Chemining’wa, Ag. Principal, TUC In his remarks, thanked the KMFRI Director and the Chair KMFRI Board for accepting the call for the partnership and for the warm welcome despite the short notice. He stated that he was delighted about the MOU, noting that TUC is a young institution that is seeking to tap the opportunities offered by the Blue Economy by launching courses in Marine, Fisheries, and Aquaculture among other related programs. He noted that the TUC is strategically located to partner with KMFRI due to its proximity to Lake Turkana and the KMFRI Centre at Kalokol, Turkana Central Sub-county. The MOU would therefore provide a framework for a partnership that would be of mutual benefit to both institutions.
 Prof. James Njiru, KMFRI Director/CEO KMFRI Director welcomed TUC and called upon them to embrace the partnership for the common good of both institutions. He stated that KMFRI has enough state of the art resources including research laboratories and researchers to facilitate the successful implementation of the MOU between TUC and KMFRI.
 Eng. Justus Wambutura, Rep. TUC Council Chair In his remarks, he assured the KMFRI Board and the Director of the goodwill and commitment of the TUC Council towards the actualization of the MOU between the two institutions. He remarked that since the inception of TUC, the TUC Council identified marine courses as a unique niche to make TUC competitive among the universities in Kenya. Further, he noted that TUC has immense potential in terms of natural resources to support marine courses, Blue Economy as well as Oil and Gas courses. He also stated that TUC has a vibrant and committed staff to drive the MOU.
Hon. John Safari Mumba, Chair, KMFRI Board of Directors welcomed and thanked the TUC Council and the Management team, stating that he was delighted to witness the signing of the MOU between TUC and KMFRI. He also remarked that the signing of the MOU was timely having come at a time when there is a focus on the Blue economy. The KMFRI Board Chair reiterated his commitment to the success of the collaboration between the two institutions.
Following the successful signing of the MOU, the two parties; Turkana University College (TUC) and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute (KMFRI) committed to actualizing the MOU for the mutual benefit of both institutions. After touring the KMFRI facilities, TUC was satisfied with the infrastructural and human resource capacity of KMFRI to support the partnership between the Institutions.
Turkana University College in a $ 2.7 million grant research project that explores the impact of climate change on life and evolution

A Turkana University College professor will lead a team of international experts in tectonics, sedimentology, geochronology, isotope geochemistry, paleoecology, climate modeling, and paleontology in a $ 2.7 million four- year ground-breaking project that seeks to understand how climate change and tectonics influenced life and evolution.
Professor Isaiah Nengo, a Turkana University College adjunct professor and the Principal Investigator, and Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of Stony Brook University’s Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) will collaborate with Stony Brook Geosciences Professors and co-investigators Gregory Henkes and William Holt, along with the international team.
Professor Nengo is a Nairobi- born paleontologist, a Fulbright Scholar recipient, and a National Geographic explorer. His research focuses on understanding the nature of interactions between large-scale changes in landscape and climate and their impact in Africa during the Miocene that is the period from about 23 million years ago to five million years ago.
The project named the Turkana Miocene project has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Frontier Research in Earth Sciences (FRES) Program. To commence in January 2021, the project will be based at five core universities including Stony Brook University, Rutgers University, Hamilton College, the University of Michigan, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (Lamont).
The researchers will explore relationships between tectonics, climate, and mammal evolution in the Turkana Basin using integrated field, laboratory, and modeling studies.
“The goal is to better define through fieldwork, laboratory analysis, and climate modeling how tectonics and climate interacted to shape the environment that gave rise to the ancestors of humans and our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangs that emerged in Africa.
“A longstanding question at the intersection of Earth and Life Sciences is: What roles, if any, do climate and tectonics play in the evolution of life? The East African Rift is among the best places to study the influences of Earth processes on the evolution of mammals,” explains professor Nengo.
“Here, uniquely, the region’s geologic and climate histories, including the formation of the rift system that is the cradle of humankind, are preserved in sedimentary rocks. Our collaborative work will tease out how tectonics and climate come together to drive evolution,” he added.
The research team will tackle a task not done before by investigating the basin’s sediments, and the fossils they contain, to gain insight into ancient climate and habitats that record the emergence of humans, their primate ancestors, and African mammals over the last 25 million years.
A 17 million-year-old whale fossil discovered in the 1970s is the impetus for new research by an international team led by Stony Brook University that takes a unique approach to uncover the course of mammalian evolution in East Africa.
The whale fossil represents a massive change from the Miocene to today in Kenya’s Turkana Basin, as the fossil of this sea animal was originally found 740 miles inland and 620 meters in elevation – an indication perhaps of a transformed geological and ecological landscape with the open-ended question: Why was the whale there?
That is one of the questions the Stony Brook University-led international team will seek to answer when it launches the new, first-of-its-kind project in January 2021. The aim is to understand how climate change and tectonics on Miocene ecosystems in this region influenced life and evolution, from the whale to now.
It is estimated that the human-chimpanzee common ancestor evolved approximately 7.5 million years ago (mya) and diverged from the common ancestor with the gorilla ancestor about 9.3 mya. Meanwhile, the common ancestor of the great apes and humans is estimated to have diverged from the ancestor of the gibbons and siamangs approximately 19.1 mya. All these key divergence events would have occurred in the time period known as the Miocene (from about 23 mya to 5 mya).
New and existing data will be combined to study the links between rift development, climate change, and their respective roles in vegetation and mammal evolution.
Years one and two will consist of data collection from the field. The third year will involve laboratory analyses. In the fourth year, the team will conduct the analysis and be on site at TBI to produce a tectonic model that reconstructs rift evolution in this region of East Africa over the past 25 million years or Miocene period.
That tectonic model will be integrated with climate-vegetation models of equal or better resolution. Independent geological, geochemical, paleoecological, and paleontological data will be used to validate these model outputs to distinguish the influences of tectonics and climate on the evolution of Turkana ecosystems and mammals.
“This integrated approach across geoscience sub disciplines is really the future of paleo environmental reconstruction,” adds Gregory Henkes, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University. “The challenge of separating commingled effects of climate, tectonics, and evolution is incredibly complex. We hope to leverage the best of these different approaches to demonstrate that its possible, at least at the scale of a single, very important basin.”
International collaborators include team members based at the National Museums of Kenya and University of Helsinki, Finland.
NSF’s FRES also provides funding to complete extensive fieldwork that will provide training for a cohort of students and postdocs at Stony Brook University, Lamont, Rutgers, Michigan, Hamilton College, and Turkana University College.
Turkana University College in collaboration with Turkana Basin Institute, in March 2019 announced its plans to roll out a human evolutionary biology master’s degree programme, the first in a university in Kenya.
The project involves four existing members of Interdepartmental Doctoral in Anthropological Sciences (IDPAS) at Stony Brook and the incoming Presidential TBI hire in E&E, Tara Smiley.
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