McKenzie Bahl

Bio Summary
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Home Institution: 
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford
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International Experience

McKenzie spend four weeks studying wildlife and ecology in Tanzania, Africa with the School for Field Studies Program. While here, she studied animals such as giraffes, elephants, Cape buffalo, wildebeests, impala, Thomson gazelles, lions, zebras, hyenas, and leopards. Through her research, McKenzie observed giraffe neck elongation hypotheses, counted mammals in designated areas of protected and non-protected reserves, and studied local soil erosion effects on the farming culture. Before this experience, McKenzie was interested in researching the involvement of the elephant and rhinoceros populations in the ivory trade. She used this opportunity to interview her professors and the local community about their opinions on the ivory trade. Through this, she learned that her professors actually create new efforts to save the animals and educate the public by creating chili powder and motor oil traps or bee traps to scare the elephants tempted to enter farmers land. During their field exercises, McKenzie and her class assisted with their professors’ research at Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Manyara Lake, and Manyara Ranch. Towards the end of her experience, McKenzie camped at Serengeti National Park for three nights. During her stay, an elephant family walked through their campsite and a lion pride captured a zebra in the outside perimeter from where they stayed. McKenzie was also able to participate in cultural visits with the Hadzabe Tribe, Maasai Tribe, and the Datoga tribe where she was able to participate in their daily routines and activities. During her free time, McKenzie participated in cultural activities such as knife painting, trading, and bargaining at the local markets. She also volunteered to pick up trash in her hometown of Rhotia and spent a day working at their local tree nursery, and she was able to volunteer at a children’s orphanage in Karatu. 

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