Timothy Lees’ Diary
Tidal Forests of Kenya

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July 30, 2009: A different type of research

Ground truthing Last night we had an interesting lesson on ground truthing by Dr.Bernard Kirui. Ground truthing is one of the other research projects being done by KMFRI on mangrove populations. Using GPS coordinates and satellite imagery the idea is to generate a map to indicate the total mangrove population along the coastal area of Kenya. Today we aided Dr.Kirui with mapping designated plots and collecting data on the type of species found in those plots (height, trunk diameter, species and amount of young plants). All this data will be entered to verify the accuracy of the existing maps and also to show if the mangrove forests are declining or increasing. The locations were tough and very muddy and since these were mature trees some climbing skills did come in handy.  After data input we had a talk on the Kenyan Educational system by Mrs. Chao, who is the representative for the Ministry of Education in the coast province. She explained about the achievements and improvements that have been made regarding the education system, including preschooling and free secondary schooling. Preschool, not previously common in Kenya, would allow more children the chance to start school at a young age. Plans to introduce a form of free schooling for the secondary school will give more Kenyan kids the chance to go farther in their education.
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