Mara Elephant Project is pleased to announce that Wilson Sairowua, who has been with the organization since 2015, was promoted at the first of the year to the role of head of conservation. Wilson is tasked with leading the long-term monitoring (LTM) team, research administration tasks, overseeing the new experimental farm and drone projects and responsible for managing all the backend data necessary to keep track of MEP ranger movements and other data collected in the field. He will continue to work alongside CEO Marc Goss and Director of Research & Conservation Dr. Jake Wall to advance MEP’s objectives.
This promotion meant that MEP was able to hire a long-term associate of Jake’s from Save the Elephants (STE), David Kimanzi, as the new data and reporting manager. David is a GIS specialist and will be managing all of MEP’s spatial data collected. This task encompasses not only the collecting of the data, but the cleaning, organizing and managing of this data. Most importantly, David’s tasked with presenting the data collected in different formats such as maps, charts, graphs and reports for diverse audiences in the conservation and spatial planning spheres. David’s role is funded by a grant from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Previously, Kimanzi, as David is called, worked as a GIS research officer at STE for over seven years and holds a geography degree from Moi University. He has been instrumental in harmonizing the monitoring of illegal killings of elephants (MIKE) data from across Kenya, handling and interpreting elephant tracking data and other aspects of spatial data needed by protected area managers, ecologists and wildlife biologists.
David completed a two-week basic training course alongside the new MEP LTM team members that covered first aid and an overview of GPS and radio to ensure they can work alongside MEP ranger units. In addition to basic training, he also learned about the various data systems in use by MEP such as EarthRanger, Cybertracker, ER Track, Njia and ElephantBook.
In 2021, MEP is celebrating a decade of operation, and seeing our team grow with Kenyan leaders will ensure our success into the next 10 years.