I participated in The Nyanza Project for two years, first as a student participant and then as a graduate TA and mentor. My work in Lake Tanganyika has centered around the enormous and enigmatic shell beds found in the littoral on many of the shallow benches of the lake. My primary focus as a paleoclimate student-participant (working with Michael McGlue) was to collect shells from these beds at multiple depths and score them for various taphonomic variables (reduction staining, oxidation staining, encrustation, abrasion, etc.). These taphonomic indices were then used to evaluate the past environments weathered by these shell beds as well as evidence to suggest possible modes of formation. The next year I returned to these shell beds as a TA and mentor and coordinated activities for a geology student as well as a biology student. I helped these students form their projects, trained them on data collection and analysis techniques, and directed them while in the field using SCUBA. The geology student (Oceana Castaneda) focused on taphonomy while the biology student (Christine O'Connell) explored the biological communities that utilize these shell beds on an otherwise sandy bottom. Part of our work has been published here. My written reports describing my student and mentor experiences can be found here and here.