Check out the latest news from DCP, including field reports filed by our researchers busy doing science at one of our many research sites.

Only 2 weeks left!

You can still register for our Field Course in Cetacean Ecology with Sacred Heart University! With an online component prior to the field, students will get to spend 6 nights in Bimini, The Bahamas, continuing to learn about dolphins and observing them first hand. Click here to learn more about our Bimini field courses in general. Click here to learn more about this specific program and sign up today! Deadline to apply is 1 March!

2017 Summer Field Internships: Now Accepting Applications!

Applications - via email only - are now being accepted for our 2017 Summer Field Internship program! Application deadline is 28 February. All applicants will be notified upon receipt of their application, however, only those applicants selected for a Skype/phone interview will be contacted after that. Please read all the details of this internship program here. The program includes several weeks at our Florida office and several weeks at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site. Both components are required! If you read all about the program here, and you still have questions, reach out to info{at}dcpmail{dot}org.


We are pleased to announce that Atlantic spotted dolphin ID#106, a young female dolphin observed off the coast of Bimini, The Bahamas, has received her name! "Seabeagle" was first observed by DCP researchers in 2013 and is often seen with Inka (#93), Paul (#99) and other young spotted dolphins. Seabeagle was named by Siddharth Iodaya in 2016 to honor Dr. Kathleen M. Dudzinski, her work and DCP. Kathleen loves dolphins and beagles, so, this name is apt. Love to Dolphins and Beagles! Now, you can be one of the first people to adopt Seabeagle! Click here to adopt Seabeagle today! Interested in naming a dolphin? You're in luck! DCP ID#102 is in need of a name. Click here to learn…

Dolphin Apparel - Forever Vintage?

Have you ever purchased a shirt or mug or bag, featuring a DCP Adopt-A-Wild-Dolphin, from one of our CafePress "shops"? If so, thank you! If not, consider making a purchase today. A portion of each purchase will go to DCP - and be used to continue our research and education efforts! Though our shops will remain active, we won't be updating any of the dolphin images or dolphin ages from this point forward. So, when it comes to CafePress products, Noodle will always be a juvenile, Lil' Jess will always be a young adult, Split Jaw will always...well, you get the idea. Below is a list of each dolphin's shop. We think you'd look good in something Inka. Or Speedy.…

Bahamas Field Course - Deadline Extended!

Our Field Course in Cetacean Ecology with Sacred Heart University has met its minimum enrollment! Remaining spaces will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a final application deadline of 15 February. This program includes online components in addition to the 6-night field program in Bimini, The Bahamas. Students from any university are welcome to apply, but spaces are limited and all participants must register through SHU. Field dates are 4 - 10 June, 2017. This is your chance to learn about dolphins - and observe them in the wild (swim with them too!). For more information on applying to this specific program, click here visit SHU's website. For more information on our Bimini field courses in general, click…

Kuczaj Memorial Travel Grant

Grant applications are now being accepted for the Kuczaj Memorial Travel Grant. The grant is administered in memory of Dr. Stan Kuczaj, who was a leader in the study of comparative animal cognition, particularly within marine mammals, and former DCP board member. Applicants for the Kuczaj Memorial Travel Grant must: 1) be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of the application, 2) have their abstract accepted for presentation at the Conference on Comparative Cognition, 3) submit their abstract for evaluation and ranking, and 4) provide evidence of graduate enrollment. Applications must be submitted no later than February 28, 2017. Click here to visit the grant's webpage.

NEW Opportunity: Bimini Eco-Tour 24 April - 4 May 2017

We know this is last minute, but if you've been trying to decide when to take those vacation days, we've got you covered! Come start the 2017 Bimini research season in comfort - cozy accommodations, dedicated boat, private cook - learning about DCP and the wild dolphins of Bimini along the way! Click here for more info & to sign up today! Check-In: Friday 28 April 2017 Check-Out: Wednesday 4 May 2017 Cost: $1975 ($500 non-refundable deposit due at booking; balance due 1 March) Included: 5 nights' accommodation* at the locally owned and operated Sea Crest Hotel & Marina in historic Alice Town, Bimini; 3 meals/day*, prepared by the group's private cook and served family style; 5-boat trips* in search…
DCP - CSU Field Course 2017 Wrap-up!
16 Jan 2017

DCP - CSU Field Course 2017 Wrap-up!

The DCP-CSU group spent a week at Anthony's Key Resort from 31 December 2016 to 7 January 2017! The main purpose of this trip to Anthony’s Key Resort was to introduce six graduate/undergraduate students to fieldwork and data collection, preliminary data processing, behavior and physiology studies, conservation programs, application/analysis of data collected, and general critical thinking. The students participated in snorkel sessions, lectures, informal discussions, and in situ observations of dolphin behavior and collection of non-invasive physiological data (i.e., respiration and surfacing rates). A total of ~180 minutes of video data were collected with the MVA2 and another ~3 hrs of data were collected with a GoPro camera mounted to the top of the MVA2. Sessions were conducted in the…
Close Encounters of the Dolphin Kind!
07 Jan 2017

Close Encounters of the Dolphin Kind!

Surface observations – our final day – it was pretty busy at the surface but much less aerial activity by the dolphins. Lots of pectoral fin slapping (a new action seen) and tail slaps and white water were observed. And the other new behavior was “head stands” – the dolphins sticking their tail straight up at the surface. There were several subgroups that were larger in number of dolphins than previously seen. The calves were there also in the middle of these groups! There are also what we called “science kitties” on Bailey’s Key. The cats on the island were very inquisitive of the MVA2 after it was rinsed this morning. They licked the port and the hydrophones! Breakfast was…

Come to Bimini!!

Looking for an exciting, hands-on spring course? The Dolphin Communication Project (DCP) is pleased to offer a FIELD COURSE IN COASTAL MARINE SPECIES in Bimini, The Bahamas. DCP, a non-profit research and education group, has been studying the wild Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins off Bimini since 2001. Dates: April 24 – May 4, 2017 (10 nights) With instruction from DCP’s Kelly Melillo Sweeting, and Dr. Stephen Turnbull, of University of New Brunswick Saint John, students will be introduced to the study of animal biology and behavior using a combination of lectures, readings, discussion, and observational research within the natural ecosystem of Bimini. Content will focus on a foundation of species’ biology as it relates to understanding animal behavior and…
Sun, Sand, and Marine Debris …
06 Jan 2017

Sun, Sand, and Marine Debris …

We started our day the usual way … with data collection and observations of the dolphins at Bailey’s Key! There was LOTS of aerial activity and much social surface behavior (lots of white water and splashing and dolphin body bits at the surface). It was fun to see so much different behavior above the water surface. That is, today was day 5 of our observations but we had so much activity and it was great to have so many observers to be sure we recorded as much as possible of all the activity, including porpoising, leaping, breaching, tail slaps (side ways), and some very long horizontal leaps. Gracie did a side breach near the side of the dock. There was…
Finding Dory … Shawn and Stan, too
05 Jan 2017

Finding Dory … Shawn and Stan, too

Again, the underwater visibility sucked … more, much more than yesterday. In fact, it was less than 2 m and very silty. So Kathleen’s observations with the MVA2 were limited to about 7 or 8 minutes. It’s quite difficult to conduct behavioral observation when you can’t really see all of each dolphin’s body in the viewfinder. We also started our personal interviews with John today about this field course. And, we had a morning snorkel session from the boat at West End beach and point and also finished at Blue Channel. The underwater visibility was much better just outside the inner reef! We saw a small shoal of squid, some parrotfish, blue tang and a disco fish. We had to…
Daytime is the array time, Night time is the right time!
04 Jan 2017

Daytime is the array time, Night time is the right time!

The underwater visibility sucked mostly – dolphin observations because of silty waters. It’s hard to study behavior when you can’t really see it. So, Kathleen retrieved the SM2M, which was still recording! Yeah!! The red light was on and the unit was not too caked with sea crud. We thought it would have more sea life growth on it. The SM2M seemed more non-descript and was bigger and heavier than we imagined (see photo of us with the SM2M after recovery). Our morning discussion was on behavioral observations and sampling protocols. We learned that a research question must have appropriate methods in order to yield results that are interpretable and also to facilitate appropriate statistical analyses. Our discussion also will…
Just Another Day in Paradise!
03 Jan 2017

Just Another Day in Paradise!

Our day began with two cups of coffee and a boat taxi ride to Bailey’s Key. And, once again, the dolphins were right there! We began the day with more dolphin behavior observations, noting a bit more detail than yesterday. It was a bit easier to ID some of the dolphins – Polly, Hector, Han, Paya, and Gracie were all readily visible to us this AM! The dolphins were frisky this morning – there was lots of splashing and socializing ongoing this AM providing lots for us to document and note. After our delicious breakfast, we had an informative physiology talk/discussion. We learned that respiration rates don’t cut it to estimate metabolic rates and that you cannot take inaccurate measurements…
The Beginning – our first full day in the course
02 Jan 2017

The Beginning – our first full day in the course

We had our first introduction to the dolphins after our boat taxi ride to Bailey’s Cay. The ride was full of anticipation and culminated with Kelly’s reaction, “oh! They’re right there!” They were so close and within reach, not behind 6 inches of glass! There did not seem like there could be 23 dolphins in the enclosure … maybe 12, but then we got to see the different dorsal fins. They swam close to our positions and checked us out. It was definitely hard not to interact with them more. We spent a few hours after data collection on photo-ID learning about their different scars and marks. We also discussed the different behaviors we saw on the first research dive…

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Write to us via snail-mail at:

Dolphin Communication Project
P.O. Box 7485
Port St. Lucie, FL, 34985

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info {at} dcpmail {dot} org


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