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

Gracie
10 Jan 2018

Dolphin Swim – Where Did They Go?

We shifted the morning schedule having a continental breakfast before collecting data at Bailey’s Cay. This was because we had our dolphin swim this morning! We got to swim with the dolphins after meeting them during a beach encounter. Shane tried to let Kenna know she had 6 dolphins right next to her but she was just swimming forward looking for dolphins! Baby dolphin! Baby dolphin! Bailey’s calf was all around us swimming but mom was none too pleased that he was curious about the split-fin humans! Cailey completely forgot to try to recognize or ID any of the dolphins when seeing them under water!It was true that if they did not want to be seen, they were not. We…
CSU group on snorkel boat to Maya Cay
09 Jan 2018

Don’t Touch the Reef!

We had a very wet data collection session, which yielded data sheets that were soaked through. But, we could recognize several of the individual dolphins. We could chat among ourselves to confirm some of the markings and so learned a few new dolphins by their scars and marks. After breakfast, we spent time reviewing the video from Sunday morning. Caitlyn did not think they made that much noise when underwater but there was a lot of noise from them on the video. And, watching the video of dolphins it seemed to require more mobility than when Julia tried the MVA in the pool yesterday.We visited Maya Cay today. We got to learn about the Mayan culture and toured the replica…
observing dolphins
08 Jan 2018

Dolphins and SUN!

The nighttime deluge of rain was with us through the first part of our morning observations. But, our wishes last night were eventually granted with the sun eventually peaking from behind the clouds. Of course, Initial introductions were overwhelming and crazy with the dolphins! There were a lot of dolphins with names and faces to learn at the same time. We sort of struggled with IDs on our first morning but we were really excited about trying our hand at recognizing each individual dolphin. Many of us were very focused on trying to keep our balance while walking on the dock around the enclosure to our watching spots. The Honduran breakfast was savory, salty, delicious and filling. After waiting 30…
wind and rain view
07 Jan 2018

Travel Challenges followed by Rain, Rain, Rain

We each had varied travel experiences to get to Roatan from the USA. The CSU students with their intrepid professor (Dr. K) arrived without incident, which was good since they began travel at about 02:30 AM. Dee, Heather and Maria each had uneventful trips from Miami and Houston, respectively. I, on the other hand, had a never-before experience: my first flight was delayed because the pilots got locked out of the cockpit. (Not sure where they left their keys!) I received the last standby seat on the next flight to Atlanta and made my connecting flight to Roatan. My checked bag, however, decided to stay a night in Atlanta. I’ve never been so glad to have the MVA as a…
AKR aerial view
05 Jan 2018

Starting the New Year Right! Research and Field Work!

Tomorrow, January 6th, I will travel south to Roatan, specifically to Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR) for two weeks of data collection on the dolphins at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS). I’ll be joined by two groups of students for a week each. Our first week will also include a few colleagues for the continuation of the dolphin innovate/create study. (More on each of these topics in the next day or two.)Personally, I’m very much looking forward to observing the dolphins and recording their social behavior and vocalizations. Each visit is like catching up with old friends (who also include the trainers and other folks at AKR/RIMS!). The added incentive for my strong desire to travel farther south today,…

Nicole visits Our Sisters' School

DCP Master’s student Nicole Danaher-Garcia shares her experience presenting to an awesome New Bedford, MA middle school. Enjoy! ____________________________ On Tuesday, December 19th, I visited a local New Bedford, MA, middle school, having been invited by the Head of School to present to her students. The school, called Our Sisters’ School, is pretty unique. It is a not-for-profit private school with only four classes, one in each grade 5-8. The school only accepts low-income girls from the New Bedford area, and each student must be very motivated since the school-day is 11 hours long! The head of the school calls this having “the eye of the tiger.” And it was very noticeable that these girls are excited to learn. They…

Intern Tori Presents on DCP

Fulfilling the Honor’s component to her Honor’s Biology class at Indian River State College, DCP volunteer and intern, Tori Meyer, presented her project on Dolphin Communication to fellow Honors students and faculty. Part review of Kathleen Dudzinski and Christine Ribic’s 2017 publication, “Pectoral Fin Contact as a Mechanism for Social Bonding among Dolphins,” and part general discussion around past and present DCP research efforts, Tori’s presentation covered the subject of dolphin communication methods, focusing on tactile contacts between bottlenose dolphins in the RIMS facility, as well as tactile contacts among the wild population of Atlantic Spotted dolphins around Bimini, the Bahamas. Eager to continue her contribution to DCP’s ongoing research efforts in any way she’s able to, Tori is a…

Dolphin Gazette - 21.4 is here!

This quarter's issue is pretty packed: holiday specials, an update from Master's student Nicole, introduction of "Vee," updates from SMM conference, a fun coloring page and more! Which entry will be your favorite? Thanks for reading - and sharing! Click here to download your copy now.

One month left to apply!

One of my favorite events of the year is our field course with Sacred Heart University (SHU). Taught by Dr. Deirdre Yeater and held at our Bimini, The Bahamas field site, this course brings SHU and non-SHU students to study wild Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins. Mornings are filled with class lectures and discussions and afternoons are spent at sea, searching for and observing dolphins. It's exciting for me; most students have never seen a wild dolphin, certainly not under water. And watching students go from sitting and listening to scientists talk about dolphins to being the ones collecting data - real data that DCP will use - is so rewarding. The application period for this field class closes 15…
Rain, Wind, and More Rain – but still outside “Nate’s” cone
07 Oct 2017

Rain, Wind, and More Rain – but still outside “Nate’s” cone

The day was bright but very windy with rain squalls throughout the morning. Actually, it poured all night and we woke to a sort of tapering off of the rain. The underwater visibility did not look half bad when we took a reconnaissance trek to Bailey’s Key. (Hard to tell in this view since the rain is rather hard!) The morning had some very choppy water on the way to Bailey’s, though the afternoon showed a lessening of the wave height. That all said, the underwater current was quite strong and thus I did not get in to collect any underwater data today. We had a very productive week with more than 6 hours of video data collected! (double that…
Another Dolphin Swim and Two Data Collection Sessions!!
05 Oct 2017

Another Dolphin Swim and Two Data Collection Sessions!!

Though the weather has thrown another Hurricane in our path, we had a lovely day with some sunshine and lots of data collection – two sessions, one in the early morning (06:15 AM) and one in the late morning (10:00 AM). (Can you tell my brain is focused on data collection, not the weather!?) We were supposed to have more than a few rain showers but it seems that storm “Nate” will be sending some wind and rain by us tonight suggesting that Friday will be weather-full. We had really good underwater visibility for both morning sessions and for the dolphin swim session sandwiched between them. Several of our DCP eco-tourists (Dee, Heather, Brittany, Erin, Riley and Regina) elected to…
Our Dolphin Encounter and Swim, Fiesta Night, and, of course, more data collected!
05 Oct 2017

Our Dolphin Encounter and Swim, Fiesta Night, and, of course, more data collected!

We have a diehard group of eco-tour participants dedicated to our research and data collection at 6:30 every morning but today was their day to enjoy an encounter and swim with the dolphins (after, of course, data collection was complete!). The encounter had members of our group sharing time with Gracie and Alita, two adult females. After a meet and greet, everyone spent ~30 min swimming with the dolphin group. The smiles on their human faces on water exit were a testament to the fun had by all. Games of seagrass toss and chase were engaged in. Everyone was still talking about their swim experience at Fiesta night, which also included delicious food (the mac & cheese did not disappoint!)…
Data Collection and a Trip to Maya Key for our group
04 Oct 2017

Data Collection and a Trip to Maya Key for our group

We met at the water taxi stand at 6 AM for the short ride to Bailey’s Key. I was in the water by 6:15 AM and observing dolphins very soon thereafter! The underwater visibility was less than the previous days but the dolphins were just as social. Erin took this photo during her observations – it makes me wonder who is watching whom?! Calli, Polly and Elli decided that my fins were a delightful toy! How often have you pulled on someone’s feet or fins when they are swimming? :-) At about 35 min into my observations, it got very quiet – noticeably quiet because the dolphins had been whistling and buzzing and were just plain loud. I learned from…
Monday-Monday, Day 2 of data collection
03 Oct 2017

Monday-Monday, Day 2 of data collection

Another really good morning of visibility and socializing dolphins! The three one-year-old calves were quite rambunctious today. During the early morning session, Stan was zipping around sometimes with Shawn and others with his older sister, Elli. Calli and Elli were also quite enamored of my fins and crowded me often while I watched the others in the group. Maury was in infant position first with Gracie and then with Mrs. B. Shawn was non-phased by Maury usurping his spot with Gracie and just pushed her away a bit to nurse. Alita played a bit with her calf, Dory – with a leaf and then a stick! You can see them in this image here. After our morning data collection session,…
Day 1: Clear water yields almost two hours of data!
02 Oct 2017

Day 1: Clear water yields almost two hours of data!

A rainy night dawned to cloudy, overcast skies that suggested the water visibility would be … murky, to be nice! But, the underwater visibility turned out to be not too bad! The adult males were outside the main pool area. So, our early AM (6:30 AM!) data collection session was focused on the adult females and juveniles and calves. It was a delight to watch Dory, Stan and Shawn, the one-year olds, zip around each other in a sort of tag while their moms stayed close by. It was fun to review the dolphin behavior we witnessed with Heather and Dee and our students as well as Regina, Marsha, Corrine, Donna and Brittany. Calli and Polly took up the typical…

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Dolphin Communication Project
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