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

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…
Wrapping Up 2016 and Ringing In 2017!!
31 Dec 2016

Wrapping Up 2016 and Ringing In 2017!!

Happy New Year’s Eve!DCP/Kathleen is finishing out 2016 in and welcoming 2017 in research style … with a week of data collection and a college field course on Roatan at Anthony’s Key Resort! And, thanks to John, the MVA2 has new hydrophone arms that allow for the MVA2 to be in carry-on luggage (small black bag on left)! The arms are back to the original design and made of PVC - the green my added touch! I’ll be sure to post a photo of the MVA2 all assembled in a day or two so you can see the full effect of the new arms. Today is travel day! I’m writing this post as I sit in the airport waiting for…

IRSC Semi-Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

On Friday, Kathleen was back on the Indian River State College campus, this time to attend the IRSC Semi-Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Kathleen was supporting Ashley Locher, who participated in the Service Learning program between IRSC and DCP in May and June 2016, and continued through the summer and early fall to develop a presentation from her experience for the program at IRSC. Ashley’s poster presentation title was: Comparative studies on pectoral fin contact behaviors between wild and captive dolphin species. Ashley stood by her poster during the three-hour program and skillfully answered questions from members of the audience about the research and results. Ashley graduates this fall with her degree from ISRC. Congratulations to Ashley for a well-done presentation…

Join SHU in Bimini this June!!

We are eager to once again welcome Dr. Deirdre Yeater to our Bimini, The Bahamas field site for our collaborative course in dolphin behavior and research. Applications are now being accepted on a rolling basis. That means first come, first serve!! With an additional online component, students will participate in field research from 4 June - 10 June, 2017. All participants must register through SHU. Click here for more details and apply today!

The Dolphin Gazette 20.4

Field updates, holiday specials & more! The latest issue of the Dolphin Gazette is now available! The fall issue of The Dolphin Gazette is always a fun one to write. Kathleen has returned from Roatan, holiday specials are in the air and collaborators share news! This issue is no exception. We hope you enjoy reading about upcoming field opportunities, our t-shirt fundraiser, holiday bundles, new papers....and, we hope you'll pass the Gazette on to a friend! Click here to download a PDF of the gazette!
DCP RIMS October 2016 Field Reports – Summary
31 Oct 2016

DCP RIMS October 2016 Field Reports – Summary

Before I wrap up the week, I thought I'd share a photo of the SM2M deployment ... though this image is from 2-3 years ago! When I deployed the SM2M yesterday, the underwater visibility was such that at 24 ft deep, I could not see details of the surface, and vice versa. So, no photos were taken during yesterday's deployment! We had a good week this year! Our group got in lots of dives and much bottom time. And, I was able to collect 3 hours of data with the MVA2 and a similar amount on the front-facing GoPro. The GoPro gives us a wider field of view such that we can confirm IDs and some of the behavioral exchanges.…
TGIF? Last Day for Data Collection!
31 Oct 2016

TGIF? Last Day for Data Collection!

The rainy season seems to have arrived to Roatan! Another rain-filled evening dawned to overcast skies and elevated wind speeds! The current was also quite strong! We made the trek over to Bailey's Key with the hope of collecting data with the MVA2. The dolphins were social and seemingly game! I was game, my crew was certainly willing to make surface observations. Mother Nature (or is it Father Neptune?!) had other ideas! The underwater visibility, even viewed from above water, was not good! The current was again strong and a squall was on the horizon. So, we decided to wait an hour or two ... maybe the visibility would improve? It did not. But, our group had a dolphin encounter…
Dodging Rain Drops ... at least for the research!
27 Oct 2016

Dodging Rain Drops ... at least for the research!

Rain greeted us just before sunrise ... leading to a delayed research data collection session. I entered the water at about 7:40 this AM and had a good 30 min session observing the dolphins. The calves were receiving much attention from almost all of the dolphins. Of course, Mac, Lenca and Champ still thought my fins were the best toy available! I was able to record Gracie and Alita on several occasions and we confirmed which calf went with each mom on viewing the video this afternoon. The dolphins were quite vocal and very social with one another. The underwater visibility was so-so but there was decent light and a visitation by the sun when I was in the water.…
Let the Sun Shine In!
27 Oct 2016

Let the Sun Shine In!

We finally had a break in the rain! It poured all last night! There was some thunder and wind thrown in and we woke to a gloomy looking sky and drizzles. But, the morning dried a bit and some blue sky showed through … enough so that we could collect data at about 12:30 for about 30 – 35 minutes! The visibility was ok in some spots and “silty” in others. Still, we saw several dolphins interacting, as you can see in this image from today of several dolphins circling in front of me and the MVA2! At late morning, I and several of our crew (John, Chris K, GiGi, Chris R, Dave, Erin, Aly) met with the training staff…
Heavy Rains equated to a day of Data Analysis!
25 Oct 2016

Heavy Rains equated to a day of Data Analysis!

Rather than show you the gray, gloomy skies that were often dropping heaps of rain drops upon us today, I am sharing with you a photo of Elli and Callie. Elli is showing her scuffed up rostrum as she tries to photo bomb Callie. On Callie's peduncle you can see a few white parallel lines that are healing rake marks! (Thanks to Kenly for helping me photo these ID shots!) We spent the day dodging rain drops and a bulk of time in the morning and afternoon reviewing video from Sunday and Monday to confirm IDs and begin doing the session sketches for each dolphin. Some of the younger ones are readily recognizable and others are more clean - showing…
Early AM session, PM session and Diving!
25 Oct 2016

Early AM session, PM session and Diving!

Two data collection sessions today made me a happy camper! Two to three dives today made most of our eco-tour team happy! We all got very wet today! Not just from entering the water for data collection or diving but from the rain deluge that visited us a few times today. That’s what the front photo depicts – rain viewed from underwater! The dolphins and divers did not seem to mind the rain. Drying off after the day was another story! My early AM data collection session had me in the water by 6:26 AM – go team! The dolphins were social and interactive. Polly and Callie were a bit too attentive to my fins but overall everyone was playful.…
Data Collection! Good Vis and neat behavior!!
24 Oct 2016

Data Collection! Good Vis and neat behavior!!

Our first day of data collection for this session began well! One hour of video collected and Ronnie was not as curious about me as in previous years! He was the first to greet me (as this image can attest), but it was more Lenca, Champ and Mac (the three young boys) who spent time trying to rough-house around me during both my early morning and second morning sessions! We had really good underwater visibility at ~6:40 AM when the first session began. I was able to view most of the 23 dolphins underwater at least once. It was great to see all the dolphins again! And, Hector and Han were close on Gracie's heels for most of both sessions!…

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