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

Ladies’ Night?

With the wind in our faces, and rocking the boat, we were hopeful that Tuesday’s boat trip would bring some cooperative dolphins. The students were fresh off some great juvenile spotted and crater feeding bottlenose observations (Sunday) and Caribbean reef shark and southern stingray interactions (Monday). I was ever hopeful that my presence wouldn’t break their luck… Sure enough, at 16:28, Dr. E saw several dolphins surfing the swells right toward us! It was a very cool sight to see. We counted at least 19 dolphins, but with the rough conditions, I could only recognize Stefran (#82) from the boat. Surfing dolphins usually don’t break from their activity to swim with us, but this group did let us get a…

Spotted Dolphins of the Bahamas

Check out this video from our friends at Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization and Loggerhead Productions. It includes some great information about the spotted dolphins in The Bahamas – and DCP’s own Kel Sweeting makes a cameo with the Bimini dolphins! Spotted Dolphins of the Bahamas from Conch Salad TV on Vimeo.

Time is already flying!

Saturday snuck right up on me and brought another dolphin trip with Bimini Adventures’ student group. On Friday, the students and researchers were able to observe a feisty juvenile group, including Inka (#93). They got some great video and photographs, which will contribute to DCP’s archive, in addition to their own work. Saturday’s trip began smoothly and though the wait was longer than the past few days, it really wasn’t long at all before we saw some big splashing in the distance. It turned out to be closely clustered group of dolphins engaged in mating or socio-sexual behavior. Our underwater observation was brief, but I was able to confirm that Prince William (#64), Speedy (#78) and Milo (#96) were in…

Photo-ID Fun….and rain

Wednesday morning began with a photo-ID lecture to the students. I always like this topic – discussing how we recognize individual dolphins and all the cool things you can learn just by knowing who is who. The students asked great questions and did a fantastic job practicing matching photos to the DCP catalog. Unfortunately, thunderstorms rolled in after lunch, canceling our boat trip – and taking the phone lines and internet down! Luckily, the group has many more days here, so spirits remained high! Until later, Kel PS: Sorry for the delayed posting – spotty island internet!

Here we go, 2016!

Tuesday was the first boat trip of 2016. I was thrilled to welcome Dr. K back to Bimini, this time with Dr. L and students from Saint Mary’s College of Maryland. With all the gear prepped, I introduced the students to DCP’s still cameras and underwater slates. I also gave them tips on taking underwater photographs of the dolphins with photo-ID purposes in mind. Throughout their course, they will be tasked with taking photographs of and notes on the dolphins while observing them under water. These photos will contribute to DCP’s on-going photo-ID efforts. With a stiff wind, we departed the Sea Crest shortly after 1500. It felt good to be back in search of dolphins! As we cruised along…
DCP's Newest Field Course Taking Sign-ups!
04 Apr 2016

DCP's Newest Field Course Taking Sign-ups!

DCP is offering a brand new field course in collaboration with Dr. Shane Kanatous, Colorado State University. This is a Field Course in Animal Behavior and Physiology that will be held at RIMS, Anthony's Key Resort, Roatan, Honduras, from 31 December 2016 to 7 January 2017. A flyer can be downloaded by clicking this link. You can also check out the Educational - College Programs section of DCP's web site to read more details about this exciting new field program! Sign up today to be sure you have a spot in this college-level field program. All participants must be at least 18 years old to participate. Course costs cover lodging, food (and a few other items - see the flyer…
DCP-DE Innovative Study Short Video
28 Mar 2016

DCP-DE Innovative Study Short Video

DCP DE Innovative Study 2016 from Dolphin Communication Project on Vimeo.t Here is a short video that showcases the Innovative Study we conducted at Dolphin Encounters at Blue Lagoon Island in The Bahamas in late January/early February 2016! If you remember (or look back through our blogs), this was research conducted in collaboration with Drs. Deirdre Yeater and Dawn Melzer (Sacred Heart University) and Dr. Allison Kaufman (University of Connecticut) and Kathleen (DCP) at Dolphin Encounters. Data processing and analyses are ongoing ... but this clip allows you to see some of what we did when at DE. Cheers Kathleen
DCP RIMS March 2016 Summary
21 Mar 2016

DCP RIMS March 2016 Summary

Saturday was our travel day to return home. Sunday was a recovery day from a very productive, action-filled week and a long day of return travel! You can see from this photo that Dixie was very glad I was home … and she and I took a good nap on the couch on Sunday! Our trip was productive in that I collected about 3.5 hrs of video on the video camera and another almost 1.5 hrs of concurrent GoPro footage. Our team of 13 St. Mary’s students each were able to collect data for their various class projects; these projects focused on the dolphin behavior, water pH and temperature according to differing depth and distance from shore, and soil sampling.…
We Don’t Want to Go Home!
19 Mar 2016

We Don’t Want to Go Home!

Today - Friday – was our last full day on Roatan, unfortunately! We finished analyzing our soil samples – yeah! We did our last morning observation at 6:30 AM – maybe we can sleep in tomorrow? The dolphins were quite curious about Dr. D but she got a full 30-minute session recorded. After breakfast, we went to the classroom to listen to Jennifer give a talk about turtles. There are 7 different species and only the females come on land, to lay eggs. These turtles cannot retract into their shells. The eggs are “parchment” eggs meaning they are soft and don’t break when dropped into the nest. Their first year is called “the lost year” because no one really knows…
The Day We’ve Been Waiting for!
17 Mar 2016

The Day We’ve Been Waiting for!

Not only did we do research in the morning, but we swam with the dolphins, too! Not only did we have a great breakfast followed by an interesting acoustics lecture but we swam with the dolphins, too! Not only did we do more water sampling and dolphin behavior observations for our individual projects but we swam with the dolphins, too! Not only did we have a spectacular lunch, but we swam with the dolphins, too! Our swim with the dolphins was in the early afternoon. We had encounters with Callie, Elli and Polly who gave us each a kiss and a hug and then the encounter was followed by a 30-minute swim with 12 dolphins. They seemed to come out…

Official 2016 Shirt Fundraiser!

DCP is pleased to offer our supporters the chance to look good in classic white tees and rash guards. Short-sleeve tees are available in adult and youth sizes. Long-sleeve tees and rash guards are available in adult sizes only. Tees are pre-shrunk, 100% combed ringspun cotton with shoulder-to-shoulder taping and double-needle stitched sleeves and bottom hem. Adult sizes are unisex; women may want to size down for a more fitted look. Rash guards have UPF50+ sun protection and moisture wicking. They are crew neck with flatlock seam construction and are perfect for the summer! Have extra money burning a hole in that pocket? Add a donation to your order! This special order period ends on 28 March. All shirts will…
Flipper Fun, Free Time & Fiesta!!
16 Mar 2016

Flipper Fun, Free Time & Fiesta!!

Dolphins and Dolphins – with timing help to make our scan sample observations more efficient. We had a few students from Iowa State join us to watch the dolphins! It was a very eventful morning with dolphins that ignored Kathleen and were very social – lots of leaps! Kathleen had to retrieve a dropped-in-the-water pair of sunglasses and a towel. A wolf discussion followed breakfast – odd since we are studying dolphins. But, Dr. Karlin’s presentation about red wolves was neat and we learned wolves can interbreed with coyotes. And, they form associations, which is why we were discussing them in the context of dolphin associations for comparison. We returned to Bailey’s Key for water sample collection and coral and…
Today was Off the Boat!
15 Mar 2016

Today was Off the Boat!

It was a Long, Long Day!! But it was a very good day! We made some dolphin observations this morning – seeing much socio-sexual play. Breakfast was really good! And it fortified us for the snorkel boat trip, which was the first time for most of us on a boat and to jump off the boat into water! We saw an eagle ray, squirrelfish, parrot fish, lots and lots of starfish, many fan corals and lots of tiny fish. Yesterday’s coral ID talk was very helpful and informative to our snorkel session today! We recognized many of the coral and were informed about the situation coral is facing. After our first boat trip, we collected water samples from around Anthony’s…
Maya Key, Sharks and Research
14 Mar 2016

Maya Key, Sharks and Research

Another early morning session with the dolphins allowed Kathleen to collect underwater video/audio data while the students practiced their hand at conducting scan-sampling behavior documentation of the dolphins. This morning session was productive for the students but somewhat less so for Kathleen because of Ronnie and French’s interest in her fins, which made swimming difficult! After the morning research, we took the AKR bus over to Maya Key – actually the bus then a boat to visit the Key where some of us snorkeled with sharks and rays, some of use collected water samples for pH and temp data, and others of us helped, watched or swam. You can see Lupe and Ina pointing out a fish to Dr. Karlin…
New Experiences – it just gets better!
13 Mar 2016

New Experiences – it just gets better!

Early AM (6:30 AM) adventures brought 7 of us (Sara, Toni, Emily, Paloma, Tori, Brianna & Dr. Hill) along with Kathleen to see the dolphins at Bailey’s Key for the first time. So many dolphins, so close, so curious. One dolphin kept spy-hopping and getting closer and closer to us at the dock and one of the dolphins gave a ventral up pectoral fin wave! The sun angle made it a bit difficult to see all the surface activity, especially when the dolphins were around Kathleen. Late morning was our first snorkel session – a few of us had never been in the ocean before! Kathleen gave us a lesson and kept us calm. The area we snorkeled was shallow…

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Dolphin Communication Project
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