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


Early in the morning on Thursday, the Bimini team woke up and accomplished a few hours of data entry and photo-ID work. We ate lunch together and then left for the docks to go on the boat trip for the day, departing an hour earlier than normal at 2 PM. At precisely 3:17 PM a group of 16 bottlenose dolphins was spotted just to the left of the bow. Garion jumped up so quickly that he almost forgot to start logging data for the sighting. A few minutes later, Kel, Dr. Kaplan, Dr. Maust-Mohl, Garion, and half of the student group entered the water heavily armed with video cameras and enthusiasm while Mathew stayed on the boat to record data…

Where are you, dolphins?

Wednesday was a fine day. Mathew woke up and went for a brief walk along the coast to take in that lovely Bimini morning breeze. He and Garion then filled their morning working on data entry. Nicole gave them a brief explanation about how to sort through photos of the bottlenose dolphins found around Bimini. Shortly afterwards, Mathew and Garion joined the Hunter/Manhattan College group to watch an organized photo ID lecture with Kel. It was a ton of fun and everyone participated and learned a lot from it. Unfortunately, they would not be practicing their skills on wild dolphins. After heading out at 1500 and searching for about 4 hours, we saw zero dolphins out on the water, despite…
Learning the MVA before Bimini!
15 Jun 2017

Learning the MVA before Bimini!

The DCP summer interns (Tori, Kaiya & Patrick) have been with Kathleen in the Florida office since mid-May learning about data analyses (video processing, confirming dolphin IDs, event sampling for behaviors and more). They depart at the end of June for Bimini to help Kel collect data on the Atlantic spotted and bottlenose dolphins around Bimini, The Bahamas. But, before they cross the Gulf Stream for clear blue waters, they needed to learn how to handle the MVA and gain some tips on collecting video and still photos underwater. You can see they all did well ... though maybe they'll need to remember fins when in the ocean! Here is what they thought about their experience: Patrick: It was interesting…

The VFEP’s First Day on the Boat

Garion woke up this morning and had a hearty breakfast of bagels and leftover chicken burrito (Yum!). He and Mathew then went for a bike ride and Garion showed Mathew a bit of the island based off what he could remember from his tour with Nicole. They then went grocery shopping and biked home. Once they were back it was time to get down to business with a few lectures from Nicole and starting office work. At 1:30 the four DCP researchers met the college kids from Hunter and Manhattan Colleges who are here on Bimini for a field course with DCP Research Associate Dr. Daisy Kaplan. Kel gave everyone an introduction to the underwater cameras and explained how to…

A First for Everyone!

On Monday, DCP welcomed its first-ever Volunteer Field Experience participants, Garion and Mathew! We are very excited to offer this opportunity this year and are eager to make the most of the volunteers’ 12 days on Bimini. For their first blog post, Garion and Mathew wrote about their travels to Bimini. Tune in over the next 2 weeks to hear about the rest of their experiences! Garion: I woke up at 3 AM on Monday to begin my journey from my home in Stuart, Florida to Bimini, The Bahamas. I got a ride to the train station and then rode from West Palm Beach down to Miami International Airport and after successfully navigating the airport a friendly Lyft driver named…

Thank you, SHU!

Wow, did that Sacred Heart University program fly by! On Tuesday, we had some group class time and visited the Bimini Museum. We broke into teams and had an information “scavenger hunt,” searching for the answers to questions that DCP provided. We let our friendly competitive streaks come out before heading back for lunch and our dolphin trip! The weather conditions continued to be challenging, Still, we were able to stop at “The Bimini Road” (aka “Atlantis” or “Road to Atlantis”). After a short backstory on some of the interest in this particular snorkel site, we hopped in the water…to find pretty murky conditions. It was hard to see the rocks or the fish unless you dove down, and even…

Fish (and humans) are friends, not food!

On Monday we woke up early, nervous and excited about meeting the sharks – but soon after we left the dock, we saw a huge storm coming ahead. We were getting more nervous: sharks and lightning! We turned back toward home, stopping briefly to snorkel at “Shell Beach.” We saw an eagle ray, a blue tang, a barracuda, lots of parrotfish and lots of little transparent, white jellyfish. Only about 15 minutes after we got in the water, Captain Al called us back to the boat. The storm was moving too fast. We made it back to the dock….nearly. The skies opened up as Al pulled the boat into her slip and we ran back to the hotel to get…

Dolphins Among Rougher Seas

On Sunday, we were excited to see the sun and feel the warm rays. We headed to the Dolphin House and meet with a local Bimini man Ashley Saunders. We were impressed that he began working on the Dolphin house in 1993, and his family had been on Bimini for over 200 years. The house was all handmade and unique, made out of shells, pottery, seaglass. He used recycled materials and salvaged materials that he cleans up from the beaches. We were all interested in hearing his historical perspectives on Bimini. He explained about the population and the history of escaped and shipwrecked slaves. We also enjoyed hearing about why the palm trees were planted – to help with fresh…

Gang’s All Here!

On Saturday, we woke up to some pretty hefty rain and we weren’t optimistic that it could possibly clear up. But, we toughed it out and headed to the beach for our beach clean-up, even with darker skies threatening. The rain was light at the beginning and we were curious about the little moving things over the rocks – tiny (tiny!) snails and baby hermit crabs! We were expecting the beach to be quite clean – you imagine The Bahamas and you picture perfect, clean, white-sand beaches. Not the case. There were so many wrappers and disposable straws. Though there is no local recycling here, they do collect certain glass bottles to ship away for recycling/reuse. So, we kept those…

Long Travels and Cloudy Skies

Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to have Nicole back on Bimini and we’ve been busy the last few days prepping for our field course with Sacred Heart University. The group arrived on Friday 2 June and will be here until Thursday 8 June. So, all the DCP blogs will be written by them – Enjoy! -Kel On Friday, we all woke early in order to begin our journeys to Bimini – in fact, Colin started his trip Thursday night, from California! The SHU students traveled in different groups from the Northeast, finding each other along the way or in Fort Lauderdale. The group was scheduled to travel to Bimini together, but unfortunately an airline snafu left Jamie and Victoria stuck in…

Come to Bimini!

Spaces available on a last minute July 2017 Bimini Ecotour/Research Experience. Yes - next month! Details below: Sunday 2 July (first boat trip at 3 p.m.) - Friday 7 July (program ends after breakfast) $1875 per person Includes: 5 nights' accommodation (double occupancy), 5 boat trips (weather dependent), All meals (private cook!), Boat snacks, Drinking water, Rental snorkel gear, DCP talks, Bahamian tax (VAT) Not included: Transportation to/from Bimini, Transportation between airport/arrival port and hotel, Gratuity Email us if you'd like one of the few remaining spots! info{at}dcpmail{dot}org

Latest Newsletter!

The latest issue of The Dolphin Gazette - V21no2 - is ready for you! Click here to download your copy and read all about the start to our Bimini field season, our great team of interns and volunteers, data analysis and opportunities to join us in the field. It's going to be a great summer!!

Day of dolphins – without dolphins

Wednesday started pretty busy on Bimini! I packed my bag and headed to WildQuest to give a dolphin talk to their guests. A big thank you to the WildQuest family not only for the invitation, but also for the wonderful company, stories and questions. And, it was an honor to share mine with you! After a quick check-in at home, it was off to the Juliet for the second talk of the day. This time, I chatted with visiting high school students from the Sarasota, FL area. With the breeze whizzing through the door and the large vessel slowly swaying, I told the students about DCP, our research methods and dolphins in general. I hope they enjoyed the little session…

Thank you, Bahamas Bucket List for Divers, Bimini Edition!

True to his word, Captain Nate Riley has just donated proceeds from pre-orders of his awesome book, Bahamas Bucket List for Divers, Bimini Edition, to DCP! We know all his readers are going to love the book - including us! Thank you so much to Captain Nate and everyone who purchased this great dive guide! You can order your copy of Bahamas Bucket List of Divers, Bimini Edition here!

Why helllllllo, dolphins!

On Saturday, Daisy and the visiting students headed out in search of dolphins, but unfortunately came up empty. That didn’t diminish anyone’s spirits as we headed out again on Sunday. About an hour into the trip we saw a group of 13 dolphins; I recognized quite a few, but suspect they were the “transplants” from the northern Bahamas. We had nice surface and underwater observations of this group before they took off abruptly. Once we were back onboard the boat, we resumed our search and soon we were with 5 of the previous group of 13. It seemed the juveniles had split off from the others and we once again were able to observe them under water. It’s so much…

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

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