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

Today’s Topic: Education

Wednesday started bright and early for Kel and the Trio as we began our day with an 8:30 am inflatable boat pick-up by the Captain of the Coral Reef II, the research vessel for the Shedd Aqaurium, and we were taken back out to sea where the ship was anchored and awaiting us. On this particular morning we were scheduled to do a DCP information session with the High School Marine Biology program students currently on board, and as usual, Kel delivered an enthralling presentation, and these awesome students were absolutely engaged, knowledgeable, and inquisitive. (We love this!) The Trio shared their different educational backgrounds and paths, career plans, and how they came to be interns for DCP, and fielded…

Rainstorms and Rainbows

We began our Tuesday morning with the usual office work of video logs and bottlenose ID. Except, this morning we were joined by Kel! We used the joint work time to get some questions answered and to confirm some new catalogue changes. We were very excited to be making significant progress on the bottlenose pictures and we’re hoping to keep updating the catalogue. Our morning of work passed and we had our lunch, then we got ready for the boat. We settled in with the guests on the boat, and we made our way out of the marina a little after 2 o’clock. After a quick sun-baked ride to Three Sisters, we were excited to hop in the water to…

Solo Success for the Trio

After such an awesome boat trip on Sunday, the DCP crew was very excited to get back on the water on Monday, after a morning of office work, of course. With a successful amount of work done, we, the interns, headed to the boat for their first solo trip, without either Kel or Nicole. However, thanks to their excellent teaching, we felt confident and ready to go. Once everybody was aboard the boat, we pushed off for a prompt 3pm departure. Unlike yesterday, we did not see dolphins as soon as we came out of the channel. Instead, after a long search, we were greeted by a group of spotted dolphins that included three juveniles, a sub-adult, and an adult…

New week, new adventures

If the first trip of the week is any indicator of how the rest of the week’s dolphin trips will go…then we may be headed into a phenomenal week.  Sunday’s trip kicked off the initial tour for this week’s Sea Crest group, and it was quite the experience on the water. Before we could even get out of the channel, exactly ten minutes after leaving the marina, we intercepted four, very large bottlenose dolphins, who to our amazement, decided they were in the mood to bowride our vessel, giving all of us a little unexpected thrill. After that brief, and somewhat unusual sighting, the guests, crew, and DCP researchers were all excited for the rest of the trip, and we…
Marie in the field
19 Jul 2017

2017-06-15 Amazon River Dolphin Field Research Update

  Dr. Marie Trone arrived back to the Amazon Dolphin Acoustics Lab (ADAL) in June 2017, to begin her summer field season.  While in the Peruvian Amazon, Marie plans to explore the high-frequency echolocation produced by the Amazon pink dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) and the gray dolphins (Sotalia fluviatillis), as well as study their behavior.  During the 2017 spring semester, her students devised an application to be used on 10” Android tablets that documents the locations of dolphins when sighted at the surface of the water.  Thus, the position and direction of travel of each dolphin documented in relation to the location of the hydrophone array, as well as size, color, energy level, swimming activity, and any special behavioral status such…

Landlubbers

Our first week without boat trips was a change of pace. We had more time to relax and explore the island, but it also offered us more time to take a significant chunk out of our video logs and bottlenose photo-ID. After a very productive work week, we capped it off with an eventful Friday and Saturday. On Friday, after a morning of work, we set off for the Bimini Biological Field Station (aka “Shark Lab”) around two. We took the water taxi over to South Bimini and rode our bike to the lab. We were a little early so it gave us the chance to bike around the island and see the houses and scenery. We arrived at the…

Adventures on the Coral Reef II

Sunday started early for the DCP team (Kel, Nicole, Tori, Patrick, and Kaiya) as we were met on the beach at 8:15 am by a small, inflatable boat that delivered us to the Coral Reef II, Shedd Aquarium's research and education vessel, that was anchored offshore. Though we arrived jostled and wet, we received a warm welcome from the students that are currently calling the boat home. Everybody gathered around tables inside while Kel presented about DCP's work in Bimini, The Bahamas. The students were able to learn about our methodology, past research, future goals, the local populations of bottlenose and spotteds, and how we use photo ID to catalog the dolphins. The students were very knowledgeable and engaged and…

Last full day with DCP guests!

We woke up Thursday morning and immediately began working on some of our video logs and bottlenose ID. After knocking a large portion of our work out, we took a break for lunch and to get ready for the boat. Meanwhile, Kel and Nicole led a discussion this morning about ecotourism and the island with this week’s guests. We have had small exchanges about this topic, so it was nice to have a formal talk about this very important matter. We then made our way to the marina and boarded the boat. Unfortunately, today was our last day with this group and Nicole on board. Given the circumstances, we were hoping for a fantastic send-off for everyone’s last day. To…

Bimini Beach Clean-Up and Dolphin Observations!

Wednesday had a different start than our days so far on Bimini. We met DCP's eco tour guests near the Sea Crest for a morning of beach clean-up. We all grabbed our trash bags, put on our gloves, and spread out along the sand in search of debris. As we worked, we discussed with the guests our conflicting feelings about the morning's activity. On one hand we were happy to be helping pick up the garbage in order to maintain a healthy environment, both on and off the shore. But on the other hand, we were disappointed that there was so much trash to be picked up in the first place. We could tell that much of the trash had…

Rain, Research and a Tiger!

The Trio awoke to a stormy Tuesday morning, but that didn’t stop us from getting down to the Sea Crest for Nicole’s presentation of her Master’s project, to the DCP Eco-tour group eagerly awaiting her. After a rainy morning of scientific research discussion, enhanced by all the brilliant minds in the room, we went into lunch motivated and enlightened from such a wonderful educational experience. We were determined to make the best of this 4th of July, regardless of the weather, so we headed home to grab our gear, and then it was back to the dock for our 3pm boat departure. To everyone’s delight, the rain held off for a while, and we were presented with a beautiful afternoon…

Shallow reef creatures and dolphins!

Our Monday began at the Sea Crest with our current ecotour group. Kel led a morning information session about the dolphin population around Bimini and photo-ID techniques to demonstrate how the DCP team identifies each individual. Those who were interested in helping us with the bottlenose ID, that we have been working on for the past few days, stuck around to get a few pointers from Kaiya and Patrick; during this, Tori worked on getting software for her computer to help us all continue to efficiently make progress. Nicole also supplied a birthday pastry to help the DCP team and the group to wish Kel a very happy birthday! After doing some work of our own we headed back home…

A great weekend!

Friday, June 30th, began the weekend for the DCP team. Working half days allowed us (Patrick, Tori, and Kaiya) to begin to explore the island that we are currently calling home. On Friday we took a break from the water to bike north to restock our groceries and hunt down our first round of Bimini Bread. Apart from Patrick's flat tire, it was an enjoyable and productive day. However, by the time Saturday rolled around, we were itching to get back into the water. After diligently working on our office tasks, we took a snorkel trip around the southern tip of North Bimini. To our extreme delight, a squadron of four cuttlefish appeared out of the blue. We watched as…

Is The Trio getting spoiled?

We kicked Thursday morning off by starting our newly implemented DCP work routine of photo ID sorting and data entry. To the delight of the Trio (Patrick, Tori & Kaiya), Kel joined us for an increased group work effort, and answer any questions we might have at this point.  After a quick lunch break, it was off to the dock for our afternoon boat ride in search of the dolphins. Once aboard the boat with Nicole, Captain Al, Captain Audley, and the eco-tour guests, Thursday turned out to be quite the day for dolphin encounters! Our journey began with a snorkel trip to Bimini Road, where everyone was delighted with their experience in the crystal clear water…it was so inviting,…

Birthday Dolphins….and rays, fish, jellies, pastry…

Patrick, Tori, and Kaiya started their Wednesday with an early AM snorkel off the “Galant Lady.” Getting in the water first thing in the morning was something we’ve all been eager to do, and this was the perfect morning to do it!  Among the highlights of the snorkel were an apprehensive barracuda, a stingray, some split-crown feather dusters, some comb jellies, as well as an assortment of colorful fish.  After that, it was time to get some coffee and get to work. After working on some of the Bimini dolphin photo-ID logs, and data entry for a few hours, it was time to break for lunch and then head over to the Sea Crest, where Kel was hosting a DCP…

The Trio’s First Full Day

Tuesday marks The Trio’s first full day in the field! Our morning was spent with Nicole dropping by to outline our goals for the summer. We began working on yesterday’s data entry and some bottlenose photo-ID. The morning quickly passed and we made ourselves some lunch. We then immediately went to the boat for our introductions and a quick overview of our boat regulations and protocol. We were introduced to the eco-tour group that we will be joining this week. Our trip began differently than usual by heading to Triangle Rocks for a quick shark dive (to Tori’s extreme delight!). We hopped in and saw a few reef and sharpnose sharks. Most swam by rather quickly but one was quite…

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Dolphin Communication Project
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