A long day in the classroom

Today was the first overcast morning for data collection, which was a welcome relief for everyone standing on the docks collecting surface observations and space use data. This morning had dolphin subgroups in small patches with mom/calf pairs swimming near one another but not much social activity at the surface. Underwater, there was lots of socio-sexual rubbing and chasing ongoing. After a hearty breakfast, we spent the morning in the classroom learning about marine mammalogy and science processes with a preliminary introduction to dive physiology. We also discussed dolphin behavior to start the morning classroom session with short video vignettes of unique dolphin actions. With these videos, Shane introduced the concept that no matter how long we observe the dolphins we often have odd actions or behaviors that often defy explanation. After giving our brains a workout in the morning, we had a nourishing lunch and then reviewed the AM video data to practice dolphin IDs and to discuss more about dolphin behavior before returning to dive physiology. We also had a beginning chat about our projects. We are to either create a PSA abut a topic we learn on Roatan that can be applied to the CSU community. Or we can develop a research proposal that examines a behavioral indicator of physiology. We needed help figuring out what exactly a behavioral indicator of physiology might be … our jumping jacks did that as well as warmed us up in the chilly classroom!

The late afternoon gave us a presentation by Chris and Dave on statistics and data science. We had an hour of free time between their talk and dinner. Discussions were lively at dinner!

Isabella – I did yoga at sunset, which was relaxing.

Memphis – Me and Nat enjoyed the pool for our break before dinner.

Natalie – I enjoyed hearing perspectives about different aspects of research today.

Kiki – I actually really enjoyed learning about statistics and data science. It was very interesting and very cool.

Hattie – I’m glad I brought my Kit Kats to the classroom.

Sydney – I was greeted by a bunch of dolphins this morning.

Hannah – I liked hearing about Dr. Kanatous’ research with marine animals.

Blake – Learning about all the different aspects of marine biology today was very interesting.

Grace – I learned lots of big new science words and I enjoyed learning more about marine animals.

Mel – I got really good at taking pano photos today.

Aria – I had a really fun time learning about marine mammals and research and about peoples’ weird sleep habits.

Julia – I enjoyed learning about physiology of animals in different climates.

Shane – Good conversations today.

Manon – I enjoyed listening to the different conversations between Shane, Chris, Dave and the students.

Kathleen was pleasantly surprised by the huge crowd at her presentation on dolphin cognition last night. And we look forward to our dolphin encounter and swim tomorrow morning!

Until then,


The Waterproof Rams