DCP – CSU Field Course 2017 Wrap-up!

The DCP-CSU group spent a week at Anthony’s Key Resort from 31 December 2016 to 7 January 2017! The main purpose of this trip to Anthony’s Key Resort was to introduce six graduate/undergraduate students to fieldwork and data collection, preliminary data processing, behavior and physiology studies,  conservation programs, application/analysis of data collected, and general critical thinking. The students participated in snorkel sessions, lectures, informal discussions, and in situ observations of dolphin behavior and collection of non-invasive physiological data (i.e., respiration and surfacing rates).

A total of ~180 minutes of video data were collected with the MVA2 and another ~3 hrs of data were collected with a GoPro camera mounted to the top of the MVA2. Sessions were conducted in the morning between 07:00 AM and 11:30 AM, depending on the day and other programs scheduled. The SM2M+ unit was still recording when recovered; ~28 GB of acoustic data were collected during this two-month deployment. Data are being uncompressed and readied for analysis. With DCP volunteers and interns, I’ll be processing these data over the next several months to confirm each dolphin ID on the video screen, to document how many minutes each dolphin is in view, and to examine behavioral interaction. We’ll also be looking at their vocal activity for any periodicity from this and previous SM2M deployments.

The students from this program are also reviewing the respiration/surfacing data they collected to confirm the amount of data and approach they plan to take on analyses and report preparation. We’ll keep our DCP supporters informed of their results in a future blog or issue of the Dolphin Gazette!

Overall, our program was a resounding success! We look forward to future programs with CSU and students!