Data Collection – Behavior, Communication, Cognition!

Our day began just after first light with a film shoot, which delayed data collection and behavior observations. But, we had fun with the shoot. John had set up our porch to facilitate a roundtable conversation among Heather, Dee and me about our plans for our research throughout the week, especially our study with Teri to examine creativity in the dolphins here at RIMS. John was quite happy with the result and once done, sent us on our way to Bailey’s to continue data collection while he “wrapped the set.”
Dee, Heather and I enjoyed a swift water taxi ride to Bailey’s Key at about 7 AM to continue our baseline data collection to better understand how the dolphins use the various locations within their enclosure. After about 10 minutes of baseline data collection, I was ready to get in and collect more data with the MVA2. The dolphins were VERY social – both above and below the water surface. There was much vocal behavior and lots of tactile rubbing contact. And, there were numerous leaps near and far from Kathleen in the water.
A morning meeting with Teri followed a hurried breakfast. Happy Birthday to Teri and Maury!! We regrouped on Bailey’s Key to resume data collection on dolphin creativity and were able to work with four male and three female dolphins. We had a VERY productive day split into two sessions (morning, afternoon). A few rain squalls punctuated our day but the sun kept us warm and energized! While Kathleen and John returned to charge batteries and transfer footage between external hard drives, Heather and Dee remained on Bailey’s to collect data during a training session and more baseline date on spatial use of the habitat by dolphins in the afternoon.
The evening wrapped up (after a great dinner!) with us reviewing footage from the day, chatting about our game plan for tomorrow, and generally trying to keep our eyes open to (maybe) check a few emails before returning to our rooms and turning in for the evening! Tomorrow begins at about sunrise with more filming followed by more data!
Kathleen, John, Heather & Dee