Happy Birthday Annalisa!

This morning’s data collection was AWEOME. There was much social activity at the surface, but it was slow, except when the dolphins were jumping and speed swimming. Gracie and Calli’s calves were playing with each other. Ronnie and Poli were together most of the session. We had many observations to fill our data sheets this morning. After breakfast, we spent the morning watching the video data from two mornings ago and this morning’s session. We practiced our ID skills to recognize the dolphins in the videos … we are remembering more than we realized. Late morning had a presentation on coral reef restoration from Jen during which we learned about the coral nursery off Anthony’s Key. It is refreshing that we might have a way to regrow the reefs more swiftly than previously thought!

Lunch was followed by a presentation by Samir Galindo about the resort and the education and conservation programs AKR and RIMS support and promote. Then we discussed our projects with Drs. K and D. And, we got the second training/observation session at Bailey’s Key with Teri and her team and the dolphins.

Our highlights are below.

Sophia – it was a really fun, giggly day and I had such a wonderful time getting to interact with the dolphins.

Sia – the dolphins were more active today during morning observations than yesterday which was nice to wake up to. And I really enjoyed the coral restoration talk.

Lindsey – Having to tell a dolphin no when they offer you seagrass has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. Otherwise, the observations were great and I had a great day.

Elena – it was very cool to see mother dolphins actively playing with their calves at the surface this morning during data collection. And the dolphin training with Maury (dolphin) was very interesting and insightful and showed how intelligent these creatures are.

Beck – it was informative to learn about coral degradation as well as reintroduction and to use critical thinking in figuring out what our final projects will be. And it was fun to learn more about Elli and Gracie during afternoon observations.

Peyton – Coral restoration is a topic I’m passionate about so it was exciting to learn more about the coral restoration here at RIMS.

Nicole – Seeing the dolphin training up close was truly eye-opening but it’s sad that tomorrow is our last full day.

Nate – Sitting in on the dolphin training session was a lot of fun and learning about new techniques for coral restoration was inspiring.

Caroline – I have a hatred for dance competitions just like Manon’s hatred of cilantro.

Bri – My favorite part of the day was getting to meet Maury and learning about her personality. Teri is an amazing trainer and it was an honor to learn from her.

Sofia – it was very rewarding to see that the dolphins are getting more comfortable with the students’ presence and watch their increasing interaction with us.

Katy – the morning observations were very busy with lots of surface activity, and taking to Dante, the trainer, during a session this afternoon was very interesting and inspiring.

Bailey – I enjoyed getting to observe feeding of some of the mother dolphins up close. I finally feel like I’m starting to get the hang of identifying some of the dolphins.

Laurel – I loved learning more about the coral reef restoration efforts being made here at RIMS. Samir’s talk and the passion he expressed for the education at RIMS and his family’s commitment to supporting the local community was inspiring.

Manon – morning session with a lot of interesting behavior from our dolphins …

Paige – speaking with Samir privately sent me down an entire path of new ideas in which we can positively impact this beautiful island

Dr. Z. – although for the first time I had my birthday without my family I’m grateful I could spend it in good company and with friends!

Dr. K. – Happy Birthday Annalisa!

And, as you read above, we celebrated Dr. Z’s birthday today with a yummy cake!

Tomorrow is our last full day here at AKR with DCP.

Until then,

Team Naturally Selected