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

Well, came up with some bottlenose

On Saturday, things finally lined up: boats were in order, captain was free and the seas were calm. We headed out in search of “Lamda” (DCP ID#104). Lamda grew up around Bimini, but stranded far from home in late Aug 2018; he was rescued, rehabilitated and released with a satellite tag (read all about it here and here). But, the satellite data was weak for the last several days; the few points that were coming in were really bad quality, which means they didn’t provide reliable information about Lamda’s location. Still, with email access sorted on my phone, we headed out. Turns out the weather was fantastic. But, no satellite data came in. So, we searched as we normally do…

Finding Lamda

While we wait to see "Lamda" (DCPID#104) again, we thought you'd like to see how he was doing during our January observation. The video isn't edited - just the real recording of how he was swimming (great, by the way). The rescue, rehab, release and monitoring of this guy has been a serious team effort involving: Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organization, The Wild Dolphin Project, Atlantis Bahamas and the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program. We're hoping to see more of #104 soon. And certainly during our 2019 Bimini field season, which begins in April. If you want to come search for Lamda with us, snag one of the remaining spaces on our 30 Jun - 5 July 2019 eco-tour! Click here for…

Want to be a DCP Intern?

We're now accepting applications! There isn't much time - the deadline is 1 March. Click here to read all about our summer internship program. Office and field portions are required. Office portion is completed in Port Saint Lucie, FL, USA and field portion is completed in Bimini, The Bahamas. Interns must be proficient with Microsoft Word and Excel, have a strong attention to detail, be able to work well both independently and in small teams, be flexible and be comfortable in hot weather, on a boat and swimming in open water. Proficiency in English is a requirement. We understand that letters of recommendation often take time to acquire. If you need more time for your letter(s) of recommendation, please request…

Back in the classrooms!

On Tuesday, I had a chance to get back into a few Bimini classrooms. This time, I was joined by my friend, Jillian Morris, Founder and President of Sharks4Kids. We visited students in Grades 2, 3 and 4. We chatted about the importance of the ocean, compared (& contrasted!) dolphins and sharks, and we all agreed that Jillian and I can in fact be friends, even though she studies sharks and I study dolphins. In fact, the students even decided that one person can like both! After all, sharks aren’t the bad guys of the sea and dolphins are pretty tough and cool too. Thank you to the teachers and principal of Bimini Primary - and of course, the students!…
Data Collection at DE - Day 1, 2019
07 Feb 2019

Data Collection at DE - Day 1, 2019

Our team arrived late yesterday to Nassau for 3 packed days of research. Our team includes Heather, Jill, and Donna who joined Kathleen for this field session at Blue Lagoon Island, home of Dolphin Encounters. We are here to collaborate with Te-Shalla and Destaney in collecting data on whether dolphins express a choice in receiving a single fish versus a jackpot of fish in advance of studying whether they will choose the larger amount after a delay or the single fish immediately. We did lots of standing and observing and watching dolphins. It was the best way to spend our day! Among friends and with dolphins! We also toured a bit of the island and enjoyed a delicious lunch. (the…
DCP’s RIMS Summary - January 2019
22 Jan 2019

DCP’s RIMS Summary - January 2019

I spent a VERY productive three weeks on Roatan at Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR) collecting data on the dolphins at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS). I was joined by two student groups – one (14 students) from Colorado State University (CSU) and one (11 students) from the University of Rhode Island (URI). Thank you to Dr. K (CSU) and Dr. R (URI) for continuing to collaborate with me and DCP and co-teaching students on topics focused on animal behavior and physiology. (Thank you also to Ron B. and his family for participating in some of DCP’s first week programs on this field session!) During my third week in the field this month, I was joined by Heather, Dee…
Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!
18 Jan 2019

Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!

Another early day was greeted by overcast skies and some choppy sea conditions. The underwater visibility was still good and I was able to collect another 30 minutes of underwater video of the dolphins at Bailey’s Key. They were much more subdued as compared with yesterday! And, because there was still a bit of a current, though crossing differently from yesterday, the dolphins seemed to stay close to the shore area. The males were chasing one another while there was much infant swimming by the females and their calves and the younger females, too. We stayed at Bailey’s after my underwater data collection to welcome Teri and continue with our innovative data collection. And, Heather and Dee worked diligently to…
Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!
18 Jan 2019

Shifting Currents, Invigorating Winds, and Dolphins!

Another early day was greeted by overcast skies and some choppy sea conditions. The underwater visibility was still good and I was able to collect another 30 minutes of underwater video of the dolphins at Bailey’s Key. They were much more subdued as compared with yesterday! And, because there was still a bit of a current, though crossing differently from yesterday, the dolphins seemed to stay close to the shore area. The males were chasing one another while there was much infant swimming by the females and their calves and the younger females, too. We stayed at Bailey’s after my underwater data collection to welcome Teri and continue with our innovative data collection. And, Heather and Dee worked diligently to…
A Very Busy Day!
17 Jan 2019

A Very Busy Day!

We started the day early with an aerial view of Heather, Dee and I traveling by water taxi to Bailey’s Key for data collection. I had a ~26 min morning data collection session in which Meredith and Sarah, two trainers from RIMS, joined our observations. They got in the water also and it was funny to watch the dolphins react to their presence! A very social group of dolphins became even more social and very vocal! There was much circle swimming around Meredith and Sarah and much social rubbing, also! To use anthropomorphic terms – it seemed like the dolphins got a huge treat with additional early morning visitors!The rest of our morning was spent collecting data for the dolphin…
Sun, Rain, Clear and silty visibility – the day ran the gamut!
16 Jan 2019

Sun, Rain, Clear and silty visibility – the day ran the gamut!

We had another action film shoot to start our day – walking to the water taxi and arriving to the dock at Bailey’s before we set up for data collection. The light and sun and clouds were cooperative for the shoot. I even got a full session of underwater video data collection this morning and we collected baseline spatial use data and the before, during, and after data collection sessions around my observational data collection. Dory was my buddy for a good portion of the observation session – you can see her in the blog photo checking me out this morning!We stayed at Baileys once our early morning video data session was complete to wait for the trainers and be…
Data Collection – Behavior, Communication, Cognition!
15 Jan 2019

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…
Research took Center Stage today!
14 Jan 2019

Research took Center Stage today!

The really great underwater visibility was available again today. And, the dolphins were quite social this morning! Luckily, Champ, Lenca and Ronnie were playing together and Ritchie, Bill and Stan were hanging out together. Only Stan paid extra attention to my fins. I was also able to record some tactile contact between Callie and Tilly and Bailey and Tank were often accompanied by Poli and Elli during their swims. After the first early morning data collection session, Heather, Dee and I brainstormed about additional data collection and we also spent time discussing the film angles with John. He is doing a short video piece about our research here at RIMS and will get a few conversational interview clips from us.…
URI group departure, More researchers arrive
13 Jan 2019

URI group departure, More researchers arrive

Today was a shift day but before shifting (so to speak), we had data collection! The URI team did another surface observation data collection while I observed and videotaped the dolphins underwater. The visibility was again VERY good. And, I watched Ritchie and Stan jaw and play with each other while Dory and Callie each played with seaweed. The URI team had a tasty breakfast (the photo is of the group on the overlook adjacent to the restaurant!) and then packed up their gear for the return trek to New England and Rhode Island. A last few minutes of catching sun rays or paddle boarding rounded out the morning before everyone donned socks, sneakers and long pants for the flights…
Close Encounters of the Dolphin Kind!
12 Jan 2019

Close Encounters of the Dolphin Kind!

Our day began with very high winds and a seemingly strong underwater current. Our surface observations went much smoother this morning – practice makes perfect! The strong current was confirmed by Kathleen once she began underwater observations. The dolphin activity at the surface was very quiet – very little activity. That said, we were surprised that the gates between pools were partially open. We learned the facility did this to avoid a buildup of sargassum seaweed in the different pools. After a hearty breakfast, we did our dolphin encounter with Alita and her trainer Brooke. After our meet-and-greet encounter, we had a 30-minute swim with the dolphins. Poli, Elli, Callie, and Tank all played with us with seaweed, sea grass,…
Data Collection is Hard!
10 Jan 2019

Data Collection is Hard!

We learned it’s important to have multiple people collecting data from different perspectives to compare similarities and differences – especially with the surface observations we collect around Kathleen’s data collection in the morning at Bailey’s Key. Late this afternoon, we just reviewed the reliability between our teams for data collection of surface activity and we did not really match that well (oops!). But, we have learned much about collecting these data.Our morning began as usual with data collection while Kathleen observed the dolphins underwater. After breakfast, we listened to her give an insightful lecture about DCP and dolphin communication and cognition. Then, after her talk, we discussed a scientific paper that required a severe critical eye – we found several…

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Dolphin Communication Project
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