A sea filled with white caps

Two English Classes at the Mikura School

Today, I mixed a walk to the park to view the sea surface and wave condition with participation in two classes with students at the Mikura School with finishing the video logs for dolphin IDs. The weather has not changed, except that the sea was covered with white caps and the wind was up (decreased tonight).

For every hour of data that I collect, there is at least 20-30 hours of analysis time. First we log the tapes to know when dolphins are in view and when not as well as which dolphins we are observing. So far I have recorded about 5.5 hours of data and I finished logging the tapes today. I have also confirmed the dolphin IDs from out population records with two other researchers, at least. We do this for a reliability check to be sure we have the right dolphin that we are watching. After the video logs, then we do a focal follow analysis of all the behaviors of each dolphin that we have recorded. Then, we examine the tapes for specific behavioral events (e.g., pectoral fin rubs) with respect to the identified dolphins involved and associated information (e.g., general activity, group type). One of the next steps is to digitize the dolphin sounds while watching the video and listening through headphones so that we can identify the vocalizing dolphin in as many cases as possible. These sounds are then analyzed spectrographically with measurements taken for each whistle. We also have the echolocation click data that has been recorded at two frequencies (70 and 120 kHz). This list does not include the statistics, the background literature searches, the grant writing, the report and summary preparation and the sharing of information with colleagues or others at symposiums or in lectures.

But, I love the process … by analyzing the data we find potential patterns in behavior or sounds. We can better understand the functions, messages and meanings of the signals that dolphins use to share information, or to communicate.

On that note, I will leave you till tomorrow.