Last Full Day in Roatan!

Data collection began at 6:15 since we were all in position to conduct space use scans. We did baseline and before sessions and then Kathleen entered the water for observations with the MVA4 and GoPros. John was piloting the drone for our ground-truthing video. The session was another shorter session since the younger males and subadult males decided Kathleen’s fins were great toys! Her desire to be ignored was not met today.

Our morning after breakfast was spent reviewing video and listening to Samir Galindo, General Manager of AKR, speak about his experiences and history with AKR. We learned much about his family and the resort. Lunch followed after which Kathleen gave a presentation about dolphin cognition and then Teri joined us to speak about operant conditioning and training with positive reinforcement. Our evening meal wrapped up with song and chocolate cake for Bella, whose birthday is tomorrow. Happy Birthday!!

After dinner, we practiced more dolphin IDs, wrote our final blog impressions (see below) and perused some DCP swag.

Paige – It was very interesting learning about what goes into training dolphins.

Lauren – Applying operant conditioning to our study here was very exciting because it is an extremely important aspect of my major.

Maeley – I had a fun time asking the manager (Samir) of the resort our questions and getting to know about his time here.

Bella – Learning about the dolphin training was really cool. Also the birthday cake tasted delicious.

Nick – Learning about dolphins’ cognitive ability is very interesting and I also had a great time getting to know everybody over the trip.

Gabby – I thought it was interesting (because I’ve not ever gone on a walk with all little critters around where I was walking) walking backwards through the shallow part of our snorkel this late afternoon so we could start swimming.

Daniel – It was fun seeing all the dolphins jumping and playing and just being rambunctious, even though it cut data collection short.

Holly – My favorite part of the day was collecting space use data with Paige and watching Stan circle swimming around Kathleen.

Sara – Very sad to be leaving tomorrow but am optimistic that I may be back soon for an internship (hope to see you soon, Teri, the dolphin trainer).

Madi – I am very thankful for this opportunity and appreciate all the hard work that the professors and staff put into it.

Traci – Although today was very bittersweet knowing it was our last full day, I feel very grateful to have (finally) made it out here and for all of the friendships I’ve made.

Eli – It was a good week.

Olivia – Teri’s talk was wonderful because it inspired my project idea.

Manon – I’m glad everybody had questions for Samir. I hope everyone enjoyed the week. Safe travel home tomorrow.

Bill – Dolphin Air developed a technical problem but for the brave actions of the pilot resulted in a successful landing.

John – Happy World Ocean Day Eve!

Shane – Final day of an excellent trip with a great group of students. We’re very proud of the exceptional ideas for their final projects.

We have one more data collection session tomorrow before we begin our trek home.


CSU Rams Mother Flippers (MF-ers)

P.S. we got two really great group photos with John’s help with the drone. See the featured image as well as the making of the image below.