Featured project: Dolphinpalooza

Jai Ranganathan

The featured #SciFund Challenge project this time around is Dolphinpalooza by Erin Ashe.

Ready for some dolphins? Dolphinpalooza has some astonishing video of Pacific white-sided dolphins off of the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Dolphins swimming seemingly just yards away from the camera. Dolphins leaping in the air.  Dolphins making the most impressive vocalizations. And it’s all in the service of conservation.

Jumping dolphin
This dolphin is jumping for joy because of the #SciFund Challenge.

Erin is a marine biologist and she in the middle of her doctorate in biology at at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. She’s also a co-founder of the Oceans Initiative, which focuses on the research and conservation of marine mammals in Canada. Her research focuses on understanding the population trends in the Pacific white-sided dolphin in British Columbia. Though the species is abundant there now, no one really knows what is happening with their numbers.

That’s where Erin comes in. Using unique identifying marks on the dorsal fins of these dolphins, she is monitoring the fate of the species. And she is determining how isolated these dolphins are,  by comparing the vocalizations of these individuals with the vocal “dialect” used by Pacific white-sided dolphin up and down the Pacific Coast.

So, a really neat project with an important conservation impact. And awesome footage of dolphins leaping in the air. What more could you want? Check out Dolphinpalooza!