Hi! My name is Ms. Thompson. I am a third grade teacher at the Collegiate School in New York. Join me as I study bottlenose dolphins in the waters of Greece!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Meet the Team

Here is Joan preparing the boat for our journey. He is from Barcelona, Spain.

Panni is teaching Cas how to input data into the palmtop computer. Panni is from Budapest, Hungary and Cas is from The Netherlands.

Stephan is demonstrating his skills at skipping stones across the water of the Amvrakikos Gulf.
Stephan is from Switzerland.

Marie-Claire is strolling along the beach looking for the perfect stone to skip. She is also from The Netherlands.

Looking for Dolphins

Today was our first day out at sea. I saw alot of dolphins. I wasn't able to take any pictures today because Joan kept us all busy, busy, busy! Once he selected our focal group we had to shout out when we spotted a dolphin. We each had our positions on the boat. I watched the front right quarter, Marie-Claire watched the front left, Cas watched the rear left, and Stephan watched the rear right while he also collected data on the palmtop. We used a very specific system for identifying the position of the dolphin in relationship to the boat. We couldn't just shout out, "I see one over there," because Joan would not have any idea where "there" was and he needed to take photos of the dolphins we saw.
How do you think we identified the area in which a dolphin was spotted?

Another thing we watched for was bird activity above the water. A lot of birds in one spot is a good sign that dolphins are feeding in the area. Why do you think that is? Some birds we saw today were the seagull, tern, and pelican.

This was a very full first day! I look forward to sharing tomorrow with you and to reading your responses.


At April 18, 2010 at 4:58 PM , Anonymous Paulina said...

Because a lot of times birds fly to make it pretty and usually dolphins eat when the birds fly.

At April 18, 2010 at 9:46 PM , Anonymous Alex Ragone said...

Can't wait to see how things go. Love the pictures and writing so far!

At April 19, 2010 at 10:46 AM , Anonymous 3Z said...

3Z thinks that you could make the front center of the boat 12:00 and 180 degrees around to the back center is 6:00. Then someone would shout, for example, "Dolphin at 1:00!"

At April 19, 2010 at 11:59 AM , Anonymous Shashi and 1D said...

Hi Mrs. Thompson. It's 1D!
It was so great to see you this morning. We think that the birds fly over where the dolphins are feeding because the birds and the dolphins eat the same fish. We are wondering...before you got to the research center, did you have any trouble communicating with the greek people? Were you nervous to be alone? We are so happy you are doing this. Good luck. Talk to you soon. xoxo 1D

At April 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM , Anonymous David C. said...

Keep up the great work!

At April 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM , Anonymous 3Z said...

3Z thinks the birds are a good sign because the big fish push the small fish to the top. The birds eat the small fish and the dolphins come to eat the small fish, too.

At April 19, 2010 at 2:16 PM , Blogger Margaret said...

Hi Mrs. Thompson - this is 2B West and we are in the Library.
We just read a book, Dolphins on the Sand by Jim Arnosky.
The Dolphins got stranded on a sandbar and they needed help getting back. Some people came to rescue them by putting them in a lagoon,because sharks were in the ocean and they were too weak to defend themselves. When the dolphins came out of the lagoon, they swam away in the ocean. Have you seen any dolphins stranded?

At April 19, 2010 at 2:21 PM , Blogger mhutchinson said...

The boat does look rather small. The skype went very well on Monday. You sounded like you have learned so much!

At April 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love looking at sea animals. simon

At April 19, 2010 at 2:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am suprised you could not take pictures of the dolphins.

ben y.

At April 19, 2010 at 3:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs. Thompson!

After we talked about your questions, Nicholas wrote up some answers on our blog. Check it out and see if we were right!



At April 20, 2010 at 8:10 AM , Blogger Nicole T. said...

I like your answer. The birds fly over the spot where dolphins are feeding because they want to eat the fish that the dolphins are catching. The dolphins do all of the work while the birds steal their food! I love you and I am so happy that you are following my blog.

At April 20, 2010 at 8:14 AM , Blogger Nicole T. said...


You guys are amazing! I can't believe you figured that out. Along with the position we would also shout out the distance. For example, I might yell, "Two dolphins-1:00-100meters. Try using this system to point out things in the classroom. The front of the classroom can be 12:00 and the back is 6:00. Great job. It was nice seeing you guys yesterday and your questions were very good.

At April 20, 2010 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Nicole T. said...

Shashi and 1D,

At first I was nervous, but so many people were willing to help me an that made me feel really comfortable. A lot of people in Athens spoke English and if they didn't they were still pleasant. From the time I arrived at the airport to the time I got to Vonitsa people have helped to make this journey easier. A man in the airport helped me with my luggage and I didn't even ask him to. My cab driver explained what to do when I got to the bus station and where I should go to get my ticket.

When I went to the bus station to get my ticket to Vonitsa everybody had trouble understanding me, it felt very strange. I actually had a map of Greece with Vonitsa circled on it and I pointed to it to let the ticket agent know where I wanted to go.

Now that I am with my research team it has been quite easy because we all speak English. It gets more difficult when I am on my own in the village because most of the people who live here speak Greek. The people in the town are very nice though.

At April 20, 2010 at 8:26 AM , Blogger Nicole T. said...

2B West,

I have not seen any dolphins stranded and I hope that I do not. If I do I will do what I can to help them. That book sounds very interesting-I will have to read it when I get back. What kind of dolphins were they?

At April 20, 2010 at 7:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs.Thompson I'm blogging from my house. I hope you don't run into any stranded dolphins too. Have you seen any shark's? By the way that was not my qeustion it was my dads. What is it like to be in Greece I hope you don't get lost. Are there any money differences? Have a fun time and make it last. Found anything about the Greek God's? From Aidan.H

At April 21, 2010 at 1:32 PM , Blogger Nicole T. said...

I can't believe you are blogging from your house! Tell your dad I have not seen any sharks and hopefully we won't. Greece is beautiful. So far I have not gotten lost, but the streets in the village are confusing and I can't read the signs. The money here is different and that has been a big obstacle for me. The Euro is worth more than the dollar so everything costs more American money than Greek money. See, you do need math in the real world! I have not found out anything about Greek gods yet, but I will keep listening. Joan does have a dog name Poseidon though. We call him Posse. See you soon.


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