My friends, family, coworkers, and classmates all know that I have a profound passion for marine mammals, especially dolphins, since I was about 5 years old. The day I graduated the fifth grade, I told everyone that I was going to be a marine biologist, and this holds true to this very day. I want to make a difference in the world and protect different dolphin populations globally while learning everything that there is to possibly know about them.
I am so incredibly excited to say that I was one of five individuals that were accepted to a program called The Namibian Dolphin Project during the month of August!!!!! During this month, I will be working on board a research vessel off the coast of Africa doing a variety of activities including (but not limited to):
•Assisting in running research vessel (6m RIB) and research station
• Visual surveys to investigate dolphin distribution
• Above-water photo ID of cetaceans and photo processing for analysis
• Above water genetic sampling of dolphin and whale species and basic processing of samples for storage
• Behavioral sampling of bottlenose dolphins
• Acoustic monitoring of bottlenose dolphin vocalizations
• Static acoustic monitoring of dolphins using CPOD’s to monitor presence and behavior in key habitats
I have been dreaming of doing something like this for a very long time and I cannot believe that my goals and aspirations are finally coming true!
Unfortunately, like most breath-taking experiences, there comes a price. The cost of my program is 23,999 Rand which is the equivalent of about $2,400. This money will cover my accommodation, meals, program related travel and all training activities. However this doesn't include airfare which I will also be paying for (about another 2 grand). Being a college student with only a seasonal job makes this quite the challenge but I'm determined to get there one way or another! That's where you come in! Even the smallest of contributions helps and I will be so unbelievably grateful for every bit! Thank you so much, and your donations will never go unnoticed!
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