DolphinWatch

About our team

Dr. Helen Bailey

Photo by Cheryl Nemazie

Dr. Bailey is an associate research professor at Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. She studies spatial ecology, movement ecology, habitat use and selection modeling, and assessing environmental impacts of offshore energy activities. As part of her research, she examined where leatherback turtles go in their "Lost Years", a period between when they leave their nesting beach as hatchlings and the time they reach maturity in an effort to reduce potentially harmful impacts of human activities on the vulnerable turtles. She also joined a team of scientists to create WhaleWatch, which uses satellites to monitor environmental conditions and track the movements of blue, fin, gray, and humpback whales. The system produces monthly maps of blue whale "hotspots" to alert ships where there may be an increased risk of encountering these endangered whales.

For DolphinWatch, Dr. Bailey and her team have been installing underwater microphones, called hydrophones, to collect data on dolphin distribution. These hydrophones record dolphin calls allowing researchers to collect high-resolution data on dolphin occurrence without invading their space. Dolphins use echolocation clicks to find food and navigate. They also whistle to communicate with one another.

Whether you’re at home, whether you have a community pier, or you live near the water, or you go out on the water, we need your eyes on the sea telling us where are the dolphins.

Dr. Helen Bailey

Collaborators

Jessica Wingfield and Leila Fouda surveyed the Chesapeake Bay for bottlenose dolphins from the air on April 27 with help from SouthWings pilot Ron Baker.

SouthWings

Fred Jett

HDR Inc.

Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project, Georgetown University: The Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project was initiated in 2015 and is dedicated to understanding bottlenose dolphin abundance, distribution, behavior, and health in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. We ask questions such as why do dolphins come into the Potomac and Chesapeake, which mid-Atlantic populations do they belong to, and do the same animals return year after year. By answering questions like these, we aim to aid in the protection and conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay area and along the mid-Atlantic coast.

Chesapeake Bay Trust