Little is known about how often dolphins come into the Chesapeake Bay, how long they spend there, what areas they are using and why. The DolphinWatch team has been detecting dolphin calls in the Bay and citizen scientists have reported more than 1,000 dolphin sightings since 2017 on the Chesapeake DolphinWatch mobile app and website. Amber Fandel and Lauren Rodriguez, members of the DolphinWatch team, will share what they have learned about the Bay’s dolphins so far, describe the sighting app, and explain how you can participate in this research effort.


Amber Fandel has been researching dolphin behavior in the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory since 2017. She has worked with dolphins since 2012, and has been a part of conservation efforts across the U.S. Amber is pursuing her graduate degree at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and obtained her undergraduate degree in biology and marine biology from Occidental College in Los Angeles in 2010.

Lauren Rodriguez: Lauren served as a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) fellow for Dr. Helen Bailey in 2019, the head scientist of dolphin research at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory. Lauren continued researching bottlenose dolphins in the Chesapeake Bay as an independent project at her undergraduate university, Michigan State, where she graduated last year with a bachelor’s degree in zoology. Lauren is now pursuing a master’s in Marine and Estuarine Environmental Science alongside Amber at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory.


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