Thursday 19 July 2012

George Cambanis is interning with our project for the month of July.  He's from Greece and currently studying in Chicago, USA.

1 week in Walvis Bay…

The life we have been experiencing during the past week is an academic but also a social life, its novel even though we are all gradually becoming habituated with our daily lives and most importantly entertaining while everyone is at the same time serious about the project.  Simon and Tess divided us-newcomers into two subgroups, composed of three interns each. Our daily schedule dictates that we execute our scientific research early in the morning and once we have gathered our facts, we then “digitalize” them, that is, upload them into the computers used by the Namibian Dolphin Project in our comfy office in the Flamingo Cottages. Usually, one of the teams will research offshore in its quest for dolphin species and other marine mammals while the other team will examine different coastal areas of Namibia.

Our research is centered on dolphins. We therefore, photograph all of our “encounters” and try to photographically identify them once back in the office. We also examine their habitat and record everything we deem valuable, ranging from an unusually high concentration of jellyfish which can be the outcome of a potentially underlying important cause to the number of tour-boats we come across. Spending time with bottlenoses and Heaviside’s dolphins we come to realize and appreciate the uniqueness of every animal.

To a further extent, every day adds to an emerging familiarity with the environment of Namibia itself. Looking for stranded animals, observing the magnificent kingdom of birds that fills the sky and using our hydrophone to listen to the “signature whistles” of dolphins we are gradually coming to terms with the harmony and magnificence of Namibian’s wildlife.

All in all, what has been offered to us is a fulfilling “life-activity”. Whether it is the observation of an anatomical operation of petrels or the knowledge that the project results in an accumulation of novel scientific data, we fill satiated, engaged and excited. More to come. Best, George Cambanis. 

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