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Studying a degree in Animal Behaviour and welfare made this the perfect project for me to take part in. This project was chosen due to its scientific research aspect. It consisted of different data collection aspects such as photographing the dolphins for identification purposes, taking GPS coordinates of where the dolphins where seen and collecting behavioural data of the dolphins using a periodic system. The data that was collected was used to help two Masters degree students on their dissertations. This particular group of spinner dolphins stayed in the area when others move around, it is thought to be due to the crescent-shaped coral reef off the coast and the acoustic properties that it holds for them. Day to day activities included going out on the boat into the reef of interest and following around the dolphins collecting data, as well as sorting through the data once we got back to shore. We were given various presentations on dolphin ecology, acoustics and surveying techniques. On our time off we explored this beautiful island by going to a waterfall, going on treks or just chilling on the black volcanic beach. This project was very full on and data heavy but it was all worth it when being able to snorkel with reef sharks or have a bonfire on the beach. This project was a great and fun way of learning new survey techniques whilst getting close up to some stunning marine life. We learnt to speak some of the local language as well as learning local traditions such as kava rituals. As an Ecologist learning new wildlife surveying techniques are always beneficial to getting a job, as well as learning transferable skills such as working in teams to get a job done. The group of people working on the boats and the students were very friendly people and made the whole experience more fun. We all became close friends of the project after early morning starts on the boat, evening films and a last farewell with a great view of the bay!

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