Subject: Career Interview

Caroline DeLong (delong@hawaii.edu)
Fri, 12 Nov 1999 11:15:48 -1000

At 04:18 AM 11/11/1999 -1000, you wrote:
>Dear Ms.Delong:
>
>Thank you for replying. My journal is about a career that I am interested
>in and I am doing Marine Biology. Here are my questions.
>
>1. What kind of species do you research?
>
>2. Do you work in Hawaii now or have you ever? What kind of work do you do?
>
>3. Is your work exciting or adventurous?
>
>Jeremy 1
>EF Middle School
>Elizabeth PA 15037

Dear Jeremy,

I study bottlenose dolphins (_Tursiops truncatus_).  Currently I am working
on a project involving dolphin echolocation.  Echolocation allows dolphins
to investigate their environment using sounds.  They send out clicks, which
bounce off objects and come back to the dolphin as echoes.  From these
echoes, dolphins can find out the position, shape, size, and material
composition of the objects in front of them.  They use echolocation to
navigate, find prey (food), and avoid predators (like sharks).

I have lived and worked in Hawaii for two and a half years.  I work at the
Marine Mammal Research Program at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
and I am a graduate student at the University of Hawaii. 

My work is exciting because we are always learning new things about dolphin
echolocation.  We are not yet sure exactly which parts of the echo dolphins
use to identify objects.  I am working on a project focused on the number
of clicks dolphins emit, which is a highly variable factor.  I want to know
why dolphins sometimes emit lots of clicks, and other times emit just a few
clicks.  It could be related to the echo characteristics of the object,
environmental characteristics (like the clarity of the water), or the
attention level of the dolphin, to name a few.

Good luck with your journal!

Aloha,
Caroline  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Caroline DeLong
Marine Mammal Research Program 
Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
P.O. Box 1106
Kailua, HI  96734
delong@hawaii.edu