Citizen Scientist

Dolphin Spotter: A Land-Based Citizen Science Project 

Calling all Citizen Scientists!

Do you enjoy taking photos of wildlife? Are you interested in contributing to dolphin research? FAU Harbor Branch invites you to participate in our new land-based Dolphin Spotter citizen science project.

Photo identification is a non-invasive, opportunistic technique that is used to collect information about wild dolphin populations. Photos submitted by Dolphin Spotters will complement the research being conducted by the FAU Harbor Branch Marine Mammal Stranding and Population Assessment team. With thousands of miles along Florida’s coastline, land-based citizen scientists can capture areas that our traditional surveys don’t reach, while providing valuable insights on the day-to-day habitat use and behaviors of our resident dolphin populations. Together these efforts play a critical role in understanding Florida’s wild dolphins and conserving this important species.

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How to Participate:
  1. Register HERE to become a Dolphin Spotter!
  2. From land, take photos of dolphins with your personal camera or cellphone.
  3. Submit your photos through the Sighting Form, which will be provided by email after registration.
  4. Check out the interactive map below to see where dolphin sightings are being reported!

For questions about the Dolphin Spotter project please contact Samantha McGuire at .


Would members of your club or organization like to participate in this project? Click here to request a presentation and tutorial for your group. 


Watch the tutorial video below to learn more about this project.
Note: This video is a required step for participation and will be included on the Registration Form .


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Dolphin Spotter Sightings:

Explore the map below to learn more about the data collected by Dolphin Spotter citizen scientists. Please note that each submission is reviewed before it is posted on the map. 

This project was supported by the Protect Wild Dolphins Florida specialty license plate, which is administered by the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation.

Dolphin liscense plate

HBOI ocean fish