Internship Opportunities at DRC - Dolphin Research Center (2022)

Overview

Within our Volunteer Resources Department, we offer an Internship Program. Internships at DRC are an exciting way to develop career skills as well as an opportunity to get “behind the scenes” to see how a marine mammal facility operates. They involve concentration in specific departments, normally last 16 to 18 weeks and are held throughout the year.

Interns work forty hours per week typically spending four days per week in their designated department and one day providing support in other areas of daily operations through the Volunteer Resources Pool. All internships are unpaid. Applicants do not need to be enrolled in college to be considered for an internship.

Supplemental projects will be assigned based upon DRC’s needs and the intern’s specific skills and areas of interest, and may include: assisting your department and other teams.

In addition to daily position responsibilities, all interns are required to pursue individual independent study goals according to his/her specific skills and areas of interest. If seeking college credit the intern can incorporate course work into this area.

Dolphin Research Center offers internships in a variety of departments including:

ANIMAL CARE AND TRAINING
EDUCATION
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES
MEDICAL DEPARTMENT
RESEARCH
VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

General Information/Requirements

Dolphin Research Center welcomes interns from around the world but asks that applicants are able to comfortably read, speak and understand English. Intern applicants need to be physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds and work outside in the Florida heat, sunshine and humidity. All interns are responsible for their own housing, food and local transportation. Please bear in mind that this area is a tourist destination and therefore the cost of accommodations can vary dependent on the season. We can assist you in finding housing.

Complete a Volunteer/Internship Candidate Application Form online.

ANIMAL CARE AND TRAINING LEVEL 1:

This unpaid internship is designed to be an entry-level experience for those interested in careers working with marine mammals. There are several positions for each term and our Animal Care and Training Interns are expected to work together to achieve common goals. As in all venues, there are multiple opportunities for individual achievement.

The Animal Care and Training Intern position provides support to the Animal Care and Training staff by learning about and assisting with diet preparation for the animals and maintaining the diet prep facility. Interns are expected to become familiar with industry standard terms and practices as they shadow trainers to learn operant conditioning techniques through observation.

Basic Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Hands-on experience

  • Based on the needs of the facility and individual performance, interns may assist with dolphin training and feeding sessions.

  • Act as medical assistant for husbandry training sessions including such duties as pouring water when dolphins are performing voluntary hydration behavior

  • Assist with avian and sea lion training sessions including cleaning and maintaining the habitat.

  • Developing and implementing enrichment devices for dolphins, sea lions, and birds.

  • Daily and deep cleaning and sanitation of fish prep areas and equipment

  • Microphone narrations of live dolphin and/or sea lion presentations.

    (Video) The Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys

  • Successfully complete classroom seminars and training courses including written and/or verbal quizzes.

  • Keep a training journal of sessions, thoughts and questions. This journal provides discussion points for regularly scheduled progress meetings with your coach.

  • Build a resume with the help of experienced staff.

  • Train to complete DRC’s swim test.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online. For more information, email Sheri Pieloch, Director of Volunteer Resources at sheri.pieloch@dolphins.org.

ANIMAL CARE AND TRAINING LEVEL 2:

*Video depicts Level 1 internship

This unpaid internship is designed to be an entry-level experience for those interested in careers working with marine mammals. The level 2 internship would allow stellar Level 1 interns to return for a more advanced internship. There are several positions for each term and our Animal Care and Training Interns (Levels 1 and 2) are expected to work together to achieve common goals.

The Animal Care and Training Level 2 Intern position provides support to the Animal Care and Training staff. The Level 2 internship is designed to expand the Level 1 internship by offering more opportunities for individual growth.

Prerequisite:

Interns must have successfully completed Level 1 ACT internship.

Basic Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Successfully complete classroom seminars and training courses including Marine Mammal Nutrition, Diet Prep, and Enrichment.

  • Preparing daily diets for the dolphins and sea lions.

  • Retrieving fish from freezer and applying proper thawing techniques

  • Learn to do Enrichment/Docktime unsupervised during workday as schedule permits.

  • Regularly narrate live dolphin and/or sea lion presentations.

  • Assist with avian and sea lion training sessions including cleaning and maintaining the habitat.

  • Developing and implementing enrichment devices for dolphins, sea lions, and birds.

  • Act as medical assistant for husbandry training sessions including such duties as pouring water when dolphins are performing voluntary hydration behavior.

    (Video) Research Internship

  • Based on the needs of the facility and individual performance, interns may assist with dolphin training and feeding sessions.

  • Supervising and training Level 1 Interns.

  • Develop skills necessary to use a whistle on sessions with supervision.

  • Train to complete DRC’s advanced swim test.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online.

EDUCATION :

An internship in the Education Department is a comprehensive, and well-rounded experience. The goal of the Education Internship is to help you begin to build a foundation for a career in marine education and/or working with marine mammals. Our education programs have enormous potential to influence public attitudes and actions and to directly affect the health and well-being of the environment. We accomplish this through a variety of programs from daily narrations during dolphin sessions to our week-long DolphinLabs. Education interns have the opportunity to observe college accredited seminars and have access to a vast library of professional journal articles on a broad range of topics as well as to updates on global marine mammal issues. Education interns build public speaking skills and interact daily with visitors of all ages.

While Education interns do not work directly with our dolphins, there is ample opportunity to talk directly with the public by conducting educational presentations and informally answer guests’ questions lagoon-side.

Responsibilities vary depending on the program schedule during your internship. Specific job duties may include (but are not limited to):

  • Observe and present public education programs such as our daily live dolphin presentations and theater workshops
  • Answer questions from guests on the grounds
  • Help with educational tours around the facility
  • Assist education staff members at school and community outreach events
  • Assist DolphinLab coordinators with off-site activities, dolphin observation time, and classroom seminars
  • Assist Education staff with daily department responsibilities such as preparing for education programs and the daily schedule
  • Assist with our Dolphin Day Camp program including scavenger hunts, facilitating activities, and demonstrations with the animals.

Throughout your internship you will complete various assigned reading, observe seminars, and maintain a daily journal. In addition, you will set specific goals for your internship that will both benefit the Education Department and enhance your experience.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through departmental crossover and weekly participation in the Volunteer Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES :

The information technology volunteer intern position at Dolphin Research Center is an excellent way to learn the basics of computer sciences and learn about the day to day operation of computing and networking at a facility such as Dolphin Research Center. An IT intern at DRC

Internship Opportunities at DRC - Dolphin Research Center (1)will support the IT staff in software, hardware and all other technological tasks and issues.

An ideal IT intern would be in pursuit of a degree in computer science, information technology or engineering. Familiarity with windows operating systems is a necessity. Familiar with OS X, Microsoft's office suites, Microsoft Server and other business applications is helpful. Applicants must be able to take direction well, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and be customer service oriented.

Typical duties of an IT Intern would be, butare not limited to:

  • Support the IT staff with software installation
  • Support the IT staff with hardware installation
  • Troubleshooting IT Tickets
  • Change backup drives, and relocate backups
  • Troubleshooting issues with IT hardware
  • Troubleshooting networking issues

Becoming an IT intern for DRC offers much valued experience in the field. It is also a fantastic opportunity to get basic understanding in the different fields of IT (network administration, PC technician, account administration etc), and to get hands on experience with some of the latest technologies (Hyper-V, failover clustering, Server Virtualization, etc).

Supplemental projects will be assigned upon DRC’s needs and the student’s specific skills and areas of interest.

(Video) Education Internship

Independent study projects:In addition to daily position responsibilities, all interns are required to pursue individual independent study goals according to his/her specific skills and areas of interest.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online.

MEDICAL DEPARTMENT:

Internship Opportunities at DRC - Dolphin Research Center (2)

The Medical Department internship at Dolphin Research Center is an introduction to marine mammal health care for those interested in entering the veterinary field as technicians and assistants. Interns will have opportunities to attend classroom seminars and training courses and have access to a large onsite library of professional journals, articles, and books.

This internship is not intended for veterinary students, veterinarians or other medical professionals.

Activities may include:

  • Support medical staff with daily department tasks

  • Assist in medical procedures, treatments and monitoring animal health which may include nebulizations, laser therapy, hydration, topical treatments, etc.

  • Assist with collection and processing of diagnostic samples

  • Participation in medical assists

  • Preparing and maintaining stock of medications, vitamins and supplements

  • Assist with implementation of dietary protocols

  • Cleaning, maintaining and transporting medical supplies and equipment and facilities

Supplemental projects may be assigned based upon the department’s needs and the student’s specific skills and areas of interest.

Independent study projects:In addition to daily position responsibilities, all interns are required to pursue individual independent study goals according to his/her specific skills and areas of interest.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online.

RESEARCH :

Research interns participate in DRC's ongoing behavioral and cognitive research projects, giving them broad exposure to a variety of research methodologies. Interns receive extensive on the job training in observing marine mammal behavior, collecting observational data, working with research equipment, and assisting with cognitive research sessions. This position is offered in all three sessions. Note: conducting your own research projects is not part of this position.

(Video) Dolphin Research Interns

Specific job duties include:

  • collecting observational behavioral data
  • set-up and breakdown of equipment for cognitive research sessions
  • assisting trainers for cognitive research sessions (presenting stimuli, note-taking)
  • operating video equipment
  • entering data into the computer for analysis
  • equipment maintenance

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online.

VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS :

The goal of the Visual Communications Intern is to support and assist the Visual Communications (“VisComm”) staff. Using your knowledge of digital photography and videography as a Visual Communications Department Intern, you will have the opportunity to work outdoors around the water, interact with guests and watch dolphins at play while photographing program participants to provide lasting memories of their experiences. This is a team department and as an intern, using your still and video editing skills, you will assist on projects working closely with VisComm staff members and co-workers from other departments.

Working knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Suite software is essential.

Each intern is asked to bring his vision and creativity forward with his individual goals. Department computers may be used when available. Depending on the individual’s interest or skill set these may be still photography, video, design project or a mix of all media.

Primary responsibilities of this position are:

  • Taking candid digital still photos of guests and dolphins during public programs
  • Working directly with guests to select and process print and/or digital photos

Other opportunities may include:

  • All phases of video production from capturing to editing
  • Organizing, scanning, and storing digital images of archived photos, slides and VHS tapes
  • Creating on-site informational and directional signage

VisComm Interns do not work directly with the dolphins but will be around them throughout the day as they interact with trainers, other departments and the general public.

Note: All images/products produced through this internship will remain the sole property of DRC. Any images taken with your own equipment are for your personal use and not to be sold or published. This position is offered in all three sessions.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online.

How to Apply

Dolphin Research Center’s Internship Program falls within the Volunteer Resources Department. All Internships are unpaid and the number of intern positions is very limited. Internships involve concentration within a specific department and generally are of 16-18 weeks duration. Applicants available for this duration of time may take precedence. Applications for less than 12 week duration will not be accepted.

Deadline Dates for Internship Application Submission. NO LATER THAN:

  • OCTOBER 1 for the Winter Term (January through April)
  • FEBRUARY 1 for the Summer Term (May through August)
  • JUNE 1 for the Fall Term (September through December)

To apply for an internship it is mandatory that you provide the following package:

  • A completed Application Form (including your Internship Preferences in order of choice under Section B)
  • A current Resume
  • Transcript (may be unofficial unless you are seeking a credit for your internship)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation with an original signature. (If currently enrolled in college, one letter must be from your Faculty Advisor)

Please Note: If necessary, supporting document can be sent under separate cover. However, all documentation must be received by DRC by the deadline date. Only complete applications with all requested material will be accepted and reviewed.

Application Review and Selection:

  • Upon receipt, internship applications are given to department coaches for review and selection
  • Telephone interviews are conducted with finalists
  • Selections are generally completed and confirmed two months prior to the starting month of each term
  • Start and end dates for the internships are arranged with the department coaches at the time of acceptance
  • DRC keeps start and end dates flexible to meet varying schedules of schools and activities

If you have additional questions regarding internship opportunities at DRC, please e-maildrc-vr@dolphins.org or telephone (305) 289-1121 x 230, Monday – Friday 9AM to 4PM (EST).

Complete the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form online.

(Video) Marathon's Dolphin Research Center

FAQs

What kind of degree do you need to work with dolphins? ›

Earn a bachelor's degree

Consider pursuing a degree in marine biology or zoology. These degrees involve animal, science and advanced mathematics courses. You may also take animal-related courses such as marine mammalogy and animal behavior.

How much does it cost to get into the dolphin Research Center? ›

Dolphin Encounter

Price: $210 per person. Includes all-day admission.

How many hours do dolphin trainers work? ›

Dolphin trainers get to work with animals – fascinating, intelligent creatures – every day. Dolphin trainers train dolphins and care for their health and well-being. Training is a 24-hour a day job and takes a real commitment. Every dolphin has a different personality so training methods vary.

How long does it take to become a dolphin trainer? ›

There is a one-year program through the College of Marine Mammal Professions located in Florida that focuses on classroom and hands-on experience in dolphin training. There is also a two year program through Moorpark College in California that focuses on exotic animal training, including dolphin training.

How much money do dolphin trainers make a year? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $122,000 and as low as $12,000, the majority of Dolphin Trainer salaries currently range between $25,000 (25th percentile) to $56,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $83,000 annually across the United States.

What is a dolphin doctor called? ›

But aquatic veterinarians have a unique love of water—lakes, oceans, ponds, rivers—and all the living things that call them home. Also known as marine veterinarians, these professionals provide compassionate care to water-dwelling animals of all kinds.

What is another word for research Center? ›

research facility; center; centre.

Is dolphin research Center worth visiting? ›

DRC is an outstanding place to see dolphins in a protected but humane environment. They do a great job of caring for rescued and captivity-born dolphins. I highly recommend their dolphin meet time--it's only $25 extra and is so worth it.

How much does it cost to own a dolphin? ›

Juvenile dolphins up to age 5 are valued at $50,000 to $100,000, he said. Adults up to age 30, covering the peak breeding years, are worth $100,000 to $200,000. Premiums, usually paid annually, range from 4 to 15 percent of the animal's value.

Is it hard to be a dolphin trainer? ›

Working at a dolphin training facility can be quite physically demanding. You will need sufficient stamina to spend long hours training the dolphins at poolside or in the water. You may regularly haul buckets of fish to the food preparation station and out to the dolphin feeding area.

What jobs can you do with dolphins? ›

Careers With Dolphins & Whales
  • Marine Biologist. Marine biologists may specialize in working with whales or dolphins in their natural habitat or at a zoo as part of pursuing an education in marine mammal science. ...
  • Dolphin and Whale Trainer. ...
  • Whale Watching Guide. ...
  • Aquarium Attendant.

What is it like to be a dolphin trainer? ›

As a Dolphin Trainer, you teach tricks and special behaviors to dolphins of all varieties. Dolphin Trainers can work for research facilities, aquariums, or resorts that specialize in animal performances. The purpose of teaching dolphins tricks is more than just to entertain the customers who come to see them.

Do dolphin trainers make good money? ›

Salary Ranges for Dolphin Trainers

The middle 57% of Dolphin Trainers makes between $29,210 and $42,420, with the top 86% making $99,710.

What degree do you need to be a marine mammal trainer? ›

A bachelor's degree is usually required of marine mammal trainers, but there are no bachelor's degree programs in marine mammal training specifically. Most zoos and aquariums prefer their trainers to have a degree in a life science or a subject related to animals.

How much does a marine biologist make? ›

$81,019 (SGD)/yr.

Is it hard to be a dolphin trainer? ›

Working at a dolphin training facility can be quite physically demanding. You will need sufficient stamina to spend long hours training the dolphins at poolside or in the water. You may regularly haul buckets of fish to the food preparation station and out to the dolphin feeding area.

What degree do you need to be a Cetologist? ›

A minimum of a bachelor's degree, and preferably a master's or doctoral degree in zoology or wildlife biology with a specialization in cetology, gives you the education to work with the two species, explains the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.

What is zoology degree? ›

A zoology major studies wild or domesticated animals and how they are shaped by their environments and relationships. Students on this path, which may also be called an animal biology major, may go on to conduct field research or pursue higher education in veterinary sciences or medicine.

How much do dolphin trainers make in Florida? ›

As of Oct 2, 2022, the average annual pay for a Dolphin Trainer in Florida is $39,869 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $19.17 an hour. This is the equivalent of $766/week or $3,322/month.

Videos

1. The Dolphin Research Center -- swim with dolphins in the Florida Keys
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2. Visiting the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys!
(Tula's Endless Summer)
3. Marathon's Dolphin Research Center
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4. Paige DRC Dolphin Lab
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5. MMRT Trip to the Dolphin Research Center!
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6. Training a Dolphin - Dolphin Research Center, FL
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