They dedicate their lives to caring for our animals and provide them with the Dolphin Quest’s highest standards of care. Through the amazing relationships they establish with each animal, they are able to share our remarkable animals with our guests to educate them and inspire conservation efforts.
A typical day in the life of a marine mammal specialist may include the following:
- Nutrition preparation and management
- Fish kitchen and training area cleaning
- Animal health assessment sessions
- Animal relationship sessions
- Animal training sessions
- Animal enrichment sessions
- Record keeping
- Lagoon safety and maintenance
- Guiding guests through interactions
- Educating guests on our animals, conservation efforts and science studies
- Mentoring Crew
- Teamwork with other Crew and animals
- And so much more
Education is a key element of Dolphin Quest and a big part of our marine mammal specialists’ day. Educating our guests and the public is at the heart of our company goals, but continued education of our Crew is also a top priority.
Educating our guests comes in countless formats including:
- Question and answer sessions
- Interactive animal programs
- School programs onsite and off site
- Distance learning
- Social media
- Scientific studies
Continued education for our Crew Members is also an important part of their day:
- Dolphin Quest University (DQU) Workshops
- DQU is an educational entity designed to assist the Dolphin Quest community in achieving its mission by conducting activities that cultivate individual and organizational learning, knowledge and wisdom.
- Dolphin Quest Animal Training Lecture Series
- This extensive course provides the most current and progressive animal behavior concepts and a common knowledge for the Dolphin Quest community to draw upon while they approach their daily animal interactions.
- Ultimately, the course sets the stage for deliberate and consistent animal / marine mammal specialist interactions by outlining the training tools and techniques to set both animal and marine mammal specialist up for success.
- Topics covered include natural history, science of behavior and wellness of the animals.
- Our marine mammal specialists attend a wide variety of conferences to continue their education on how to care for and train our marine animals.
Learning from and sharing within our marine animal field allows us to continue to grow, improve and support each other as a community. Conference attendance is an excellent way to share knowledge within the field as well as at our locations.
Our Crew Members attend the following conferences and meetings:
- International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association conference
- Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums meeting
- Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums Educators meeting
- The Society for Marine Mammalogy conference
- The Animal Behavior Management Alliance conference
- Association of Zoos & Aquariums conference
- Regional Aquatics Workshop conference
Working with marine animals is an extremely fun, inspiring and rewarding experience, where the animals benefit from the marine mammal specialist holistic approach. The principles and philosophies we follow and practices we employ set a high standard of care that sets trends for not only the field of marine animal training but all animal handling disciplines.
A love for animals and passion for their wellness, paired with a connection to Dolphin Quest’s mission and values, could make you a candidate to be a marine mammal specialist.
Common requirements for those interested in becoming a marine mammal specialist:
- Four-year college degree in life sciences related field (for example biology, marine science, psychology, animal science)
- Experience in public speaking and showmanship
- Internship/experience with animals
- Strong customer service skills
- Ability to lift 50 pounds
- Strong swimming skills
- CPR and First Aid certification (preferred)
- SCUBA certification (preferred)
Dolphin Quest offers an outstanding internship program in Bermuda, which is designed to assist passionate individuals interested in gaining valuable hands-on experience that will be beneficial for pursuing a career involving marine animals.