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Dolphin Quest Marine Scholar

Start Your Career Early

Dolphin Quest Hawaii’s Marine Scholar Program is designed to inspire students to pursue a career within the marine mammal field. Participants will shadow our staff and will learn all aspects of daily operations at a dolphin interaction facility. Space within this program is limited.

a group of people in a swimming pool

Dolphin Quest Marine Scholar Program Description


This opportunity is available to local resident students attending high school, ages 14-18.

The candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • A positive attitude and approach to daily operations
  • A strong interest in marine science or marine ecology
  • A strong willingness to learn
  • Good academic record
  • An interest in pursuing a position within the marine mammal field
  • The ability to contribute to a team atmosphere
  • Reliable transportation to and from the DQ facility
  • Obtain written permission from parent or guardian
  • Obtain one letter of recommendation
  • Able to attend orientation with parent or guardian
  • Comfortable in deep water
  • Willing to participate outside year-round
  • Able to fulfill the program time commitments


Dolphin Quest’s Marine Scholar program is a hands-on learning experience, where participants work alongside the Dolphin Quest Hawaii Crew. Marine Scholars spend time learning all aspects of the Dolphin Quest environment that may include, but is not limited to, items listed below.

  • Learning and applying Dolphin Quest values* (see below)
  • Assist in collecting data for scientific studies
  • Animal identification
  • Dolphin and program observation
  • Nutrition preparation
  • Note taking
  • Record keeping
  • Guest services interaction
  • Fish room cleanup
  • Preparation of animal enrichment
  • Facility maintenance and care
  • Provide support to the training team
  • Shadow other departments

The duties of the individual scholar will vary based on the effort put forth and their individual learning curve. They will also learn how to participate and succeed in a professional environment. Scholars may be invited to take part in professional development organized by the leadership team.

*Dolphin Quest places a high priority on actualizing our core values:

  • Character and integrity
  • Open communication
  • Outside-the-box thinking and creativity
  • Loyalty and dedication
  • Personal and professional growth
  • Lots of fun and enjoyment
  • Animal health and well-being
  • Conservation and global stewardship
  • Excellence and professionalism
  • Sensational service


Dolphin Quest Hawaii located at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Program Structure & Time Commitment:

Program Structure & Time Commitment:

Marine Scholars are required to do two shifts per month during the school year (Nov – May) and four shifts per month in June and July. Each session is 4 hours long (unless otherwise discussed).

The program will run from early November to late July. See application for more details.


The registration fee for those accepted into the program is $199 and non-refundable. The monthly ongoing program fee is $75 per month. There is a 10% discount for those who pay the full year in advance.

Application and Deadline

The application window is closed for the 2020-2021 academic school year. Applications for the following school year will be accepted after July 31, 2021.

  • Please see application for more information on deadlines and expectations.
  • Further program inquiries can be submitted to Lauren McKenna at [email protected].
  • Correspondence regarding this program is expected to take part between the applicant and DQ Crew Members. Parents are encouraged to mentor their children in this role. Parents may be copied on correspondence.
  • Please note that participation in the program does not guarantee space in the following year’s program. Students must reapply for subsequent years

Download the application in PDF format

Please download file, rename the file using your full name and save to your computer before sending.