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Career Opportunities at Dolphin Research Center

Join the Dolphin Research Team! Discover the exciting career opportunities available here at DRC.

Education Summer Chaperone - 2018


Summer Chaperone

Available June 7 – August 10, 2018

Dolphin Research Center currently has an opening for a qualified residential chaperone for youths in our popular DolphinCamp & Teen DolphinLab programs. 

DolphinLab is DRC’s premiere educational program.  It has a lasting impact on our students, providing them with an unforgettable experience and an unparalleled education about dolphins and the environment we share.  The Summer Chaperone should relate well with young people, yet be able to maintain discipline and control.  The Chaperone must be able to coordinate the movement of a group of 14 students, assist in integrating diverse personalities, and handle any emergencies that may occur during the week.

The Summer Chaperone is entitled to free room and board at the DolphinLab dormitory, for the entire nine-week period of June 7 – August 10, 2018, during our youth and teen classes. The Chaperone is invited to participate in DolphinLab seminars and workshops to gain and develop knowledge regarding marine mammals. The Summer Chaperone is required to sleep in the upstairs quarters adjacent to the students’ rooms and may bunk in the same room with students of the same sex during full weeks. The Chaperone will have an additional private room available downstairs for private space.  All meals are provided during the DolphinLab sessions.  The Chaperone will generally have one free night each week between classes, however, please note: there are some weeks where students may stay over for successive programs, and in this case, the chaperone will not have an evening off.

Position Responsibilities

Qualifications:  This position requires a responsible, mature individual who is energetic, enthusiastic, self-motivated, flexible, and able to deal with long hours.  Candidates must have extensive experience working with youth in a supervisory capacity. Experience supervising youths overnight is preferred but not required.  Previous experience in the DolphinLab program is preferred but not required. Candidates must be available for the full nine-week duration of DolphinLab programming, have a clear driving record, and pass a background check and fingerprinting; hiring is contingent upon meeting these qualifications.

Major Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Responsible for pick-ups (Saturday mornings) and drop-offs (Friday mornings/afternoons) of minor participants at the Key West airport; travel may be with or without a DolphinLab coordinat.
  • Driving a 15-passenger van when transporting students to and from the Key West airport, or to and from DRC each day.
  • For the first day of Lab, Saturdays: assisting DolphinLab coordinators in greeting class members, assigning dorm rooms, distributing linens, folders, and name tags, and ensuring all class members are present and ready for their first activity.
  • Conduct daily continental breakfast set up and break down; preparing and cooking dinner for all minor participants each night following the last activity of the day.
  • Coordinating evening educational and recreational activities for participants.
  • Ensuring the dorm is kept clean and tidy; this may include sweeping/mopping the common room and kitchen floors periodically throughout the week.
  • Saturday through Thursday, the chaperone must be responsible for the students from 4:30 pm until 9:00am the next day.
  • Fridays are typically the chaperone’s night off, however, the chaperone may also be required to be responsible for any teens staying over in our three-week series of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced classes.
  • Ensuring all students are up and ready to go in time for the first activity each morning; reviewing daily schedule with students and assisting staff with scheduling changes.
  • Supporting staff in assuring students’ adherence to all DRC guidelines for grounds, dorm, and interaction with dolphins, staff, and volunteers.
  • Reviewing “Rules and Guidelines for Minors” with students and assisting staff in enforcing these.  The chaperone is responsible for enforcing all rules after the last activity of the day, 4:30 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. the following morning.
  • Ensuring all copies of medical information and treatment authorization forms are at the dorm. Informing staff of any medical emergencies and assisting in handling any that arise.
  • Informing staff of any potential problems with student behavior or interaction that is potentially disruptive and assisting staff in dealing with them.
  • Ensuring that all students complete and return program evaluations, assisting with all closing responsibilities and preparing students for timely departure.
  • Accompanying students on field trips and assisting Instructors with coordination.

Salary for the position is $360.00 per week plus room and meals while DolphinLab is in session during the nine-week period of June 7 – August 10, 2017. The best benefit is being able to participate in the seminars and workshops for our college-accredited program, DolphinLab, at no cost. Additionally, the Summer Chaperone may visit DRC during the day to observe educational behavior narrations, and informational Theater presentations. For a full-time chaperone that commits to the entire nine-week period, DRC offers a 15% gift shop discount. Please note: There is no hands-on interaction with the animals; however, (s)he may purchase an interactive program through Guest Services if (s)he wishes to interact with the dolphins.

If interested submit a cover letter, resume and a DRC application to drc-hr@dolphins.org.

Dolphin Research Center is an equal opportunity employer.

For more information about DolphinCamp & DolphinLab, click here. Youth and Teen DolphinLabs are offered each summer for children ranging in age from 10 to 17. Classes run back to back during the summer. Each class is one week in length, running Saturday afternoons through Friday mornings.


Salary & Benefits


The cost of living in the Keys tends to be high and salaries, for the most part, are not competitive with the national average. This is particularly true at DRC, which is still maturing as a not-for-profit corporation. Starting salaries vary according to an applicant's educational background, experience, and particular job responsibilities. The starting annual salary for an entry-level employee at DRC averages $21,000. Many staff members find it necessary to supplement their income through other means.

DRC seeks to provide for the well being of its employees and our salary combined with our generous benefits creates a competitive total package that is right for our environment.

DRC offers an excellent benefits package including health insurance, a 401(k) plan, paid holidays, paid vacation, paid sick leave, gift shop discounts, work clothing, and complimentary Dolphin Encounters. However, the most important benefits are the extraordinary rewards employees encounter on a daily basis: feeling the elation when a dolphin demonstrates a new behavior for the first time, watching a child grin in excitement when she sees a dolphin burst out of the water into a flip, sitting quietly on a dock observing the fluid grace of dolphins, experiencing the sense of satisfaction when a student grasps a new concept, witnessing the magical moment when a learning-disabled child utters his first word. Moments such as these are the true rewards, the unique benefits of working at Dolphin Research Center.

How To Apply


If you are interested, please send your resume and completed application by email to drc-hr@dolphins.org or fax them to the Human Resources Director at (305) 289-8902. You may also mail them to Dolphin Research Center, Human Resources Director, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050 or stop by the center and complete an application in person.

Dolphin Research Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Our Mission - Through education, research and rescue, Dolphin Research Center promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the environment we share with the well being of DRC's animals taking precedence.
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