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Back to DolphinLab Adult Main Course List

Adult Basic DolphinLab

Course Information

Adult Basic DolphinLab is a six day program that introduces students to DRC and our resident dolphin and sea lion family. Whether you simply want to spend a week learning more about dolphins, or are interested in pursuing a career in the exciting field of marine mammal care and training, this is a terrific beginning. Through observation of their unique behavioral and physical characteristics, students learn to identify each resident, and to respect each as an individual with his or her own “dolphinality” or “sealionality”. 

The course includes a unique blend of interactive experiences, as well as interesting seminars, observation time, and other activities. Basic DolphinLab also surveys a wide range of knowledge, theories, and ongoing research concerning dolphins, the marine environment, and related issues. Whether you are a dolphin lover, or considering pursuing a career in the marine mammal field, this Lab provides an excellent, comprehensive base of knowledge. 

Class sizes average twelve to fourteen students to ensure individualized instruction. Students must successfully complete this course as a prerequisite for taking any of the other Career Series DolphinLab courses.

The program runs Sunday through Friday. Additional information and required waivers and forms are provided in the Welcome Packet emailed to each participant once the course is confirmed. We require a minimum of eight (8) participants enroll before confirming the course to run.

Seminars May Include:

  • Acoustics & Communication

  • Marine Mammal Conservation

  • Coral Reef Ecology

  • Dolphin Physiology

  • Dolphin Husbandry

  • Dolphin Training

  • Dolphin Maternity

  • Marine Mammal Law

  • Marine Mammal Strandings

  • Research at DRC

Interactive Programs Include:

  • One Dolphin Splash session

  • Two Dolphin Encounter sessions

  • A signal session from the dock

Additional Hands- On Activities Include:

  • Medical Demonstration

  • Observation Time

  • Research Workshop

  • Signal Workshop

  • Training Demonstration

  • Training Workshop

  • Local Environmental/Educational Field Trip(s)

Accommodations During the week of DolphinLab:

Lodging is available onsite at the DRC Residence for up to six (6) adults for a fee of $100.00 per night, and occupancy is available Sunday through Thursday nights only. Each adult is responsible for purchasing and preparing breakfast and dinner each day of the program, and for completing after-meal cleaning and general cleaning tasks while staying at the DRC Residence. The DRC Residence is available on a first-come, first-served basis for the first six (6) adults who indicate on their application that they want to stay at the Residence. 

DolphinLab participants who do not stay in the residence must secure their own accommodations at one of the many local hotels or resorts in Marathon. For adults not staying in the DRC Residence, lunch and snacks are provided each day of the program, but all other meals are the responsibility of the adult. 

Dolphin Research Center partners with local hotels in an effort to offer participants discounted rates on accommodations. Partner hotels are not available in advance as the hotels that choose to participate vary from year to year. A list of participating hotels, details, rates, and booking instructions are provided in the Welcome Packet emailed to each participant once a Lab is confirmed to run. Dolphin Research Center does not handle bookings or payments for any of the participating establishments.


Tuition for Adult Basic DolphinLab is $1,600.00 (US). Tuition includes all seminars, activities, interactive programs, a field trip, digital photographs taken from various dolphin interactions throughout the week, and lunch and snacks each day of the program. 

Tuition does not include:

  • Accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • Transportation to and from any airport, or to and from Dolphin Research Center each day. 

We know there are many adults whose interest and passion to pursue a career with marine mammals exceeds their bank account. We are excited to announce that, through the generous donation of a DRC Member, the Ariel Aboody Guterman Memorial Adult Basic DolphinLab Scholarship was created. Please visit the Adult DolphinLab Scholarship Opportunities page to learn more and download the application once DolphinLab enrollment opens within the month of January 2023.


Although there are no prerequisites for attending Adult Basic DolphinLab, applicants should have a strong desire to experience and learn about dolphins and the marine world. This course is available to all students ages 18 and up.

This course serves as a prerequisite for taking any of the Career Series DolphinLab courses.

Related Links


Enrollment for the 2022 Adult Basic DolphinLab is closed. Please check the Course Dates page between November and January for the dates in which the course will be offered in 2023. Thank you! 

There is a 20% discount on tuition for Adult Basic DolphinLab for students who become members at the $240.00 level or higher (Parent membership). Become a member of Dolphin Research Center!


Questions? Please email so the Education team can help!  

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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