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Dolphin Lab Adult Focused Career Series Course: Marine Mammal Interpretation

Course Information

Marine Mammal Interpretation focuses on improving student understanding and appreciation of the ocean environment and how they may facilitate the education of others on the topic.

Students participate in a number of interactive activities, including a meet and greet wade-in session, a swim session and several sessions down on the docks with the dolphins throughout the week.

Primarily focused on the common bottlenose dolphin, the course also delves lightly into the care of sea lions and DRC’s rescue efforts with the Florida manatee.

By working with DRC staff, students will demonstrate an understanding of experiential education through the design of an interactive signage exhibit for public visitors, an understanding and ability to create and deliver Power Point presentations that are effective, polished and professional, an understanding and ability to implement live animal interpretation skills through participating in a dolphin session narration for public visitors, and skills in synthesizing new information and experiences with prior conceptions of dolphins and the marine environment to clearly refine their opinions and knowledge base.

Seminars Include:

  • Overview of Marine Mammal Taxonomy
  • Anatomy & Reproduction
  • Introduction to Experiential Education
  • Public Animal Interpretation
  • Marine Mammals in the Military
  • Marine Mammals in the Media
  • Culture in Dolphin and Whale Populations
  • Whaling
  • Endangered Marine Mammals
  • Dolphin Acoustics
  • Marine Mammal Conservation
  • Marine Mammal Law

Hands-On Activities Include:

  • One Dolphin Splash
  • Two Dolphin Encounters
  • One dock side signal session

Additional Activities Include:

Tour of DRC and Introduction to the Dolphins, Boardwalk and Dolphin Etiquette, Dolphin Training & Medical Behavior Demonstrations, Sea Lion Demonstration, Signals Workshop, and informal observation time with the dolphins.

College Credit:

Students may elect to receive college credit for attending this course. Credit is available through the Florida Keys Community College for an additional fee. In order to receive credit, students must successfully complete all course activities and pass an end of course exam. College credit details.


The cost of Marine Mammal Interpretation is $1600.00 (US). Tuition includes all seminars, activities, meals, lodging, and a CD of photographs of your dolphin interactions throughout the week.  The cost of course also includes transportation to and from the Marathon Airport or Marathon hotels at pre-established times that will be provided after you are a confirmed student.


Students must successfully complete Basic DolphinLab before attending Marine Mammal Interpretation. Applicants are expected to have a strong interest in marine mammal science, careers in the field and be able to participate in an academically and physically rigorous schedule. The course is available to all students ages 18 and up.

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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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