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All About Dolphins DolphinLab: Relationships and Enrichment

All About Dolphins DolphinLab: Relationships & Enrichment is a six-day program that introduces participants to Dolphin Research Center, our mission and relationship-based training philosophy, and our resident Common bottlenose dolphin and California sea lion family. If you’ve dreamt of teaming up with, and experiencing dolphins up close, this is a terrific opportunity.

  • Adults 18 years or age and older

  • Programs begins Sunday afternoon and ends the following Friday afternoon

  • Learn to identify our dolphins and sea lions, to respect each as an individual with his or her own “dolphinality” or “sealionality”

  • Engage in live lagoonside demonstrations, dockside play sessions, and animal enrichment 

  • Foster connections with and build relationships with the dolphins

  • Create a partnership built on trust and collaboration

  • Engage in hands-on feed and play sessions from the floating dock, working closely with DRC staff 

  • Learn how to read dolphin behavior and understand their individual choices and preferences 

  • Unique blend of interactive experiences, interesting discussion topics, observation time, live demonstrations, and hands-on dockside sessions with the dolphins

  • Class size averages 8-12 participants

  • Additional information and details, and required waivers and forms are provided in the Welcome Packet emailed to each participant

  • Prerequisite to participate in Advanced DolphinLab

Discussions May Include:

  • DRC’s Relationship-Based Training Philosophy & Methods

  • Building Relationships through Enrichment & Docktime

  • Common Bottlenose Dolphin Physiology

  • Common Bottlenose Dolphin Maternity

  • Marine Mammal Conservation

  • Trainer Question & Answer Session(s)

  • DRC Unplugged: An In-Depth Look at our Philosophy & Mission

Interactive Programs Include:

  • One trainer-guided Play with a Dolphin program, from the floating dock

  • One trainer-guided Dolphin Encounter in-water program

Additional Hands-On Activities & Live Demonstrations May Include:

  • Observation Time & Dolphin Identification Opportunities

  • Lagoonside Training & Husbandry Demonstrations

  • Docktime & Enrichment Sessions with the dolphins, guided by a trainer

  • Dockside Play and Feed Sessions with the dolphins, guided by a trainer


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. 

  • Occupancy is available Sunday through Thursday nights only 

  • Each adult must purchase and prepare breakfast and dinner each day of the program 

  • Each adult must complete after-meal cleaning and general cleaning tasks 

  • 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.  

  • Lunch and snacks are provided each day of the program

  • 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 annually. 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 All About Dolphins DolphinLab is $1,800.00 (US). Tuition includes: 

  • All discussions, activities, and interactive programs 

  • Digital photographs taken from various dolphin interactions

  • Lunch and snacks each day of the program 

Tuition does not include:

  • Accommodations (on- or offsite)

  • Breakfast and dinner each day

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


Scholarship Opportunities:

We know there are many adults whose interest and passion to foster a connection and relationship 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 All About Dolphins DolphinLab Scholarship was created. Please visit the DolphinLab Scholarship Opportunities page on our website to learn more and to download the application, which is available when DolphinLab enrollment opens within the month of January each year.


2024 All About Dolphins DolphinLab Schedule:

August 11 - 16, 2024

*The schedule listed above includes all Labs offered in 2024.



Enrollment for the 2024 All About Dolphins DolphinLab is OPEN. Please complete and submit the online application to begin enrollment. 

Please note:

  • There is a $200.00 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit to secure your space in All About Dolphins DolphinLab. This payment will be applied to your final balance. 

  • Once the application is submitted, you will receive an email from within 72 hours/3 days containing the link to complete payment of the deposit. Please check your Spam/Junk mail boxes in the event the email is rerouted.

  • An outstanding deposit will result in the removal of your application.

  • DRC offers a 20% discount on tuition for All About Dolphins DolphinLab for participants who become members at the $240.00 level or higher (Parent membership). Become a member of Dolphin Research Center!

  • We require a minimum of eight (8) adults enroll before confirming the Lab to run. You will receive a confirmation email once we reach minimum enrollment.


What made you decide to enroll in All About Dolphins DolphinLab? What made you decide not to? We want to hear from you! Please take one minute or less to anonymously share your feedback with us. Thank you!


Questions? Please email so the Education team can help!


Do you dream of a career working with dolphins or other animals? Dolphin Research Center Training Institute’s Dolphin Academy Program is the course for you! Please visit the Dolphin Academy Program page to learn more about how Dolphin Research Center can help you prepare.

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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