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Back to DolphinLab Teen Main Course List

Teen Marine Mammal Care & Basic Training DolphinLab


Course Information

Teen Marine Mammal Care and Basic Training DolphinLab builds on the knowledge and experience gained in both Teen Basic and Teen Intermediate DolphinLabs. During this immersive program, students work closely with our Education and Animal Care and Training staff, with a hands-on approach to learning about basic training methods and husbandry care practices with DRC’s dolphin family.

  • For teens ages 15-17
  • Program begins Sunday afternoon and ends the following Friday afternoon

  • Participate in multiple hands-on feed and play sessions on the floating docks to gain basic training experience

  • Unique opportunity to gain career oriented, hands-on experience under the guidance of our accomplished trainers and staff

  • Must be open to receiving and implementing constructive feedback from DRC staff

  • Establish a trusting relationship with the dolphins throughout the week, learning how to read their behavior and understand their individual choices and preferences

  • Demonstrate animal handling skills during a live training session narrated by DRC’s staff for our public guests

  • Learn to respect each dolphin as an individual with his or her own “dolphinality” 

  • Blend of hour-long discussion based seminars and hands-on activities 

  • Academically intensive, physically rigorous program specifically designed for students seriously interested in pursuing a career in marine mammal care and training 

  • Class size averages 8-10 students

  • Additional information and required waivers and forms are provided in the Welcome Packet emailed to each teen and parent. 

Seminars May Include:

  • Relationships in Animal Care and Training
  • Marine Mammal Husbandry

  • Introduction to Dolphin Handling

  • Marine Mammal Medical Care and Pathology 

  • Marine Mammal Rescue and Rehabilitation

Interactive Programs Include:

  • One trainer-guided Dolphin Splash in-water session

  • One trainer-guided Dolphin Encounter in-water session

  • Daily dolphin handling dock sessions beginning mid-week, record keeping, diet preparation & assisting in husbandry care

Additional Hands-On Activities May Include:

  • Live Demonstrations with DRC's animal family

  • Reinforcement Techniques Workshop

  • Observation Time

  • Q&A panel discussion with senior trainers on the differences in caring for various marine mammals


Accommodations During the Week of DolphinLab:

Lodging is available onsite at the DRC Residence for up to five (5) teens. 

  • Teens are supervised by our DolphinLab Chaperone when at the Residence 

  • All meals are provided each day of the program 

  • The DRC Residence is available on a first-come, first-served basis for the first five (5) teens who indicate on their application that they want to stay at the Residence.

DolphinLab participants who do not stay in the residence and their parents 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, but all other meals are the responsibility of the teen and parent. 

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 Teen Marine Mammal Care & Basic Training DolphinLab is $1,800.00 (US) without lodging and meals, or $2,250.00 (US) including lodging and all meals during the program. 

Tuition also includes: 

  • All seminars, activities, and interactive programs 

  • Digital photographs of the teen’s dolphin interactions throughout the week

  • Digital video of the final public  dock presentation   

Tuition does not include: 

  • Transportation to and from any airport, or to and from DRC each day if the teen is not staying in the DRC Residence.

  • It is the parent and teen’s responsibility to secure transportation.

Students must successfully complete both Teen Basic and Intermediate DolphinLabs before participating in Teen Marine Mammal Care and Basic Training DolphinLab

  • Labs offered consecutively

  • Teen may enroll in all three Labs within the same summer; however, Dolphin Research Center reserves the right to determine whether the student continues on to Teen MMC&BT DolphinLab based on his/her performance in Teen Basic and/or Teen Intermediate DolphinLab.


2024 Teen MMC&BT DolphinLab Schedule:

July 28 - August 2, 2024

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



Enrollment for the 2024 Teen Marine Mammal Care & Basic Training 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 Teen MMC&BT 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 teen's application. 

  • You must successfully complete both Teen Basic DolphinLab and Teen Intermediate DolphinLab before participating in Teen MMC&BT DolphinLab

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


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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