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Internship Opportunities at Dolphin Research Center

Overview

Overview

Within our Volunteer Resources Department, we offer an Internship Program. Internships at DRC are an exciting way to develop career skills as well as an opportunity to get  “behind the scenes” to see how a marine mammal facility operates. They involve concentration in specific departments, normally last 16 to 18 weeks and are held throughout the year.

Interns work forty hours per week typically spending four days per week in their designated department and one day providing support in other areas of daily operations through the Volunteer Resources Pool. All internships are unpaid. Applicants do not need to be enrolled in college to be considered for an internship. 

Supplemental projects will be assigned based upon DRC’s needs and the intern’s specific skills and areas of interest, and may include: assisting your department and other teams.

 In addition to daily position responsibilities, all interns are required to pursue individual independent study goals according to his/her specific skills and areas of interest. If seeking college credit the intern can incorporate course work into this area.  

Dolphin Research Center offers internships in a variety of departments including:

ANIMAL CARE AND TRAINING
EDUCATION
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES
RESEARCH
SPECIAL NEEDS (Offered for the Fall session only)
VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

General Information/Requirements

Dolphin Research Center welcomes interns from around the world but asks that applicants are able to comfortably read, speak and understand English. Intern applicants need to be physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds and work outside in the Florida heat, sunshine and humidity. All interns are responsible for their own housing, food and local transportation. Please bear in mind that this area is a tourist destination and therefore the cost of accommodations can vary dependent on the season.

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

Animal Care and Training Level 1

ANIMAL CARE AND TRAINING LEVEL 1:

This unpaid internship is designed to be an entry-level experience for those interested in careers working with marine mammals.  There are several positions for each term and our Animal Care and Training Interns are expected to work together to achieve common goals.  As in all venues, there are multiple opportunities for individual achievement.

The Animal Care and Training Intern position provides support to the Animal Care and Training staff by learning about and assisting with diet preparation for the animals and maintaining the diet prep facility.  Interns are expected to become familiar with industry standard terms and practices as they shadow trainers to learn operant conditioning techniques through observation.  

Basic Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Successfully complete classroom seminars and training courses including written and/or verbal quizzes.

  • Daily and deep cleaning and sanitation of fish prep areas and equipment

  • Retrieving fish from freezer and applying proper thawing techniques. 

  • Microphone narrations of live dolphin and/or sea lion presentations.

  • Assist with avian and sea lion training sessions including cleaning and maintaining the habitat.

  • Developing and implementing enrichment devices for dolphins, sea lions, and birds. 

  • Act as medical assistant for husbandry training sessions including such duties as pouring water when dolphins are performing voluntary hydration behavior

  •  Based on the needs of the facility and individual performance, interns may assist with dolphin training and feeding sessions.

  •  Keep a training journal of sessions, thoughts and questions. This journal provides discussion points for regularly scheduled progress meetings with your coach.

  • Build a resume with the help of experienced staff.

  •  Train to complete DRC’s swim test.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

Animal Care and Training Level 2 (Prerequisite Required)

ANIMAL CARE AND TRAINING LEVEL 2:

*Video depicts Level 1 internship

 

This unpaid internship is designed to be an entry-level experience for those interested in careers working with marine mammals. The level 2 internship would allow stellar Level 1  interns to return for a more advanced internship.  There are several positions for each term and our Animal Care and Training Interns (Levels 1 and 2) are expected to work together to achieve common goals.  

The Animal Care and Training Level 2 Intern position provides support to the Animal Care and Training staff.  The Level 2 internship is designed to expand the Level 1 internship by offering more opportunities for individual growth.

Prerequisite:

Interns must have successfully completed Level 1 ACT internship.  

 

Basic Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Successfully complete classroom seminars and training courses including Marine Mammal Nutrition, Diet Prep, and Enrichment.

  • Preparing daily diets for the dolphins and sea lions.

  • Learn to do Enrichment/Docktime unsupervised during workday as schedule permits.

  • Regularly narrate live dolphin and/or sea lion presentations.  

  • Assist with avian and sea lion training sessions including cleaning and maintaining the habitat.

  • Developing and implementing enrichment devices for dolphins, sea lions, and birds.  

  • Act as medical assistant for husbandry training sessions including such duties as pouring water when dolphins are performing voluntary hydration behavior.

  • Based on the needs of the facility and individual performance, interns may assist with dolphin training and feeding sessions.

  • Supervising and training Level 1 Interns.

  • Develop skills necessary to use a whistle on sessions with supervision.  

  • Train to complete DRC’s advanced swim test.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool. By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

 

 

Education

EDUCATION :

An internship in the Education Department is a comprehensive, well-rounded experience. The goal of the Education Internship is to help you begin to build a foundation for a career in marine education and/or working with marine mammals. Our education programs have enormous potential to influence public attitudes and actions and to directly affect the health and well-being of the environment. We accomplish this through a variety of programs from narrations during dolphin sessions to our 7-day DolphinLabs. Education interns have the opportunity to observe college accredited seminars and have access to a vast library of professional journal articles on a broad range of topics as well as to updates on global marine mammal issues.

Education interns build public speaking skills and interact daily with domestic as well as international visitors of all ages. While Education interns do not work directly with our dolphins, there is ample opportunity to talk directly with the public by conducting 20-minute workshops and informally answering questions.

Responsibilities vary depending on the program schedule during your internship. Specific job duties may include (but are not limited to):

  • Observing and presenting public educational programs
  • Answering questions from guests on the grounds or responding to electronic requests for information
  • Accompanying department staff members and assisting at outreach events at schools and/or environmental events
  • Assisting with DolphinLab by conducting hands-on learning activities, escorting participants during their observation time and/or answering questions from students interested in future internships
  • Assisting Education staff members in copying the daily schedule and preparing the public schedule board
  • Assisting with library research and maintenance
  • Assisting with idea generation and/or curriculum development for public educational programs and DolphinLab

Your coach will work with you weekly to design your schedule. In addition to daily tasks and projects, you will need to set specific goals for your internship that will both benefit the Education Department and enhance your experience. You will complete various assigned reading, view specific seminars, and maintain a daily journal.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool.  By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

Information Technologies

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES :

The information technology volunteer intern position at Dolphin Research Center is an excellent way to learn the basics of computer sciences and learn about the day to day operation of computing and networking at a facility such as Dolphin Research Center. An IT intern at DRC will support the IT staff in software, hardware and all other technological tasks and issues. 

An ideal IT intern would be in pursuit of a degree in computer science, information technology or engineering. Familiarity with windows operating systems is a necessity. Familiar with OS X, Microsoft's office suites, Microsoft Server and other business applications is helpful. Applicants must be able to take direction well, have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and be customer service oriented.

Typical duties of an IT Intern would be, but are not limited to:

  • Support the IT staff with software installation
  • Support the IT staff with hardware installation
  • Troubleshooting IT Tickets
  • Change backup drives, and relocate backups
  • Troubleshooting issues with IT hardware
  • Troubleshooting networking issues

Becoming an IT intern for DRC offers much valued experience in the field. It is also a fantastic opportunity to get basic understanding in the different fields of IT (network administration, PC technician, account administration etc), and to get hands on experience with some of the latest technologies (Hyper-V, failover clustering, Server Virtualization, etc).                 

Supplemental projects will be assigned upon DRC’s needs and the student’s specific skills and areas of interest. 

Independent study projects:In addition to daily position responsibilities, all interns are required to pursue individual independent study goals according to his/her specific skills and areas of interest.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool.  By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

 

Research

RESEARCH :

Research interns participate in DRC's ongoing behavioral and cognitive research projects, giving them broad exposure to a variety of research methodologies. Interns receive extensive on the job training in observing marine mammal, behavior, collecting observational data, working with research equipment, and assisting with cognitive research sessions. This position is offered in all three sessions. Note: conducting your own research projects is not part of this position.

Specific job duties include:

  • collecting observational behavioral data
  • set-up and breakdown of equipment for cognitive research sessions
  • assisting trainers for cognitive research sessions (presenting stimuli, note-taking)
  • operating video equipment
  • entering data into the computer for analysis
  • equipment maintenance

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool.  By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

Special Needs

SPECIAL NEEDS :

Offered for the fall session only. Not available Fall 2015.

This position is a support role to our Special Needs and Dolphin Pathways Program staff.  It may involve: preparing, repairing and maintaining session equipment, assisting program participants and their families, recording session notes and maintaining session records, preparing program participant folders, and handling information requests and other correspondence.  Note: Working directly with the dolphins and in-water assistance are not part of this position.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool.  By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings. 

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

Visual Communications

VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS :

The goal of the Visual Communications Intern is to support and assist the Visual Communications (“VisComm”) staff.  Using your knowledge of digital photography and videography as a Visual Communications Department Intern, you will have the opportunity to work outdoors around the water, interact with guests and watch dolphins at play while photographing program participants to provide lasting memories of their experiences.  This is a team department and as an intern, using your still and video editing skills, you will assist on projects working closely with VisComm staff members and co-workers from other departments.

Working knowledge of Final Cut Pro and Adobe Creative Suite software is essential.

Each intern is asked to bring his vision and creativity forward with his individual goals.  Department computers may be used when available.  Depending on the individual’s interest or skill set these may be still photography, video, design project or a mix of all media.

Primary responsibilities of this position are:

  • Taking candid digital still photos of guests and dolphins during public programs
  • Working directly with guests to select and process print and/or digital photos

Other opportunities may include:

  • All phases of video production  from capturing to editing
  • Organizing, scanning, and storing digital images of archived photos, slides and VHS tapes
  • Creating on-site informational and directional signage

VisComm Interns do not work directly with the dolphins but will be around them throughout the day as they interact with trainers, other departments and the general public.

Note: All images/products produced through this internship will remain the sole property of DRC.  Any images taken with your own equipment are for your personal use and not to be sold or published.  This position is offered in all three sessions.

All interns also provide regular support to all areas of operations through crossover to other departments and by weekly participation in the Resource Pool.  By participating in all departments, our interns develop skills that can be used in multiple employment settings.

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

How To Apply

How to Apply

Dolphin Research Center’s Internship Program falls within the Volunteer Resources Department.  All Internships are unpaid and the number of intern positions is very limited.  Internships involve concentration within a specific department and generally are of 16-18 weeks duration.  Applicants available for this duration of time may take precedence. Applications for less than 12 week duration will not be accepted.

Deadline Dates for Internship Application Submission.  NO LATER THAN:

  •     OCTOBER 1 for the Winter Term (January through April)
  •     FEBRUARY 1 for the Summer Term (May through August)
  •     JUNE 1 for the Fall Term (September through December)

To apply for an internship it is mandatory that you please provide the following package. If necessary, documentation can be sent under separate cover:

  • A completed Application Form (including your Internship Preferences in order of choice under Section B)
  • A current Resume
  • Transcript (may be unofficial unless you are seeking a credit for your internship)
  • Two Letters of Recommendation with an original signature.  (If currently enrolled in college, one letter must be from your Faculty Advisor)

Currently, applications cannot be submitted online. Please send your application, supporting documentation and any additional information you wish that you feel would be beneficial to us in processing your application by fax to the attention of Volunteer Resource at (305) 743-7627 or by regular mail:

Dolphin Research Center
Attn: Volunteer Resources Department
58901 Overseas Highway
Grassy Key, FL 33050
USA

Application Review and Selection:

  • Upon receipt, internship applications are given to department coaches for review and selection
  • Telephone interviews are conducted with finalists
  • Selections are generally completed and confirmed two months prior to the starting month of each term
  • Start and end dates for the internships are arranged with the department coaches at the time of acceptance
  • DRC keeps start and end dates flexible to meet varying schedules of schools and activities

If you have additional questions regarding internship opportunities at DRC, please e-mail us at drc-vr@dolphins.org or telephone (305) 289-1121 x 230 Monday – Friday 9AM to 4PM (EST).

To apply, please download the Volunteer/Internship Candidate application form from the Resource Library below.

Resource Library

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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