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Distance Learning Program: Marine Mammal Training

National Standards met:

  • Content Standard C– Organisms and Their Environment
  • Content Standard C– Regulation and Behavior
  • Content Standard F - Populations, Resources, and Environments
  • Content Standard F - Science and Technology in Society

FL. Next Generation Standards met:

  • (The Practice of Science) SC.912.N.1.1
  • Common Core Standards (Vocabulary) acquisition and use 6-12 4 a, b, c, d 5 a, b, c and 6

Ocean Literacy Principles met:


  • OLP 1.a, c, d, e, f, g, h
  • OLP 5.a, b, c, d,e, f
  • OLP 6.a, c, e, f, g
  • OLP 7.a, b, c, d, e, f, g

(Other state standards upon request)


An experienced marine mammal trainer/educator will lead students through a fun and informative demonstration and discussion of the following with the help of some of DRC’s amazing dolphins

  • Discover a dolphin’s unique personality and explore and understand the concepts of how and why we train animals and the importance of building strong, trusting relationships
  • Discover principles behind Operant Conditioning and how we use it with our dolphins
    • What is operant conditioning?
    • Positive stimulus: conditioned and unconditioned reinforcers
    • Non reinforcement
  • Observe & Review Training Techniques/Tools  and Applications
    • Bridging
    • Behavior Chains
    • Symbols
    • Target poles/targeting
    • Pinger
  • Observe & Discuss Methods of Training
    • Direct Manipulation
    • Opportunistic Training
    • Modeling
    • Shaping (approximations)
  • Discover Careers with Marine Mammals
    • What are the typical pathways for a career in training
  • Marine Mammal Conservation
    • Why understanding animal training helps us better understand dolphins in the wild
    • Natural & human caused threats in the wild
    • Conservation efforts you can do at home to help dolphins and your environment
  • Participate in a question and answer session at the end to get at those “always wanted to know” questions.


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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