A Day in the Life of a DPMMR Intern

Good morning!

My name is Cristina, one of the intern coordinators! Today I am going to take you through a day in the life of being an intern here at DPMMR. Interns are responsible for guest interactions, diet preparation, facility maintenance, and assist with training. The internship is designed to give hands-on learning to equip our interns with the necessary skills needed to acquire an entry level position in this industry. If you are interested or have any questions regarding our internship please check out our website at https://www.dpmmr.org/dolphins-plus-marine-mammal-educational-courses/internships or email us at intern@dpmmr.org 

  • Our day begins at 7am in the morning. We sort through hundreds of pounds of fish for each of the dolphins, then weigh it out for each dolphin’s specific diet. Our dolphins eat restaurant quality fish which means only the best for these guys.
  • Then it's time to clean the fish kitchen top to bottom. 
  • We then start morning prep with facility set up and saying good morning to the dolphins. 
  • Giving educational briefings is one of the most important parts of an intern's job. We pick up guests who are going to participate in our programs and educate them on our facility's history, spread the message of conservation, the anatomy of a dolphin, and give them the rules for their encounter so they know what to expect. 
  • Throughout the day we watch and assist with sessions. We are there to help with husbandry behaviors such as voluntary hydrations, being a mock veterinarian to help desensitize them for different procedures, and target pole tappers to help shape behaviors that are being trained. 
  • Then, it's time to get back into the fish kitchen to clean the many dishes that have accrued throughout the morning.
  • Did you know that the dolphins at DPMMR actually eat jello? Every day we make a large tub of gelatin that is made with zero sugar and flavor to feed to the dolphins as a secondary reinforcer and as another form of hydration.
  • Now it's time to go to lunch because we have to eat just like the dolphins!
  • When we get back, it's time to watch and help out with the sessions in boys lagoon and main lagoon, this is normally a guest interaction or a training/husbandry session.
  • After cleaning pm dishes it's time to enrich these dolphins' lives with one of our enrichment sessions. It is the interns responsibility to come up with new and creative enrichment activities to do with the dolphins to increase their welfare. One of my favorites is to kayak with them.
  • One of our duties to get done throughout the day is to record each of the dolphins' respirations and durations of breaths. We do this twice daily to ensure our dolphins' health are in the normal parameters.
  • Something unique about this facility is that we are a guest interactive facility whose goal is to provide ways to connect guests with these animals to inspire them to protect them and the environment they live in. With the educational briefings we also are around to answer any questions guests may have. Sometimes guests ask questions I don't even know the answer to so I ask one of my coworkers and learn something new in the process.
  • To close up the facility at the end of the day we need to check around the lagoons to make sure nothing can blow in over night and put everything back where it belongs for the next day. Goodnight dolphins! 
Posted by DPMMR Staff at 11:00