Internship opportunities are available during our summer research season (May – September) to U.S. undergraduates, recent graduates, and high school juniors and seniors, and to overseas students at the discretion of WDP.

The Wild Dolphin Project ( is the longest-running underwater dolphin research study in the world.  Since 1985, WDP has studied two resident communities of Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) and bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the northern Bahamas.


All trips leave from West Palm Beach, Florida on a Tuesday morning and return 10 days later on a Thursday morning.  Students may apply to do two trips back to back, space permitting, to maximize their experience. Students who do not live locally are responsible for their own accommodations on land before and after each trip. Information on local hotel options is available from WDP if requested.

Interns will assist in collection of data in the field, photo identification processes, data entry, and specialized projects as available. Students must be currently registered in a relevant university or high school program (e.g., marine biology), have swimming and snorkeling skills (and equipment), and be willing to be at sea for 10 days at a time. High school students (age 16 and up) or others under age 18 also need written parental permission as part of their application.

Intern responsibilities in the field:

  1. Help with daily dolphin watches, log data, and help with in-the-water underwater photography.
  2. Process dolphin photographs for photo identification during daytime when schedule allows.
  3. Review underwater video in the evenings and help log individuals and behavior.

Daytime hours: are typically spent looking for, or working with, the dolphins.  Observations occur both from the surface and in the water.  Observations are made from our 62-foot research vessel or in our inflatable boat.

Evening Hours: Lectures on dolphin identification, biology, behavior, and acoustics will be given in the evenings or during the day if weather conditions permit.  Areas of interests for students include behavior, acoustics, or ecology and can be accommodated for focused projects while on board.

Lectures are given by Dr. Herzing, scientific colleagues, or current graduate students working with WDP in their area of specialty.  A reading list can be downloaded from WDP website in the “Library” section.  Students can check at their own universities to receive credit for projects specified by their advisor if desired.

Skill sets required:

  1. Ability to live in small quarters, at sea, for 10 days.
  2. Swimming in strong currents and snorkeling skills are required (no scuba diving).
  3. Skills in photography, media processing, and data processing are a plus.
  4. Must be willing to work in a team and safely in the water, and on a boat, under the instructions of researchers and graduate students.
  5. A working knowledge of biology, evolution, and life sciences is helpful and encouraged.


Please find the 2014 schedule below.  There are currently 2 Internship spaces available for Trip #9 (Sept. 2-11, 2014)!  There is a 20% DISCOUNT for the 2 remaining spaces available for this trip.  For information about booking, please contact our research office at 561-575-5660 or  See below information about being placed on the waiting list for a specific trip or trips.

Internship fee for your time on the boat (covering housing at sea and food) is $1,550 per person (trip fees are tax deductible as allowed by law).  Call 561-575-5660 to secure your spot with a deposit of $400.  Spaces are currently full.  We are currently keeping a waiting list in case there are any cancellations during the 2014 field season (see below for more information).  Email us with any questions at


Once the intern trips fill up or if you are interested in other trips, the field office can add you to the waiting list and will contact you if any internship spots open up during the 2014 field season.  Please call 561-575-5660 or email with your full name, phone number, email, and the specific trip dates of your interest and we will add you to the waiting list for that trip.  Email will be the main form of contact, so make sure the email you provide is one that you check regularly.  You can also visit the Trip Information section for more details about trip schedules and requirements.


The whole trip fee for interns ($1,550 per person) needs to be paid in full 90 days before the trip.  Please view the schedule below to see when your balance is due.  If you have any questions, please contact the field office.

Intern Payment Due Dates


In order to participate as an intern, students must:

  1. Be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, with an emphasis or interest in biology, psychology, or environmental studies. Juniors or seniors in high school age 16+ are allowed with the written permission of parents and letters of recommendation from two current instructors.
  2. Proof of health insurance, i.e. copy of health insurance card, (valid outside the U.S.) is required, and DAN (Divers Alert Network) membership is recommended for all participants. Written parental permission is required for participants under age 18.
  3. A current passport is required to enter the Bahamas and to re-enter the U.S. on our research boat.  Please provide a copy with your application AFTER you reserve your spot.
  4. Verification that you are currently a student (i.e. letter from the university, transcripts, etc.) is required for all internship applicants BEFORE you place your deposit/pay for trip.

If you have any questions regarding trip information, please visit our Trip FAQ’s page for some of the common questions that participants ask us.


If you or someone you know is interested is getting their name listed on the notification list for the 2015 field season for internships, please email and include your name, phone number, and email address.  In the subject line, please put “2015 Internship Interest”.

When the dates are released for the 2015 field season, we will send an email out to everyone on the notification list at once as all spots are first come, first serve.  In order to reserve a space when the dates are released, you will be required to place a deposit as well as email documents required for all internship spaces (Refer to the Internship Program Requirements above).


Dr. Fabienne Delfour will be organizing a trip.  Classes are given in French and English. Please contact Dr. Delfour at .

For information about careers in the marine sciences, please visit the web site of the Society for Marine Mammology.