Internship opportunities are available during our summer research season 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 (www.wilddolphinproject.org) 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.
2013 Intern Trip Schedule
|TRIP #||AVAILABLE DATES||DAYS|
|TRIP 1||MAY 14 – 23||TUES-THUR (Closed/Waiting List)|
|TRIP 2||MAY 28 – JUNE 6||TUES-THUR (Closed/Waiting List)|
Trips 1 & 2 are for student internships. There is always a possibility of a cancellation on one of our trips, in which case we start contacting people on the waiting lists in order to fill the spots. If the trip that you would like to participate in is full, we can put you on a waiting list. Please call 561-575-5660 with your full name, phone number, email, and the specific dates that you would like to participate on for the trips. You can also email us with this information at email@example.com.
If any students are interested in the other trips, the field office can add you to the waiting list for those as well. You can call 561-575-5660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, phone number, and email so that we can put you on the waiting list. Visit the Trip Information area for more details about regular trip schedules and requirements.
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.
Prices & Payment
This is an unpaid internship. Interns pay a fee of $1,400 per person to cover the cost of their participation in the 10-day experience, with a $250 deposit required to reserve a spot once it is offered (limited spots).
Call our office at 561-575-5660 or email email@example.com before sending a check in the mail. The application must be filled out completely and returned within 3 weeks of receiving. All trip fees must be received by WDP at least 60 days prior to your scheduled departure, or upon booking if your departure is less than 60 days from the date you make your reservation. There will be a mid-payment date 90 days from your departure in which ½ of the cost of the trip (after the deposit) will be due. When you sign up for the trip, you will receive these dates.
Internship Trip Information
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:
- Help with daily dolphin watches, log data, and help with in-the-water underwater photography.
- Process dolphin photographs for photo identification during daytime when schedule allows.
- 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:
- Ability to live in small quarters, at sea, for 10 days.
- Swimming and snorkeling skills are required (no scuba diving).
- Skills in photography, media processing, and data processing are a plus.
- 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.
- A working knowledge of biology, evolution, and life sciences is helpful and encouraged.
In order to participate as an intern, students must:
- Currently be 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.
- Proof of health insurance (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.
- A current passport is required to enter the Bahamas and to re-enter the U.S. on our research boat.
- A copy of current student ID is required for all internship applicants.
European Student Opportunity
Dr. Fabienne Delfour will be organizing a trip in 2013. Classes are given in French and English. Please contact Dr. Delfour at www.animauxetcompagnies.com .
For information about careers in the marine sciences, please visit the web site of the Society for Marine Mammology.