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.


For questions regarding our internship program, you can reach the field office by phone at 561-575-5660. Please feel free to leave a voice mail if we are not in the office when you call. Do not send us an application/documentation before speaking with us.  The field office’s email is in case you wish to inquire about the 2015 field season.  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, so you need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Our 2015 Internship schedule is currently not available.  Please check back later on for more details.


The prices and payment due dates will be made available when the 2015 Field Season & Internship dates are released.  Please check back later on for more details.


Call or email the field office to be placed on the notification list for the 2015 Field Season.  Please provide us with your full name, phone number, and email (one that you check regularly).  In the subject line, please put “2015 Internship Interest”.  If you are interested in our regular field season, check out our Trip Information page.  You can contact us by phone at 561-575-5660 or email at


The way that the notification list works is when the dates are released for the 2015 field season for internships, we will send EVERYONE on the notification list an email with the dates, prices & booking, and any additional information at the same time.  Since all spots are first come, first serve, whoever first places a deposit by calling our office after we send out the email and provides us with the necessary information and paperwork at the time of sign up are the people that will get the open spaces provided (Refer to the Internship Program Requirements below).

Ten-day trips depart the Port of Palm Beach on Tuesdays and return on Thursdays of the following week. You also have the option to fly in to Freeport; please contact our office before booking your flights to Freeport if you wish to do this.


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.


Dr. Fabienne Delfour may be organizing a trip.  Classes are given in French and English. Please contact Dr. Delfour at for more details.

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