Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Mote Collage

Dolphin Care, Training & Research Program

Internship Description:

Mote's Dolphin Care, Training & Research Program is responsible for the care and training of our resident Pantropical Spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata) housed at Mote Aquarium.

Interns work directly with dolphin care staff, assisting in all aspects of this program. Primary responsibilities include assisting in the husbandry and training of the dolphin, creating environmental enrichment devices for the dolphin, and interacting with the public. Interns will gain hands-on experience in animal husbandry and research training which focuses on the sensory processes and physiological adaptations.

Dolphin Care interns should be able to handle high levels of responsibility, demonstrate self-motivation, and be able to work independently as well as in a team. Duties include but are not limited to: food preparation, water quality testing, assisting during training sessions, data entry, public interaction and narrations,  upkeep of the dolphin lagoon, cleaning, miscellaneous office work, and other assigned tasks.

Coursework in biology, zoology, psychology, ecology, environmental studies, or animal behavior or science is required. Previous experience training animals and working with marine mammals is preferred, but not necessary. Computer skills are useful. A willingness to learn is a must.

Physical Requirements:

Interns must be ability to lift 50lbs, work outdoors in a hot, humid environment or other adverse environmental conditions, be a proficient swimmer, and have good physical stamina.

Essential Intern Functions:

  • Strong communication skills with clear, friendly, and effective verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Great time-management skills with ability to plan, organize, and multi-task
  • Able to be diligent in a fast-paced environment with a full schedule
  • Able to be self-motivated and disciplined with excellent work ethics
  • Responsible for any record-keeping related to animal behavioral observations, respirations, and research
  • Provide accurate information to guests during/after training sessions


Because we are a not-for-profit organization, Mote's internships are unpaid. Upon request, Volunteer and Intern Resources can provide some assistance to incoming interns looking for affordable housing, but ultimately interns are responsible for finding their own housing.

Interns are required to fulfill a 40 hour workweek. Dolphin Care interns either work four, 10 hour days a week or five, 8 hour days depending on the current number of interns. You may be required to come in early or stay later depending on our animal's needs, so it is important that you have your own transportation to Mote as these times may not allow for use of Sarasota's public transportation system.





Apply for a Mote Internship now!