Update: Week 1

Hello everyone!

I have officially had my first week at Dolphin Research Center! I arrived on Sunday, August 23rd and jumped right into classes on Monday, August 24th.  Classes begin at 8 am and go straight through until 530pm. We have also been told that classes will begin to be at 7am this week and go until 6pm! Talk about having non-stop days. The initial classes have been introduction to the facility and animals, building relationships with the animals, conservation, physical education and public speaking.

While mainly focusing on lecture this first week, we will begin to have more labs this week and have more specific time with the marine mammals. Dolphin Research Center houses 25 dolphins and 4 California sea lions, as well as some exotic birds. For one of my class projects, I am required to be able to identify each animal and be able to tell others how to identify them. I never thought of identifying animals as a difficult task but apparently, I hadn’t spent much time considering how to identify dolphins before! Mainly relying on scars or very uniquely shaped fins – if it’s a “perfect dolphin” they all look very similar and I just have to decide who is a lighter grey in a specific area! Definitely finding it to be a bit of a challenge. I will hopefully have them down by the exam next week!

About Jessica

Hello! My name is Jessica Massie. Born in Georgia to a military family, I have had the privilege of growing up and living in many different places (7 states (some multiple times) and Germany (twice)). While living a life that required moving often, my life is also unique in that I was homeschooled all the way until college, which provided countless learning experiences and called for many different and exciting field trips. I went on to study biology at Central Christian College of Kansas, in McPherson, Kansas where I obtained my Bachelor of Science.

Since graduating I have gone on to volunteer with multiple non- profit organizations. I spent time with Heifer International, at Heifer Ranch in Arkansas, where I was able to facilitate programs concerning world hunger and sustainable agriculture. After my time there, I volunteered with the African Children’s Choir as a chaperone for 2.5 years. I was able to care for 43, absolutely wonderful, Ugandan children. Our mission was to raise awareness and educational funds for Ugandan children through choir performances. 

Throughout my life I have loved and wanted to work with animals in some capacity. I had many different animals growing up, enjoyed being a part of 4-H animal projects and volunteered at conservation facilities.  After interning at a zoo, I decided to focus more on animal training. Now, I am planning to attend Dolphin Research Center Training Institute to pursue a degree in Marine Mammal Care and Training. I am hoping to use this to work with animals to further important conservation, create educational opportunities or work in animal and human therapy.

Click the Donate button below to support Jessica!

Help Jessica Follow Her Dreams

Have you known what you wanted to do in life from the time you were a child?   I haven’t met many who do, so those that have such clarity stand out!   From the time this young woman was five years old, she talked about being a marine biologist.  I remember her so clearly talking about it though it was twenty years ago!  

When I learned that she had been accepted to the Dolphin Research Training program, the memory of her being so little yet so clear came back to me immediately and I knew I had to help her.  This prestigious training is intense and costly, but not if those who can pitch in a little each month.   If you would like to support Jessica  – who doesn’t love dolphins?!!! Click the Donate button below to support Jessica!

She will be giving us a weekly update for the next 36 weeks!