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!