Dolphins Plus, Key Largo, FL - (Blake Alspach)
Blake Alspach
Blake, on right interacting with Ding and Kai

Dolphins Plus is an education and research facility located in Key Largo, Florida. The facility houses fourteen Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins and two California Sea Lions. Their focus is to educate the public about dolphins and their environment and to give their guests the opportunity to join their world, by allowing them to go in the water and interact with the dolphins "up close and personal."

Blake's goal was to gain an understanding of the scientific process and to work with marine mammals to help prepare for enter graduate school for a marine biology degree.

His responsibilities included working directly with researchers and animal care staff members assisting with ongoing research projects, participation in all aspects of animal care and husbandry, guest relations, and day-to-day operations such as diet preparation, overseeing swim sessions, and basic cleaning and maintenance at the facility, and most importantly, interacting with the dolphins.

This was a great internship for anyone wanting to get closer to marine mammals and their care and to have a better understanding of them overall.

Between being responsible for the husbandry of the animals, helping operate the "swim with dolphins" programs, and performing research, this four-week program was extremely comprehensive.

I would recommend this internship to anyone that has any ambitions in mammal biology or marine animal husbandry. Without this internship, my life may have turned out very differently.

Dolphins Plus