Table of Contents
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"Starting Your Career
as a
Marine Mammal Trainer"

(2'nd Edition)


Table of Contents:


          How did you get such a cool job? 9
     Exploring Marine Mammals 15
          What is a mammal? 15
          What is a marine mammal?           16
          What are the four orders of marine mammals? 17
          Table 1 - Taxonomic Classification of Living Marine Mammals 19
    Species Profile: Bottlenose Dolphins 20
          The "Classic" Dolphin 20
          Scientific Classification 21
          Illustration 1 - Bottlenose Dolphin External Anatomy 22
          Physical Description 23
          Natural History and Reproduction: 24
     The Job of A Marine Mammal Trainer 27
          What is a marine mammal trainer? 25
          Is a marine mammal trainer the same thing as a marine           biologist? 27
          What does a marine mammal trainer actually do? 28
          How do they train all those different behaviors? 31
          How long does it take to train a behavior? 32
          Are dolphins, sea lions and other marine mammals all trained the same way?  33
          What is a typical day for a marine mammal trainer? 33
          What are typical working conditions? 35
          What are typical working hours? 35
          What are typical pay scales? 36
          Do employers provide any other benefits? 37
          What percentage of marine mammal trainers are women? 37
          What are some of the common advantages and disadvantages of this occupation? 37
          What changes do you foresee in the future for this occupation? 38
     Education 42
          What kind of education is needed to become a marine mammal trainer? 42
          What should I study in high school?  43
          What colleges and course work are best for this career? 44
     Experience 45
          Why do employers put so much emphasis on prior experience? 45
          Do internships and volunteer work count? 46
          What is the value of these introductory jobs? 46
     Ability 47
     Attitude 47
     Commitment 48
     Planning, Research and Preparation 51
          Gather information 51
          Visit marine mammal facilities 52
          Plan and continue your education  52
          Stay physically fit 53
          Develop and maintain strong swimming skills 53
          Get Scuba certified 53
          Don't take drugs 54
          Think hard before you get a tattoo    54
          Watch your language   54
          Join professional associations 55
          Get involved in these associations  55
          Volunteer or intern 56
          Apply for seasonal animal positions 56
          Transfer from within 57
     The Resume and Application 58
          Use the proper format      58
          Spelling counts  58
          Be professional  59
          Be honest 59
          Follow directions 59
          Prepare your references 60
          Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words 60
          Be sure you are qualified 61
          Don't badger 61
     The Interview 61
          Do some detective work  62
          Come prepared 62
          Get some rest 63
          Appearance counts 63
          Be on time 63
          Listen carefully and follow all directions 63
          Be courteous to everyone 63
          Be open to new ideas and methods 64
          Be businesslike 64
          End on a positive note 64
          Be patient 64
     Sample Interview Questions 65
     Zoological Facilities with Marine Mammals 71
          United States of America - by State 72
          International - by Country 95
     Professional Associations 121
     US Government Agencies 124
     Colleges and Universities 127
     Scuba Certification Programs 130
     Suggested Readings 132
     Bibliography 135


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