Re: marine mammal question

From: Greg Early (mailgearly@yahoo.com)
Date: Thu Jan 13 2005 - 10:19:18 EST

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    Juli,

    The good news is that a biology background may not be
    all that important - and while Minnesota is not
    exactly the coast, there are ways you can get a start
    in the right direction.

    First thing to do is get a good idea of what being a
    trainer is like. WhaleNet has a number of links to
    websites with information, but you should also check
    the web pages of the International Marine Animal
    Trainers Association
    https://www.membersolutions.net/Organization/IMATA/home.asp

    You should think about what kind of training you would
    most like to do and aim for that. Trainers work for
    public display facilities, for research programs, and
    even in the military. If you want to do research, the
    biology is far more important than if you are doing
    shows. If the training is less important to you than
    the husbandry (caring for, but not training the
    animals) then, again, biology may be less important.

    Once you have a general idea about what you want to
    do, you can build up the skills you would need. For
    example, if you are interested in research, biology
    would be one of your skills. If you are interested in
    doing shows, athletic skills and an ability to work in
    front of a crowd would be a big help.

    Having "animal skills" is probably most important.
    And getting that experience can give you a good idea
    if working with animals is what you want to do. The
    Minnesota zoo has marine mammals, so being a volunteer
    or intern there could give you some experience. If
    you can not do that, any kind of animal experience -
    preferably with large animals - is a big help. So
    helping on a farm or at a vet clinic, can be a good
    way to get some experience. I've worked with a lot of
    staff and volunteers, and some of the best have had
    little marine mammal experience to start, but all of
    them had worked with animals at some point.

    In any case you should get used to the idea that you
    will spend most of your professional life wet and
    smelling like fish.

    ge

    ps

    I've never had a marine biology course either - and
    look where I ended up - go figure.

    --- Juliana Schroeder <j_schroeder33@hotmail.com>
    wrote:

    ---------------------------------
    Hello!
       My name is Juliana Schroeder. I'm 18 years old and
    I am going to graduate high school this year. I've
    always wanted to be a marine mammal trainer but am
    clueless about how to get started. I'm from Minnesota
    so it is hard to get work experience. I'm not sure
    where I am going to college yet, although I have
    applied numerous places. I don't really want to get a
    degree in marine biology because I took a biology
    class from Minnesota State University, Mankato and it
    was a little too hard for me. What do you think I
    should do or where could I start? Thanks so much!
     
    Juli Schroeder



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