Subject: career with whales

Jen Philips (
Sun, 17 Nov 1996 12:16:35 -1000 (HST)

Hi Athena!  Thanks for your question. I answered another question very
similar to yours, so I will tell you the same thing I told her, ok?  :

> What kind of classes would i be looking to take if i wanted to work with
> What would my major have to be?

This depends on what you want to do with them.  Being a marine mammal
trainer, for example, is very different from being a marine mammal
researcher. The education and experience you need to get for them are
different.  For marine mammal training, experience is most important for
getting jobs working with dolphins, rather than an advanced degree
graduate school. For research, you have to go to school, and graduate
school and educate yourself very well!  There is one school in Southern
California that has a good 2 year program in animal training (Moorepark
college).  But for research in marine mammals, which is what I do, schools
such as University of California, Santa Cruz; University of California,
San Diego; MIT in Boston (with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute); some
schools in Florida; University of Hawaii; Texas A&M; etc. have great
graduate degree programs. So, basically, if you want to be a trainer, you
would do best to get a job at a marine life park (if you live near one)
once you get into high school, then work your way up into the marine
mammal departments.  In research, experience is also very important, so
you can get jobs and also so you expand your mind and get involved in
research very early in your college education.  The best path is:
graduate from high school, start college (either a 2 year college, then
transfer, or start directly in a 4 year collge), take classes in either
biology, zoology, oceanography, marine biology, psychology, or marine
science (for example),  volunteer for a research project in marine mammal
research to start getting experience ASAP, graduate from college, talk to
advanced researchers in the field you are interested in about becoming
their graduate student, go to grad school and work with those people, get
your masters, and your PhD (doing your own research along the way), and
you're there!  :)
I hope this helps answer your question.  It sounds like you are doing very
well by planning ahead, finding out what you have to do to work with
whales.  Keep it up!  Write back if you have any more questions!

Aloha -

Jen Philips

On Sat, 16 Nov 1996, athena wrote:

> What kind of classes would i be looking to take if i wanted to work with whales?
> What would my major have to be?
> Thanks for any help you can give me.


Jennifer D. Philips

Marine Mammal Research Program - HIMB		(808) 236-4001
University of Hawaii, Manoa          
Honolulu, HI  96822	      "First, there were some amoebas. Deviant
			       amoebas adapted better to the environment,
			       thus becoming monkeys..."       - S.Adams