Subject: Career in Marine Biology

Lindsay J Porter (
Thu, 9 Apr 1998 09:28:32 +0800 (HKT)

>I've been interested in whales for about 5-6 years now, and would realy enjoy 
>working with them in a future career. I was just wondering is there any 
>possibility that I could maybe get a job where I don't have to watch them 
>suffer? I mean in better terms, where I can work with them in their natural 
>habitat? and not in a park? Parks are okay, I just feel they would be happier 
>out where they belong, we brought them into showbusiness, mainly the orcas, we 
>should be the ones to set them free. Like i said, there's not a whole lot
>with parks, to show them off, it's a way we can learn more about them, but I 
>feel they should be happy. But I just wuld like to know is there a career that 
>you don't have to work with them in a cage?

There are several opportunities to work with marine mammals in the wild - I
post below the answer I give to enquiries similar to yours - it lists
possible projects with which you can become involved - either a s a
volunteer or as a 'paying ecotourist'.  Practical experience gained on such
a project puts you in goo d stead for futher developing a career in marine

'Strategies for Pursuing a Career in Marine Mammal Science', 
Society for Marine Mammalogy's website:

There are two types of voluntary work you could apply for - one where you
pay nothing (a true volunteer) or one where you actually pay to join a
research programme (as a type of adventure holiday).  I shall include some
places which may take on volunteers and email addresses for those that are
paying holidays.  These 'paying' volunteer projects also have various
overseas expeditions.  

Paying Research
Earthwatch The website has lots of information on all projects, I have
listed the sites specific to marine mammals
680 Mt. Auburn St., 
P.O. Box 403, 
Massachusetts 02272; 
email:   MANATEES Florida   ORCAS Washington    BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS  Florida.

This is a very good programme. I know several people who have taken part and
all comments have been very positive and enthusiatic (to contact this
laboratory direct: Dr. Randy Wells
Chicago Zoological Society, c/o Mote Marine Laboratory, 1600 Thompson
Parkway, Sarasota, FL. 34236) 

Whalewatching website.  This site has a lot of information on all aspects of
whale watching, research, education and related groups.

Oceanography www site list  This site lists many institutes that conduct
research and includes those that require volunteers

Prof. G.A.J. Worthy 
Director, Physiological Ecology and Bioenergetics Lab
Director, Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network
This is one of the largest and most successful Marine Mammal stranding
programmes.  Volunteers are always require although I believe that all
summer interns are either University or college level.

Texas A&M University,
5001 Avenue U, Suite 105
Galveston, TX   77551  USA
(409) 740-4905 fax
Centre for Coastal Studies
All year round whale and dolphin cruises and research, which take summer
interns of all ages

The Center for Coastal Studies
Box 1036,
Provincetown, MA 02657
(508) 487-3622

Additionlly, there is the Green Guide - website listing projects which need
volunteers - found on

best wishes
Lindsay J Porter
Dolphin Research Group
The Swire Institute of Marine Science
The University of Hong Kong
Cape d'Aguilar
Hong Kong