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Name: Lisa Peterson
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Question:
Is there such an occupation as a dolphinologist? If so what education is required and what opportunities are open? Lisa Peterson



Replies:
There are certainly scientist who study dolphins. As an area of specialty, one would probably study marine mammals in general, including whales. Career opportunities would include doing basic research on the animals: their physiology, behavior, or ecology. This would be done most likely as a researcher at a university marine station in association with the teaching of undergraduate and graduate students. Just like any basic scientist. You might also work caring for animals in a marine park or zoo, or for the government studying marine life and its ecology. The navy apparently also does dolphin research. To do basic research as a scientist at a university you would normally need a BS degree in biology or zoology, and a Ph.D. in the same field. For some of the other careers, just the BS degree, or in some cases also a master's degree is what's needed. If you're interested, go for it! Be aware that your interests may change once you start studying these subjects seriously, so be prepared not to specialize to much too soon. For a while, stick to zoology in general, then move to mammals, then to marine mammals.

--ProfBill



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