Why do you work at DA?
I began studying wild bottlenose dolphins along the North Carolina coast in 1983 while a student of marine biology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. I documented the daily habits and association patterns of the local dolphins, and although I enjoyed the field work, I yearned to understand the mind of these animals through interaction rather than observation alone.
After college, I became a dolphin trainer at Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi in 1986. In 1992, I was appointed Dolphin Care and Training Supervisor for the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences of the Bay Islands, Honduras. In 2000, I moved to Freeport, Grand Bahama, to take a job with the Dolphin Experience as the Director of Training and Education. (At the time, Roatan and Freeport were the only interactive facilities in the world where people can interact daily with trained dolphins in the open ocean - so it was quite a privilege to have worked at both locations.)
In May, 2002, I was given the opportunity to come to Curacao and be reunited with trainers and dolphins from Roatan, while creating the world's third open ocean dolphin training facility. My position to this day is Director of Dolphins and Programs at the Curacao Dolphin Academy.
What is your favorite memory at DA?
The dolphins I've worked with are all individuals, each with unique traits and characteristics. Getting to really know each "dolphinality" is what I like best about my job. I have found that the best way to learn about and understand these animals is by developing and nurturing one-on-one relationships with each of them . . . and I've enjoyed that process immensely.
Joined Dolphin Academy in 2002