Dream job swimming with dolphins
FALMOUTH Marine School student Natalie Hamill has just returned from a dream summer job – swimming with dolphins in Florida.
The marine science degree student volunteered at the Dolphin Research Centre (DRC) for five weeks.
Her duties included feeding and the general care of the resident macaws and parrots and the monitoring of dolphin encounters with the public, as well speaking with visitors about the centre and the marine mammals.
Natalie was also a 'day captain', which required her to supervise the activities of the other volunteers, assign duties and ensure the jobs for the day were completed.
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Natalie said: "I have had the most amazing summer.
"My course at Falmouth Marine School really prepared me for the position at DRC, by ensuring I had a thorough knowledge of marine organisms, which was useful when it came to talking to members of the public.
"I also understood the research being conducted in terms of the data collection, method and the rationale behind it."
David Stedman, head of Falmouth Marine School, said: "Many of our marine science and biology students secure some amazing volunteering and internships during their summer break and indeed upon completion of their studies.
"It's fantastic that there are so many opportunities available for them and that they fully exploit those opportunities."
Natalie, from Helston, has since applied to the DRC for an animal care and training internship once she has completed her degree.
She said: "During my placement I witnessed a blindfolded imitation study, where the dolphin is willingly blindfolded with eye cups and will imitate what behaviour the trainer is doing through echolocation, this was fantastic to witness first-hand and something that I would love to be involved with as part of their internship programme."