Volunteer Program DetailsVolunteer - dolphin swim - swim with dolphins - key largo

The volunteer program is divided into five focus areas encompassing many different roles of our organization. Each focus area has unique job duties and requirements, covering a wide range of volunteer interests and availability. Please review each of the following focus areas below for more information regarding volunteer positions.


Animal Care

Volunteers in the Animal Care department can expect to be immersed in the daily care of our Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Volunteers will assist our training team with preparing for sessions, cleaning and sanitizing support areas, and interacting with our guests. The program is designed to be tailored to an individuals experience and each volunteer will go through a clearing process for each of their duties, making it the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in our animal care mission.

Volunteers in this department will be required to commit to either one volunteer shift per week for a minimum of a 60-day period OR five volunteer shifts per week for a minimum of a 30-day period. Shift lengths are typically 4-8 hours.


Guest Relations

Volunteers in the Guest Relations department act on the frontline of DPMMR by greeting guests when they arrive at the facility, coordinating guest check-in and encounter preparation, taking photographs of interaction sessions, answering questions, and ensuring our guests have an overall good experience. Volunteers in this focus area will work alongside our Guest Relation Specialist to staff our Gift Shop, Photo Department, and Reservation Desk.

Guest Relations volunteers should be prepared to commit to at least one shift per week for a minimum period of 90 days. Shift lengths in this department typically begin around 9:30 in the morning and end around 3:30 with regular breaks throughout the day. 


Educational Outreach

Educational Outreach volunteers play a vital role in ensuring our guest’s experience is not only fun, but also educational. Before each interaction program, all guests receive an educational briefing covering topics such as marine conservation and marine mammal biology. Other programs combine educational material with training demonstrations.

Volunteers in this focus area assist our teams in delivering this information in an engaging manner as well as interacting with guests before, during, and after interaction sessions. Additionally, volunteers have the opportunity to attend outreach events in the community and work on special projects as appropriate. Educational Outreach volunteers must be comfortable with public speaking.

Volunteers in this department will go through an extensive training process to become cleared to deliver educational material. There is no set time requirement for volunteering within this focus area, although volunteers will be expected to agree to a set schedule during the interview/training process that best fits both the facility’s and volunteer’s goals.


Marine Mammal Response Team

The Marine Mammal Response team is responsible for assisting our staff responders with dolphin or whale emergencies in the Florida Keys. Volunteers in this focus area must undergo specific training related to marine mammal response and be readily available at any time to assist the team with rescue efforts. Therefore, interested applicants should be in good physical shape, able to lift at least 50 pounds comfortably, and be local. Volunteers on the Marine Mammal Response team may also have the opportunity to assist with other duties including preparing rescue supplies, animal care support during triage mode, and participating in outreach events.

Due to the sporadic nature of marine mammal rescues, there are no minimum time requirements for this focus area.


Facility Development & Upkeep

Facility Development & Upkeep volunteers play an important role in the daily maintenance of our facility. From changing light bulbs to constructing new benches, volunteers in this area can expect to work alongside staff members to complete a multitude of projects. This volunteer area is perfect for those who may not be able to commit to a regular weekly shift but still have a desire to assist the organization with specialized skills and trades. If you have experience with maintenance, construction, painting, or creative design, this focus area may be for you.

Minimum time requirements are flexible within this department and will be set during the interview process.

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How to Apply to Become a Volunteer

Volunteer applicants are required to follow these two steps. Please come back to this page and complete Step 2 or your application cannot be processed.

Complete and submit an online application by clicking on link below:


Please submit the $20 application online to begin the review process:


Once the completed application and payment are received, our volunteer coordinator will review and process the application. From there, applicants will be contacted via email regarding the status of their application. Volunteer positions are limited with each department and are filled as vacancies occur. Volunteer applications will still be processed as they are received regardless of open positions and will remain on file for 365 days from the processing date should a vacancy occur. Once accepted to the program, volunteers will receive more information from the volunteer coordinator regarding orientation, training, and scheduling.
Thanks and we look forward to having you help our mission!