Using my psychology degree to train marine mammals

by Stephanie Link, B.S Psychology ’08

Since earning my psychology degree in 2008, I have moved to beautiful Fort Walton Beach where I work at Florida’s Gulfarium as a marine mammal trainer.

I am responsible for the daily care of our resident Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins, California Sea Lions, Pacific Harbor Seals, North American
River Otters, African Penguins and a variety of Sea Turtles (both resident and many rehabilitation animals!).

Interestingly enough, every day I am at work I apply all the principles
I learned in my ABA classes as an undergrad. They really help train the
animals! I am very involved in IMATA (International Marine Animal
Trainer’s Association)
and just recently attended the annual conference. Since my return from the conference, we have implemented new
policies and I am in the process of training a completely voluntary
Intervertebral Plexus blood sample from one of our female African
penguins. Voluntary medical work makes life as a trainer much easier

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