(August 09, 2019) --

Education and outreach during Dauphin Island Sea Lab's annual Discovery Day. (Courtesy L. Schorer)

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Marine Mammal Research Program keeps busy throughout the year responding to strandings and marine mammal distress calls, and their volunteers are an important part of the team. 

The group has responded to more than 40 stranded whales and dolphins and one manatee in 2019 thus far. Most of those instances included the help of one or several volunteers and the Marine Mammal Research Program is always looking for more people to lend a hand. 

"We rely heavily on our volunteer base for stranding response, outreach, and other events throughout the year, " ALMMSN Stranding Coordinator Mackenzie Russell said. "Volunteers are usually the first on the scene to responses and provide Marine Mammal Research staff members with valuable information and also assist in educating the public."

January 2019 Volunteer Training

Volunteer response can include securing carcasses, confirming strandings/species/size of the animal, assisting during live and deceased animal response, and assisting with outreach events to help raise awareness about marine mammals in Alabama. 

The Marine Mammal Research Program is hosting an Introductory Volunteer Training on Saturday, September 7 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s campus. The training will cover topics such as live animal response, dead animal response, animal first aid and triage, safety and disease protocols, general anatomy and biology, and how to use the equipment. The training is required for all Marine Mammal Research Program volunteers and covers the basics before you can attend any additional trainings. If you are a long-time volunteer and have not been to a training, please also plan to attend this event. Please RSVP here.

If you have questions about volunteering for the MMRP, email almmsn@disl.org.

If you see a sick, injured, or deceased marine mammal in Alabama, please call 1-877-WHALE-HELP right away.