History

From 1999-2009, MARVET Florida was conducted each year at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, with participation in a long-term study by Dr. Randy Wells and his associates, who have been investigating a group of wild bottlenose dolphins for over 30 years in Sarasota Bay. This investigation is the longest-running study of its kind in the world and has made significant contributions to our knowledge of bottlenose dolphins in the wild. Participating in this effort are many leading marine mammal researchers and veterinarians who are on-site during the MARVET workshop. MARVET students have the opportunity to participate and become acquainted with some of the ongoing state-of-the-art scientific research and veterinary medical applications in marine mammal medicine. In Florida, MARVET students were able to witness and participate in selected Mote Marine Laboratory activities, working with resident veterinarian Dr. Charles Manire and other staff members of the Whale and Dolphin Hospital and the Sea Turtle Hospital in their veterinary care and rehabilitation efforts of stranded marine mammals and turtles.

The first clinically advanced workshop (MARVET California) for graduate veterinarians was conducted at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California in 2004. This course provided an intense, one-week hands-on workshop in the clinical methodologies and strategies of marine mammal medicine in a rehabilitation setting, with an emphasis on pinnipeds, including the California sea lion, elephant seal, and the harbor seal. The advanced clinical workshop conducted again in 2008.

The first MARVET workshop focusing on sea turtles was held for veterinary students and veterinarians in Grenada, West Indies in 2004. Instructors included marine veterinarians and biologists, presenting health and conservation strategies for sea turtles in the wild. The next course targeting sea turtle conservation medicine was held in Costa Rica in 2006.