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Marine Veterinary Medicine

Marine Animal Medicine and Conservation Externships

MARVET (Marine Veterinary Medicine) is a marine medicine program offering introductory externship courses in aquatic animal clinical and conservation medicine for veterinary students, veterinarians and others in allied health and conservation fields who would like to become more acquainted with the expanding specialty of marine animal health and conservation medicine.

An introduction to marine veterinary medicine is provided in a workshop format combining traditional classroom presentations and discussions with practical hands-on applications in aquatic animal facilities and in the natural environment. With a One Health theme, the aquatic animal medicine workshops and programs welcome participation from students and graduates in biology, ecology and other disciplines interested in ecosystem health and the interdisciplinary team approach to ecological health problem-solving.

Our marine externship courses are intended to provide foundational information in aquatic animal biology, ecology, husbandry and medicine for species in managed facilities such as aquaria and oceanaria, as well as for free-ranging species in natural ecosystems. In the clinical context, participants will be involved in such activities as physical exams, diagnostic procedures, food preparations, blood collection protocols and necropsies as opportunities and workshop venues allow.

The Next Step

If you are interested in learning more about
marine animal health and environmental conservation,
please submit your application
and we will contact you
with details about the next step.

vet student checking dolphin health

Feeding dolphins in marine facilities

Course enrollment is limited to better ensure an effective learning experience for lectures, discussions and field activities in both managed and natural environments. Limited enrollment also allows more meaningful interactions with leading veterinarians and researchers in marine medicine. Instructors include internationally recognized experts from the frontlines of aquatic animal health, welfare and conservation. Instructors come from a diverse range of facilities and organizations, which can include oceanaria, aquaria, zoological parks, rehabilitation units, wildlife organizations and universities, as well as federal and state governments.

Roatán, Honduras

3 healthy dolphins

Date: July 6 - 13, 2024

Introductory lecture and hands-on workshop focusing on training, husbandry and health care of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin in a managed facility.

Read About MARVET Roatán Externship


sea turtle swimming in costal waters

Date: Coming Summer 2025!

Interactive workshop exploring aspects of biology, pathology, husbandry, clinical care and conservation medicine of a variety of marine species.

Read About MARVET Florida Externship
Summer 2025

veterinarian with green sea turtle in aquatic animal facility

Marine Animal Medicine and Conservation Topics

  • Specific topics include marine animal taxonomy, ecology, anatomy, physiology, pathology and clinical medicine in aquatic species (with an emphasis on marine mammals and sea turtles, and some attention to sharks and other fish species).
  • Diagnostic methods (hematology, radiology, ultrasonography, endoscopy, urinalysis, cytology, histopathology, necropsy) and therapeutic applications are presented.
  • One Health concepts in the context of ocean ecosystem preservation are explored.

Instructors and participants from previous workshops speak . . .

“MARVET México was genuinely one of the best workshops I have attended. I enjoyed it for many reasons: for the opportunity to learn about anatomy, physiology, medicine, diagnostic techniques, ecology and conservation of marine species, as well as to gain hands-on experience with a variety of marine animals and to interact with professionals from various disciplines who have the same interests in preserving the marine ecosystem. This was a unique experience. MARVET gave me more than I expected both personally and professionally, and I am sure that it can do the same for anyone with an interest in marine animals and conservation.”

Dr. Antonella Fabrissin - Course Participant

“MARVET workshop participants gain exposure to multiple marine species through a combination of lecture materials and various hands-on experiences with numerous marine taxa that give them a unique view into the world of marine animal medicine and conservation that is not readily available in the United States. Participants also have a chance to meet other marine-minded students, as well as instructors with varying backgrounds and experiences in marine animal medicine that they can network with and learn about future internship and employment opportunities in the marine animal field.”

Stephanie Norman, DVM, MS, PhD - Course Instructor