Sarah Glenn Neidenbach graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Science. Sarah Glenn has worked with dolphins in Bermuda, is at the Texas State Aquarium in marine mammal training, and is SCUBA certified! Everyday she gets to work directly with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and North American river otters. How cool is that?!
1. What's your story? What makes you unique?
When I was six years old, I visited Dolphin Quest Hawaii and participated in an interaction program with my twin brother. It was then that I fell in love with dolphins and I knew I wanted to be a dolphin trainer. This past summer I had the opportunity to be a marine mammal intern at Dolphin Quest Bermuda, enjoying the beautiful island, the people and animals while learning all that I could about training. We had daily and weekly duties to be done, various forms of cleaning and preparation for the next day. For example, pulling fish from the freezer, laundry, cleaning toys, bins, coolers and silver buckets—only to name a few. The bulk of our day consisted of interacting with guests, getting guests ready for programs, and helping with programs or back-up. Encounter club was the getting ready part where we would fit guests with life jackets and water shoes and give them an introduction to what they'll be doing, getting them excited, as well as answering any questions they might have. Participating in programs came gradually as we learned, but by the end I was practically running the whole thing, teaching guests hand signals and relating relevant information. Back-up was the station or trainer off to the side who was animal traffic control. They were the eyes and ears and also a fun station for the animals to be at. Here was where we practiced our senses and the many things we were working on. The research on these animals greatly contributes to what we know of their counterparts in the wild.
These were the dolphins I worked with and loved from oldest to youngest: Cirrus 41, Bailey 23, Caliban 21, Ely 12, Cooper 5, Cavello 5, Marley 5, Devon 1, Brighton 1, Nola 8 mo.
2. What motivates you?
The support of family and close friends and the beautiful faces of the animals I get to work with every day. Knowing that I can reach my goals and dreams if I work hard and have a positive attitude.
3. Who is a hero of yours?
I don't think I could pick just one, but I'd have to say my grandparents.
4. What's your future plan? Your goals?
To achieve the title of Marine Mammal Trainer and have a personal relationship with an animal.
5. If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be confident in your decisions. Whether they have large or small value, each is an important building block in your life and who you are.
6. What is something you feel strongly about (a cause, belief, etc.)?
I feel strongly that all animals under human care are advocates for their counterparts in the wild. They educate, inspire, promote conservation and allow people to create a connection with nature. Under human care, our animals receive excellent care through mental stimulation, physical stimulation, and husbandry (or health care) daily. Also, through enrichment, positive reinforcement, and trusting relationships with their trainers. When visiting your local zoo or aquarium, many people encounter animals they may have never otherwise seen. Your admission also aids in rescue, research, and conservation. The wishes of these zoos and aquariums is to, not only teach, but spark an interest and desire to take care of our planet. All animals have a story to tell; we hope that you get to know each and every one of them.
7. What's one of the coolest things you've ever done?
I've jumped off a 50 foot cliff in Kona, Hawaii...several times. It's normal to be afraid of heights, it sure took a moment, but I did it, then did it again. This reminds me of when I took another jump. I stepped out of my comfort zone and transferred colleges deciding to follow my passion for marine life. So, it's pretty cool and I'm thankful to be where I am today.
8. Anything we haven't asked that you'd like to talk about?
I would like to thank The Dean's List for this opportunity to share a little bit about myself with you all. If you'd like to reach out to me for more information, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.