University of Florida

SeaVet II

Aquatic Medical Education

June 10-16, 2007

Orlando & Gainesville


Funding provided by:


Site Index
l Introduction l Post Course Opportunities l Meeting Sites
l Goals l Course Faculty l Collaborative Organizations
l General Class Information l Registration l Travel Information
l Tentative Agenda l Hotel Accommodations l Area Information
l Questions


 Next Course: November 2009

SeaVet II an intensive six-day course that provides advanced instruction in management of Florida’s megavertebrates. Species covered in 2007 include cetaceans, manatees, pinnipeds, sea turtles and crocodilians. The course is designed to provide continuing education instruction (15 CEU hours) to graduate veterinarians, professional biologists and animal care staff, and graduate level training (2 credit hours) to selected veterinary and graduate students. Training will include didactic lecture, laboratory exercises, group discussion and facilities tours.

There are also two limited opportunities for Sea Vet II graduates to gain field experience through our Aquatic Medical Education program partners during the week following the course. These include participation in manatee health assessments in Crystal River under the supervision of Mr. Bob Bonde (USGS) on June 18th, and limited participation in dolphin health assessment (beginning June 20th) with Harbor Branch Oceanographic under the supervision of Dr. Greg Bossart. Details on these opportunities are provided below.

The first ever offering of Sea Vet II will focus on three central themes:

1.      Advanced husbandry, behavioral management, and non-infectious diseases of captive marine mammals..

2.      Advanced marine mammal stranding response, including an introduction to forensic science.

3.      Advanced clinical management (general) of marine mammals, sea turtles and crocodilians.


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  1. To provide state of the art instruction in the theme areas from some of the world’s leading specialists in aquatic animal health.

  2. To provide an opportunity for students and professionals to gain hands-on experience with current clinical and necropsy techniques in a controlled teaching environment.

  3. To provide an opportunity for one-on-one training and discussion with Sea Vet faculty.

  4. Sea Vet II provides excellent review for candidates preparing for the American College of Zoological Medicine Specialty Board examinations.

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General Class Information


Class Structure

In general, the days will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 1-1.5 hour lunch depending on time constraints of travel, etc.


One evening (Thursday June 14) is available for students to present their own cases to the class and ask for feedback from faculty and classmates about cases of concern.

Recommended Texts

Dierauf, L. and Gulland, F., 2001. CRC Handbook of Marine Mammal Medicine, Second Edition. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 1063 pp.

Mader, D. 2006. Reptile Medicine and Surgery, Second Edition. Saunders-Elsevier, St. Louis, MO. 1242 pp.

Reep, R. and Bonde, R. 2006. The Florida Manatee: Biology and Conservation. The University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL. 189 pp.



Grading of this pass/fail class will be based on timely attendance, class and hands-on lab participation, and practical and clinical knowledge.



Facility tours that provide a working knowledge of husbandry are considered integral for any individual working in aquatic animal medicine. Organizations that have graciously agreed to allow access to their facilities with behind the scenes tours include The Seas at Walt Disney World Epcot Center and SeaWorld of Florida.

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Tentative Agenda


Day 1: Sunday, June 10, 2007 (Orlando, FL)

6:00pm-8:00pm Welcome reception at the Homewood Suites International Drive


Day 2: Monday, June 11, 2007 (Orlando, FL)


Vans load in front of hotel for travel to Walt Disney World

Students will spend the day at Walt Disney World, The Seas, within Epcot Center. There will be a combination of lecture, discussion and demonstration. The topic of the day is advanced husbandry, behavioral management, and related non-infectious considerations. The emphasis will be on dolphins and manatees.
(Andy Stamper, Beth Nolan and Jane Capobianco)

  Lunch provided
5:00pm Vans depart for Homewood Suites


Day 3: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 (Gainesville, FL)

7:30am Vans load in front of hotel, depart for Gainesville
10:30am Arrive at the UF/IFAS, Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
10:45am-11:30am Introduction to Stranding Response, Infrastructure in place, Rules and Regulations (Janet Whaley)
11:30am-12:15pm NOAA-NMFS Perspective and Protocols on Necropsy of Stranded Marine Mammals (Dave Rotstein)
12:15pm-1:00pm Lunch provided
1:00pm-2:45pm Introduction to Forensic Sciences, Application to Marine Mammal Stranding Events (Barbara Sheppard)
2:45pm-3:00pm Break
3:00pm-5:00pm Forensics lab (Barbara Sheppard, Sue Barco, John Moran,
Janet Whaley, Dave Rotstein and Martine DeWit)
5:00pm-6:30 pm Dinner (provided), Discussion of “crime scenes”
6:30 pm Vans depart for Cabot Lodge


Day 4: Wednesday June 13, 2007 (Gainesville, FL)

8:00am Vans depart hotel, travel to UF College of Veterinary Medicine
8:30am-9:45am Role of Law Enforcement, Detection and Assessment of Forearm Injuries (John Moran)
9:45am-10:00am Break
10:00am-12:00pm Detection of Human Interaction on Stranded Marine Animals
(Sue Barco)
12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch provided
1:00pm-1:45pm Introduction to Necropsy Techniques for Marine Mammals
(Martine DeWit)
1:45pm-2:45pm Laboratory and Molecular Diagnostics (Hendrik Nollens)
2:45pm-3:00pm Break
3:00pm-5:30pm Marine Mammal Clinical Techniques and Necropsy Lab
(John Roberts, Lisa Farina, Barbara Sheppard, Dave Rotstein, Martine DeWit, Mike Walsh, Ramiro Isaza and
Ruth Francis-Floyd
5:30pm Vans depart for Cabot Lodge 
7:15pm-8:15pm Optional Wild Manatee Health Assessments


Day 5: Thursday, June 14, 2007 (Gainesville, FL)

8:00am Vans depart hotel, travel to UF College of Veterinary Medicine
8:30am-9:30am First Aid for Live Stranded Marine Mammals (Mike Walsh)
9:30am-10:15am Clinical Management, Including Anesthesia and Euthanasia of Manatees (Mike Walsh)
10:15am-10:30am Break
10:30am-11:15am Clinical Management of Manatees (continued)
11:15am-12:30pm Clinical Management, Including Anesthesia and Euthanasia of Cetaceans (Beth Nolan)
12:30pm-1:15pm Lunch provided
1:15pm-2:30pm Clinical Management, Including Anesthesia and Euthanasia of Pinnipeds (Andy Stamper)
2:30pm-3:00pm Clinical Management, Including Anesthesia and Euthanasia of Sea Turtles (Mike Walsh)
3:00pm-3:15pm Break
3:15pm-4:00pm Hospital Tour
4:00pm-4:30pm Clinical Management of Sea Turtles (continued)
4:30pm-5:30pm Sea Turtle Pathology (Brian Stacy)
5:30pm Vans depart for Cabot Lodge
7:15pm-8:15pm Optional Student Case Reports


Day 6: Friday, June 15, 2007 (Gainesville, FL)

8:00am Vans depart hotel, travel to UF College of Veterinary Medicine
8:30am-9:30am Clinical Management, Including Anesthesia and Euthanasia, of Crocodilians (Jim Wellehan)
9:30am-10:30am Crocodilian Pathology (Brian Stacy)
10:30am-10:45am Break
10:45am-12:30pm Clinical Techniques Lab, Crocodilians and Sea Turtles
(Brian Stacy, Mike Walsh and Jim Wellehan)
12:30pm-1:15pm Lunch provided
1:15pm-4:30pm Crocodilian and Sea Turtle Necropsy Lab (Brian Stacy)
4:30pm  Vans depart for Cabot Lodge


Day 7: Saturday, June 16, 2007 (Orlando, FL)

9:30am Sea World of Florida, Meet at Security Gate 1

Clinical Case Discussions and Rounds
(Scott Gearhart, Chris Dold, Lara Croft and staff)

Note: The class will end within the Sea World Park. You are welcome to stay in the park until closing time but need to be responsible for transportation back to the hotel, to the airport, or elsewhere. Taxi and bus service is available


Optional Field Activities:

Manatee Health Assessments
in Crystal River, FL

Coordinated by Mr. Bob Bonde
Monday June 18, 2007

Note that all students are welcome. Please let us know whether you plan to stay over for this activity. You are responsible for your own transportation and travel arrangements.


Dolphin Health Assessments
in the Indian River Lagoon
(Ft. Pierce, FL)
Coordinated by Dr. Greg Bossart
June 20-29, 2007 (1-2 days only per person)

Note that we will not be able to accommodate all students for this activity. A selection process is in place, and students will be notified by May 1 of their selection status and assigned date(s) so that they can complete their travel arrangements.

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Post Course Opportunities


All students are invited to participate in manatee health assessment exercises, under the direct supervision of Mr. Bob Bonde, USGS, in Crystal River Florida on Monday June 18, 2007. The students will be required to confirm participation through this program, but are responsible for personal transportation and all personal travel arrangements. Faculty will assist Mr. Bonde with organization of the event and will be on-site.

Dolphin health assessments will begin June 20 in the Indian River in southeast Florida (Ft. Pierce). . This program is run by Dr. Greg Bossart, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution. We will work with Sea Vet II students and Harbor Branch Oceanographic staff to assign dates for participation, which are limited. It is unlikely that all students that want to participate in dolphin health assessments will be able to do so, but we will make every effort to accommodate as many as possible. If you wish to participate, please send us an email of the dates you would like to go, your relevant professional background and career goals. We will work with HBOI to develop a final roster for Dr. Bossart’s consideration. Decisions on dolphin health assessment participation will be announced by Apr 20th so that students will be able to complete travel arrangements for travel to Florida

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Course Faculty

  • Sue Barco
    Virginia Aquarium

  • Robert Bonde
    U.S. Geological Survey

  • Gregory Bossart
    Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

  • Jane Capobianco
    Disney's Animal Programs

  • Lara Croft
    SeaWorld of Florida

  • Chris Dold
    SeaWorld of Florida

  • Martine DeWit
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

  • Lisa Farina
    University of Florida,
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Ruth Francis-Floyd
    University of Florida, IFAS and
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Scott Gearhart
    SeaWorld of Florida

  • Ramiro Isaza
    University of Florida,
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Iske Larkin
    University of Florida,
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • John Moran
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

  • Beth Nolan
    Disney's Animal Programs

  • Hendrik Nollens
    University of Florida, 
    College of Veterinary Medicine
    and SeaWorld of California

  • John Roberts
    University of Florida,
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Dave S. Rotstein
    University of Tennessee and NOAA

  • Barbara Sheppard
    University of Florida,
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Brian Stacy
    University of Florida,
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • Andy Stamper
    Disney's Animal Programs

  • Mike Walsh
    University of Florida,
    College of Veterinary Medicine

  • James Wellehan
    University of Florida

  • Janet Whaley
    National Marine Fisheries Service

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Acceptance into SeaVet II will be competitive and decisions will be based on the applicant’s academic record and experience with cetaceans, manatees, pinnipeds, sea turtles and crocodilians. Participation is limited to 25 students.

Please follow these steps to register:

  • At least one of the two academic record and experience boxes must be filled out in Step 1 of the registration form to proceed.

  • There are three payment options listed on Step 3 of the form. Please enter your information. NOTE: Credit card charges are not processed until you are accepted into the course.

  • Once you complete all 3 steps, a Registration Confirmation will appear on your screen. You may print it via the printable view link (upper right). This confirmation is also sent to your email address for your records

  • All completed registration forms will be forwarded to the Course Organizer, Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd for approval.

  • You will be contacted by email regarding your status.

  • If your registration is accepted, payment will be promptly processed. Those who are not accepted will be removed from the system.

Registration Fees

Regular Registration Fee $600.00
University of Florida (UF)
Student Registration Fee*

*UF Graduate Students must also contact Ms. Sally O'Connell to register for course credits.
*UF Veterinary Students must also contact Ms. Dot McCloskey to register for course credits.

What does the Registration Fee include? The SeaVet II registration fee provides each participant the educational program, admittance to all field trips, transportation to field trips and to/from Gainesville, Welcome Social on Sunday, lunches and refreshment breaks Monday-Friday, dinner on Tuesday, lab supplies, T-shirt, mug and ring binder containing course handouts.

Refund Policy: Requests for registration refunds will be honored if written notice of cancellation is received by the Office of Conferences and Institutes on or before Friday, May 11, 2007. A $150.00 processing fee will be deducted from attendee refunds and $50 from UF student refunds. No refunds will be honored for cancellations after May 11, 2007.


Special Needs: In compliance with ADA requirements, participants with special needs that can be accommodated reasonably should contact the Office of Conferences & Institutes (OCI) at least 10 working days prior to the course. We can be reached at 1-352-392-5930, by FAX at 1-352-392-9734, or by calling 1-800-955-8771 (The TDD number can only be accessed from the State of Florida).


Before clicking on the "Register Now" link below, we recommend that you have payment information on-hand, such as credit card, check number or purchase order number, if we are to invoice your institution.


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Field Trips


Disney’s Epcot®
On Monday, June 11, 2007, there will be a behind-the-scenes tour of Veterinary Hospitals and Aquaria at the Seas in Epcot® in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Seas is the largest inland ocean facility in the world. It holds six million gallons of ocean water and contains more than 3,500 fish representing 85 species.

SeaWorld® Orlando
After the lecture at SeaWorld® Orlando on Saturday, June 16, 2007 please join the behind-the-scenes tour. (SeaWorld® Orlando is the world’s premiere marine adventure park with 200 acres of world-class shows, thrilling rides and unforgettable animal encounters.) Afterwards, participants will be allowed to enjoy the amenities of the park until closing, if desired. Students should arrange transportation from the park back to the hotel, the airport or other destination.

All tours are provided at no additional charge to participants.


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Hotel Accommodations

Orlando, Florida
Arrive Sunday, June 10, 2007 and depart Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Arrive Friday, June 15, 2007 and depart Saturday, June 16, 2007

Homewood Suites by Hilton
8745 International Drive
Orlando, Florida 32819
Tel: 1-407-248-2232 or 1-888-697-8745
Fax: 1-407-248-6552

Located in the heart of the exciting International Drive entertainment district, the Homewood Suites is within walking distance to over 100 restaurants and shops. The hotel offers daily complimentary Suite Start® hot breakfast and a Welcome Home® reception featuring a complimentary light meal and beverages Monday-Thursday evenings. Homewood Suites offers modern amenities, including a heated pool, hot tub, state-of-the-art fitness center and valet service. Little extras like complimentary newspapers, high-speed wireless Internet access, free parking and grocery delivery service make the hotel feel like home.

Every suite has a kitchen with full size refrigerator, microwave, two-burner stove top, coffee maker and cooking utensils. And there is separate living room with sofa bed, lounge chair and coffee table.

The Homewood Suites is offering SeaVet II participants following special room rates:

June 10 & June 11 $139.00 per night*
June 15 $101.00 per night*
*rate does not include tax, which is 11.5%

These rates are available for a king suite with one to four people in a room. Check-in is available at 4:00pm and checkout time is 11:00am. To make reservations, contact the Homewood Suites Hotel International Drive at 407-248-2232 or 888-697-8745 before May 30, 2007. Be sure to identify yourself as a participant of SeaVet II. All reservation requests require a guarantee of first night’s deposit by credit card. If you change or cancel a reservation, you must do so at least 7 days prior to arrival or forfeit the first night’s room rate plus tax.

After the reservation deadline of May 30, guest rooms for SeaVet II participants may no longer be available. Any new reservations or revisions to existing reservations, received after the cutoff date will be accepted at the best available rate. Please Note: As this is a discounted group rate, it is not commissionable to travel agents.

At check-in, all guests will be required to initial rate and departure date. Participants will have the opportunity to change their departure date during check-in without penalty. Afterwards, an early departure fee of $50.00 per guestroom will apply to all early departures.

Map & Directions:

Gainesville, Florida
Arrive Tuesday, June 12, 2007 and depart Friday, June 15, 2007

Cabot Lodge Hotel Gainesville
3726 SW 40th Boulevard
Gainesville, FL 32608
Tel: 1-352-375-2400 or 1-800-843-8735
Fax: 1-352-335-2321

Cabot Lodge Hotel Gainesville is located just 4.3 miles from the UF College of Veterinary Medicine and 5 miles from downtown Gainesville. The Cabot Lodge provides extensive amenities to make you feel at home. They include complimentary deluxe breakfast buffet and nightly cocktails, both served in the relaxing atrium. Additionally, there is an outdoor swimming pool, on-site fitness center and business center with complimentary computer usage, Internet access, color printer, copies and faxes. There are several restaurants and shops within walking distance.

The Cabot Lodge is offering participants of SeaVet II a special guest room rate of $79.00 per night for a standard resort room night plus tax (currently 9.25%) with one to four people in a room. Check-in is available at 3:00pm and checkout time is 11:00am.

To make reservations, contact the Cabot Lodge Hotel Gainesville at 352-375-2400 or 800-843-8735 before May 28, 2007. Be sure to identify yourself as a participant of SeaVet II. All reservation requests require a guarantee of first night’s deposit by credit card. If you change or cancel a reservation, you must do so before 6:00pm on your scheduled check-in date. For those eligible for the state tax exemption, you must present a copy of your Florida state tax exemption certificate when you check-in.

After the reservation deadline of May 28, guest rooms for SeaVet II participants will no longer be on hold and the discounted group rate may be no longer available. Please Note: As this is a discounted group rate, it is not commissionable to travel agents.

Map & Directions:

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Meeting Sites


Orlando, Florida


An excellent location for families, Homewood Suites Hotel is located just off International Drive in Orlando, FL. The Welcome Reception on Sunday night will be held in the hotel lodge. Should you decide to incorporate a family vacation, there is a multitude of nearby attractions including Universal Studios®, Islands of Adventure®, Sea World Orlando® and the four Disney World® theme parks: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and MGM Studios are just an 11-mile drive.

Gainesville, Florida

University of Florida/IFAS, Department of Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences


This Department is the State of Florida's premier center for innovation and excellence in research, education, and extension activities related to protection and management of marine and freshwater fisheries and the habitat that supports them. All course sessions will be held here on Tuesday, June 12.

University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine

The College of Veterinary Medicine at UF is part of both the Health Science Center, which encompasses six colleges, and the University’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
(IFAS). It is Florida’s only veterinary college, offering comprehensive service to the public through a four-fold mission – teaching, research, extension and patient care. Areas of strength at the college include: comparative medicine, food animal medicine, laboratory animal medicine, aquatic medicine, environmental medicine, large animal medicine and surgery and small animal medicine and surgery. All classes on Wednesday-Friday will held at the college.

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Collaborative Organizations

NOAA, OSEI, and Department of Commerce Logos



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Travel Information

It is recommended that students traveling by air should fly into and depart from Orlando International Airport.

Transportation will be provided to and from all course lectures, field trips, and venue changes on Tuesday, June 12 and Friday, June 15. There is no need to rent a car. However, you will need to take a shuttle or cab service from the airport to the Homewood Suites on Sunday and from SeaWorld to the airport on Saturday.

The Homewood Suites' preferred transportation company is Sterling Transportation. Please call them at 1-407-293-9616 no later than 24 hours prior to your arrival.

Taxi/bus rates and information can be found at

Orlando, Florida

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Area Information

Gainesville, Florida

                                      Click for Gainesville, Florida Forecast

Orlando, Florida

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Course Information:

Ruth Francis-Floyd, Director
Aquatic Animal Health Program
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Florida/IFAS
PO Box 100136
2015 SW 16th Ave
Gainesville, FL 32610-0136
Phone: 392-2212 ext. 5638
Fax: 352-846-1171


Iske Larkin, Education Coordinator
Aquatic Animal Health Program
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Florida/IFAS
PO Box 100136
2015 SW 16th Ave
Gainesville, FL 32610-0136
Phone: 392-2212 ext. 5168
Fax: 352-846-1171

Registration Information:

Shelby Sowder, Conference Coordinator
University of Florida/IFAS
Office of Conferences & Institutes (OCI)
PO Box 110750
Building 639, Mowry Road
Gainesville, FL 32611-0750
Telephone: 352-392-5930
Fax: 352-392-9734

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