University of Florida

SeaVet Clinical Training

Aquatic Animal Health

June 16-26, 2014 Gainesville, FL, USA

Site Index


Agenda Training and Field Sites
Course Topics Course Faculty Optional Tour
General Class Information Registration Hotel Accommodations
Questions Travel & Area Information



SeaVet Clinical Training is an intensive nine day course designed to teach veterinary medical students and veterinarians through didactic lecture, case-based problem-solving and practical experience.


The program also features an educational and interactive  hands-on training. 


This is a three credit professional class through the University of Florida. Academic credit will only be granted to UF veterinary students.


Continuing education credits may be earned by veterinarians. This course has a maximum of 25 allowed by the state of Florida. If requested, a form will be provided at start of the course to keep track of your hours. If you are not in Florida, your state has the right to refuse the credits. However, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is accredited with NAVC and out-of-state veterinarians have not be denied credits after attending past SeaVet courses.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This course is being offered exclusively for Veterinary Students and Licensed Veterinarians. Registrations will not be accepted otherwise.

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Course Topics


  • Animal and Facilities Management

  • Environmental Air and Water Qualities Concerns

  • Clinical Ophthalmology

  • Fish Medicine

  • Marine Mammal Anatomy 

  • Sea Turtle Medicine

  • Infectious Diseases – Pinnipeds and Cetaceans

  • Pinniped Medicine including Walrus Medicine and Care

  • Cetacean Medicine

  • Imaging Techniques of Cetaceans, Manatees and Sea Turtles

  • Preventive Medicine and Health Assessments
  • Husbandry Training and Behavior
  • Beached and Stranded Cetaceans - First Aid, Stabilization and Monitoring
  • Large Whale Issues including Entanglement and Sedation

  • Zoonotic Diseases

  • Penguin Medicine

  • Health Issues for Rays, Sharks, Whale Sharks and Large Fish

  • Case Studies and Problem Solving

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General Class Information


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

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.

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.


Daily Transportation
If you stay at the recommended hotel, daily transportation to and from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine will be provided.


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Click here to view the 2014 course agenda.


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Course Faculty

Faculty listing for 2013 course:

Dr. James Bailey

Innovative Veterinary Medicine, Inc.

Mr. George Biedenbach

Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station

Dr. Ray Ball

Lowry Park Zoo

Dr. Bob Bonde

U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Stephan Cassle

University of Florida

Dr. Tonya Clauss

Georgia Aquarium

Dr. Carmen Colitz

Aquatic Animal Eye Care, LLC

Dr. Marine de Wit

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd

University of Florida

Dr. Charles Manire

Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Ms. Kelly Martin

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Dr. Craig Pelton

University of Florida/Volusia County

Dr. David Reese

University of Florida

Mr. Kevin Roberts

Marineland Dolphin Adventure (Georgia Aquarium)

Dr. Don Samuelson

University of Florida

Ms. Megan Stolen

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute

Dr. Dan Vanderhart

University of Florida

Dr. Mike Walsh

University of Florida

Dr. Randy Wells

Chicago Zoological Society/University of Florida

Dr. Tom Waltzek

University of Florida

Dr. Roy Yanong

University of Florida


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This course is being offered exclusively for Veterinary Students and Licensed Veterinarians. Registrations will not be accepted otherwise. If you register online and it is later determined you do not fulfill this requirement, your money will be refunded minus the registration processing fee. The training is limited to 25 registrants.

This is a 3 credit graduate and professional class through the University of Florida. Academic credit may only be granted to UF veterinary students*. Continuing education credit will be offered to veterinarians.


What does the Registration Fee include? It provides each participant the educational program, dolphin interaction program, six lunches, daily refreshment breaks, transportation to/from field trip sites and the recommended hotel, and course materials. 

Early Veterinary Student Registration Fee
(on or before April 12, 2014)
Regular Veterinary Student Registration Fee
(after April 12, 2014)
Early Veterinary Registration Fee
(on or before
April 12, 2014)
Regular Veterinary Registration Fee
(after April 12, 2014)
Optional Tour $45.00


NOTE: UF Veterinary Students need to also register and receive a registration code with Ms. Dot McCloskey at: 

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 April 26, 2013. A 50 percent processing fee will be deducted. No refunds will be honored for cancellations after April 26, 2013.

Special Needs: Special needs (such as visual, hearing or walking impairments) of registered attendees can be reasonably accommodated if they contact Patrick Thompson at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine at least 10 working days prior to the training. We can be reached by phone at 1-352-213-6651, or by email at If calling from within the State of Florida, the office can be reached through a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) at 1-800-955-8771.


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Training and Field Sites



The College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida

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.



Marineland of Florida


Marineland was the world’s first oceanarium; conceived as a project to provide a window to the ocean. Today it continues to serve as a link between the public and the marine world, promoting awareness of our fragile marine and coastal environments and inspiring a commitment to protection of these precious resources. Marineland's Dolphin Conservation Center opened in 2006 to educate and entertain guests through interactive dolphin encounters. The dolphins reside in a 1.3 million gallon habitat. It is located across the road from The Whitney Lab.



Lowry Park Zoo

We will travel to the manatee rehabilitation area and view the current patients being treated at the hospital.  You will experience manatee handling, monitoring, morphometric and diagnostics.  We will also discuss current manatee rescue, rehabilitation and pathology issues

Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo features 56 acres of lush, natural habitats comprising seven main offers outdoor exhibits for more than 1,500 animals including the habitats from a Native Florida that includes the manatee hospital.  Other exhibits areas: Asian Domain, Primate World, Manatee and Aquatic Center, Florida Wildlife Center, Free-Flight Aviary, Wallaroo Station children's zoo, and the new Safari Africa. 



Clearwater Marine Aquarium

After a tour of Clearwater Marine aquarium we will cover the basics of animal husbandry including  training animal care, and animal handling.  Also covered include the basics of animal training and environmental enrichment programs. Round table discussions will include sea turtle case studies, handling and clinical treatments. 

In 1972, a group of dedicated volunteers decided it was time to establish a permanent marine biology learning center in our area. The Sea-Orama, a mounted fish exhibit at Clearwater Marina, had been in storage for several years. Hoping for a larger exhibit, perhaps with live animals to observe, we were incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the name Clearwater Marine Science Center (CMSC). In 1978, the city of Clearwater agreed to donate our current facility, an abandoned water treatment plant, to CMSC.

The first exhibit room, featuring fish from the original Sea-Orama, was opened to the public in 1981. Over the next few years, thanks to individual and corporate donations and immense volunteer efforts, CMSC continued to grow. In the 1990's, as renovations continued to provide more public area and education programs, our name was changed to Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) to reflect the increasing level of community interaction. Today, Clearwater Marine Aquarium is an internationally respected center for animal care, public education and marine research.


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Optional Tour


An optional kayaking ecotour and city tour will be available taking place on Saturday, June 8th.  The $45 dollar cost will include a 2.5 hour guided kayak tour with Ripple Effects EcoTour and transportation to the historical city of St. Augustine.

Kayaking EcoTour by Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect guides offer over 15 years of paddling experience way off the beaten path. This 2.5 hour guided kayaking trip will give you unique access to the southern boundary of the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. This is the perfect central location to explore the Jordon and Mellon Island Sites that are part of Faver-Dykes State Park, The Princess Place Preserve, and the Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve. This biologically rich area has been described as "the cornerstone behind the nomination of the Matanzas River as the 25th National Estuarine Research Reserve of the United States". This is where the Matanzas Inlet, one of the only natural inlets on the east coast of Florida, collides with one of the most pristine, undeveloped streams in Florida, The Pellicer Creek. This is a comprehensive ecological and cultural kayak tour in this beautiful coastal system.

About the Kayak Tour  
Imagine yourself drifting through the coastal estuary surrounded by Mangrove tidal creeks, beautiful birds, dolphins, manatee, and plenty of oxygen to fuel your imagination and spark your curiosity. Nature provides the beauty and we provide the vehicle and the professional guide service. Ripple effects eco-tours are a dedicated ecotour company based in St. Augustine, Florida, the headquarters is located at the Town of Marineland Marina, which is poised on 40,000 acres of pristine coastal habitat that is only accessible with knowledgeable guides with years of experience in the backwaters. All of the trips are two to three hours and no prior experience is necessary. We provide the finest and newest equipment that the kayaking industry produces, professional kayak/naturalist/captain guides, and the opportunity to see Coastal Florida waters in their natural state.

St. Augustine Tour
St. Augustine is a city where Old World meets New World, the perfect place to find Florida's beginnings. It is one of the most intriguing cities in northeast Florida, which welcomed European explorers seeking adventure and treasures for their crown. The city's most historic area, charming Old St. Augustine Village, is steeped in the past. More than 400 years of history are tucked away in this area's original homes, hidden courtyards and stunning gardens. The district will charm you with its cobblestone streets, unique shops, adorable bed-and-breakfast inns and cozy cafes.

Attractions throughout the city help to tell the story of St. Augustine, and you`ll spot guides dressed in old-world costumes leading groups from one site to another. Sightseeing tours via tram, trolley, horse-drawn carriage, walking tour or cruise boat can help you get your bearings.

This was a city founded by -- and fought over by -- European explorers who couldn't claim this coast fast enough for their country. The city faced fire, pirates, skirmishes and storms but the hardy residents never gave up.

Landmarks such as Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the Mission of Nombre de Dios stand as a testament to the resilience of the inhabitants. The Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, for example, has survived 300 years of enemy shelling and storms. The fortress that once belonged to the Spanish empire was built of coquina, a virtually indestructible limestone comprised of broken seashells and corals. Take note of the elaborate double drawbridge entrance suspended above what is now a dry moat spanning an impressive 40 feet.

Another well-preserved Spanish stronghold is Fort Matanzas. Here soldiers constructed a fort in 1740-1742 to ward off British encroachments on St. Augustine. Fort Matanzas National Monument, created in 1924, consists of the Spanish fort along with acres of salt marsh and barrier islands along the Matanzas River.

Flagler College and Casa Monica Hotel demonstrate the St. Augustine's more flamboyant side.

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Hotel Accommodations

Hampton Inn - Gainesville
4225 SW 40th Blvd.
Gainesville, FL 32608
Phone: (352) 371-4171

The Hampton Inn - Gainesville is conveniently located off I-75 at Archer Road and a few miles from the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Science. Relax in comfortable rooms with a king- or two queen-sized beds All guest rooms offer a refrigerator, microwave and free Wi-Fi. A complimentary hot breakfast is provided daily in the lobby. 

Info for participants of the SeaVet Clinical Training Course:

  • Suggest arrival Sunday, June 15, 2014 and departure of Friday, June 27th.
  • Regular Room - $109 per night (one to four people)Group Code: SEA
  • Based upon availability, this rate can be applied 3 days prior and following the suggested arrival and departure dates.
  • All room rates are subject to 11% state and local taxes.
  • Reservations must be made by Friday, May 30, 2014 in order to receive this group rate. After  May 3oth, the discounted rate is not guaranteed.
  • To make a reservation, call the Hampton Inn - Gainesville at (352) 371-4171, request reservations, and identify yourself as a participant of SeaVet to receive the reduced rates. You may also make your reservation online by clicking here.
  • 2 night minimum stay required.
  • All reservations must be booked with a valid credit card.
  • The hotel check-in time is 3:00pm and check out is 12:00pm
  • Any reservation cancellation must be made no later than 7 days prior to your arrival date.
  • Those staying at the hotel will receive free transportation to and from SeaVet course sites. 

Click here for directions and map to the hotel.

Share-a-Room Information

This service is to assist individuals in locating others interested in sharing accommodations for the conference. It is the individual's responsibility to make contact with other interested parties. Once a roommate has been located, you may request removal of your email contact.
CLICK HERE to view those wishing to share a hotel room.
Click here to submit your information for posting on the share a hotel room page
(Email submissions will be posted within 5 working days).
  • This service will require that your name, gender, email address, affiliation, originating country and smoking preference be posted on a web page accessible to the public.
  • After locating a roommate, be sure to reserve your hotel room.

Click here to have your contact information removed from the list of those wishing to share a hotel room.
If you are sharing a guest room with another participant, be sure to communicate the following information when making your hotel reservation.
  1. The full names of all sharing the guest room. If a person is not listed on the room, they will not be allowed to check into the guest room upon arrival.

  2. How the deposit is to be paid and by whom. If the deposit is to be paid by more than one person, then the full information and payment arrangements need to be included in the communication. (NOTE: A deposit is required by the hotel in order to reserve a guest room.)

  3. How the remaining room charges are to be paid. The hotel will need method of payment for each person responsible for the charges. This information will be reiterated at check-in.


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Travel & Area Information

Jacksonville Airport Authority

Tampa International

UF Parking Information

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Course Information:

Patrick Thompson, Course Organizer
University of Florida

Aquatic Animal Health Program
College of Veterinary Medicine
PO Box 100136
Gainesville, FL 32610-0136
Fax: 352-392-8289


Dr. Mike Walsh, Program Organizer
University of Florida

Aquatic Animal Health Program
College of Veterinary Medicine
PO Box 100136
Gainesville, FL 32610-0136
Phone: 352-294-4199
Fax: 352-392-8289

Registration Information:

Shelby Sowder, Registrar
University of Florida/IFAS
Office of Conferences & Institutes (OCI)
PO Box 110750
Building 639, Mowry Road
Gainesville, FL 32611-0750
Phone: 352-392-5930
Fax: 352-392-4044

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