Jul 27, 2023
As the son of one of the first female marine biologists in the world and certainly at Southern California's Scripp's Institute of Oceanography, Dr. Jay Sweeney grew up surrounded by aquatic life, surfing, and scientific discovery. Long before he co-founded Dolphin Quest and helped launch the public animal interactive experience with Dr. Rae Stone we know today, Jay worked with SeaWorld and the US Navy's marine mammal program as a young veterinarian devising diagnostic tools, particularly in the area of cytology, to study, monitor, and maintain animal health. But it was at Marineland of the Pacific where Jay recalls a welcoming philosophy that brought biologists, veterinarians, and behaviorists together in the early days of marine mammal display and care to share ideas and best practices-- a philosophy he and his colleagues continue to this day at their exotic locations in Hawaii and Bermuda. Jay speaks fondly of the important animal health role that trainers and keepers play in caring for exotic animals. In his spare time, Jay has developed his interest and skills in art through woodworking sculptures of small cetaceans, which he donates to various conservation organizations to support students.