In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.

~Baba Dioum, Sengalese Poet

TerraMar Research is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a proven commitment to the study and protection of wildlife and the environment with an emphasis on marine mammals and marine ecosystems. Our many activities, coordinated by Research Director Dr. Toni Frohoff, have focused on the behavior and protection of marine mammals with some extension to other animals such as elephants and wolves. With an emphasis on human interactions with marine mammals, our activities range from:

  • Conducting the first research on the welfare of dolphins in ‘swim’ programs in captivity and in the wild
  • Providing educational programs to schools and the public around the world
  • Lecturing at leading academic institutions
  • Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

Other research and educational projects focus on wildlife behavior, dolphin communication, interspecies communication, and the study of emotion, welfare, and conservation in other species. Our work is often featured in the media; in national and international journals, magazines, newspapers, television and radio shows, and documentaries.

Our mission is to increase respect and protection for animals (with an emphasis on wildlife, particularly iconic marine mammals elephants) and their environment through research and education. Scientific endeavors include non-invasive research, academic writing and publication, lectures and facilitation of workshops and participation and collaboration in various academic projects. Educational activities include public presentations for schools and events, providing guidance and assistance to students and teachers, writing and publication in popular magazines and newspapers, and working with the media.

In 1985, TerraMar Research began under the name of “Dolphin Data Base”. In 1995, after applying for and receiving federal nonprofit and tax-exempt status (#911652529), we changed our name to “TerraMar Research” to reflect our scientific endeavors. Now, 35 years later (roughly 25 years as a 501(c)3 charity, we are unique in that we still function almost completely as an all-volunteer organization and continue to conduct research, education, and conservation efforts around the world in a truly nonprofit manner!

Because of our fiscal responsibility and transparancy, we have earned a GOLD seal of transparancy from Guidestar.

When the animals come to us, asking for our help,
will we know what they are saying?
When the plants speak to us in their delicate, beautiful language,
will we be able to answer them?
When the planet herself sings to us in our dreams,
will we be able to wake ourselves
and act?

Gary Lawless