Media Relations

Press Release:


FAU Harbor Branch Launches ‘Wild Dolphins’ iPad App to Inform, Empower Those Inspired by Dolphins

BOCA RATON, FL (September 21, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, which contributed to the rescue and initial care of Winter the bottlenose dolphin, has created an iPad application that provides an inside look at Winter’s story, background information on wild dolphin research and rescue, and ways that the public can help protect wild dolphins.

Winter’s story will be told in theaters nationwide in the upcoming Warner Bros. movie, “Dolphin Tale.” Caught in a crab trap, Winter eventually lost her tail fluke and was transferred by Harbor Branch personnel to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater for care. Winter soon became the first bottlenose dolphin to be fitted with a prosthetic replacement. Successfully using the prosthesis as her tail fluke, Winter was able to regain propulsion as she swam.

“‘Dolphin Tale’ tells a story of how one person can make a difference in the lives of others, both marine mammal and human,” said Steve McCulloch, manager of the FAU Harbor Branch Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Program. “The message of the ‘Wild Dolphins’ iPad app is the same. Our dolphin research and rescue work depends almost entirely on public contributions, and this app makes it easy for people to donate.”

The multimedia app includes several interactive components and games that allow users to explore a range of dolphin topics, including health and anatomy, threats they face in the wild and areas of research. Interview features provide perspectives from people who helped rescue and provided care for Winter.

Support opportunities contained in the app include a simple donation mechanism, a merchandise store, and for Florida residents, a direct link for purchase of the Protect Wild Dolphins specialty license plate that helps fund Harbor Branch marine mammal work. 

The “Wild Dolphins” app is free for a limited time at and is available for download at the iTunes App Store.  For more information, contact Stephen McCulloch at 772-234-0070 or


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute:
Founded in 1971, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans.  The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, ocean optics research, and marine education. For more information, visit .

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