The Neal Taylor Nature Center’s Food for Thought 2018 series will host Sam Dover, doctor of veterinary medicine, who is the founder and chief veterinarian of Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute.

His presentation will provide an overview of the Institute and discuss the rescues and rehabilitation of marine mammals in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Dover has been practicing veterinary medicine for 29 years. He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1988 and started his career at SeaWorld San Diego. During Dover’s 10-year career with SeaWorld, he was a staff veterinarian for the California, Ohio and Florida parks. While at SeaWorld, Dover pioneered minimally invasive surgical techniques for dolphins, seals, sea lions, manatees, sea turtles, sharks and walruses.

In 1999, he accepted a position at the Santa Barbara Zoo as Staff Veterinarian and Director of Conservation and Research. He also established a veterinary consulting practice specializing in marine mammal medicine and endoscopy/laparoscopy and practices locally, nationally and internationally.

Dover made surgery and endoscopy his focus as the full-time technical veterinarian for Karl Storz Veterinary Endoscopy from 2001 to 2003 and continues to consult for Storz as well as Endoscopy Support Services facilitating training courses and performing in-service procedures and procedural instruction for small animal clinics. He also remains a consulting and relief veterinarian for the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Dover has taught and lectured extensively and has published numerous articles, papers, and book chapters in the fields of surgery and marine mammal medicine. 

Dover is the founder and Chief Veterinarian of Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to positively impacting conservation through marine mammal rescue, rehabilitation, research and education to promote ocean and human health. CIMWI began serving Ventura County in 2006 and added Santa Barbara County to its jurisdiction in 2015.