Response Manager & Community Engagement Specialist

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, United States Full-time


At The Marine Mammal Center, we are guided and inspired by a shared vision of a healthy ocean for marine mammals and humans alike.  The Marine Mammal Center advances global conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. 



We rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured marine mammals at our state-of-the-art veterinary facilities by engaging a dedicated workforce and a supportive community.  We learn from the patients in our care and contribute to scientific understanding of the changing health of our ocean, taking action to address ocean threats and save endangered species.  We lead as a teaching hospital by training veterinary professionals locally and internationally, and inspiring future ocean stewards through innovative school and public education programs.  



The Marine Mammal Center is the largest facility of its kind in the world. Founded in 1975, The Center has grown into an internationally renowned and state-of-the art marine mammal hospital, research center and educational organization. Each year, the Center treats 600 – 800 sick, injured and orphaned marine mammals, with the goal of rehabilitation and release. Its professional staff collaborates with over 30 different scientific, educational, federal, state and non-profit organizations from around the world. 


Marine mammal scientists and veterinarians from across the globe visit the Center and shadow its staff and volunteers to learn from the hundreds of animals treated each year, and from its acclaimed veterinary, scientific, and research staff. By collaborating with leading scientists and researchers to learn from the patients in their care, the Center expands and advances science to increase understanding of the health of the ocean and highlights implications for human health.

 In addition to its work within the scientific community, the Center’s formal and informal education programs reach 100,000 children and adults ever year. Ultimately, the Center’s work inspires action and fosters stewardship toward the care of our environment.


Overlooking the ocean in the Marin Headlands, in Sausalito, CA, the Center operates three field stations in its 600-mile rescue range on the California coastline from San Luis Obispo through Mendocino County. Simultaneous to the construction of its new Kona, Hawaii facility, the Center’s rescue range has increased to include the entire Hawaiian archipelago. With an annual operating budget of almost $10M, 60 to 70 staff depending on the time of year, and 1,200 actively engaged volunteers, The Center operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.



In 2014, The Marine Mammal Center opened Ke Kai Ola (“The Healing Sea”), a hospital and education center dedicated to caring for injured, ill, and orphaned Hawaiian monk seals and returning them to the wild, and to be a place where children and the community learn to care for this beautiful marine mammal. The goal of Ke Kai Ola is to promote Hawaiian monk seal recovery through 1) a science-based rehabilitation program; 2) a highly trained and well-managed volunteer stranding response network; and 3) coordinated community efforts and partnerships to inspire the local community to protect, care for, and ensure the future of this endangered species.



The Response Manager & Community Engagement Specialist leads the Marine Mammal Response Program for Hawai’i Island, which responds to reports of Hawaiian monk seal sightings to ensure a safe environment for both people and seals. This role provides communication, administration, coordination and training of response and community engagement volunteers. This role is responsible for executing Ke Kai Ola’s community outreach strategy, and will work closely with the Center’s Education department to ensure community outreach will be consistent. This position reports to the Hospital Director, with direct support from the Manager of School and Youth Programs (based in Sausalito, CA). The Response Manager & Community Engagement Specialist requires self-direction and initiative.



  • In collaboration with the Center’s Volunteer Engagement department, recruit, train and develop Ke Kai Ola Response volunteers to maintain a thriving volunteer corps
  • Coordinate all Hawaiian monk seal responses on Hawai’i Island
  • Actively facilitate communications between partner agencies, volunteers, staff and the public during a response
  • Manage 24hr Response Hotline to respond to public reports, questions and concerns about sighted animals
  • Maintain animal records and database, and provide routine required reporting to NOAA
  • In collaboration with the Center’s Education department, lead public outreach campaigns
  • Maintain Ke Kai Ola vehicle fleet
  • Provide support to other Ke Kai Ola programs (Education, Animal Care) in times of high intensity



  • Demonstrated ability to foster positive relationships with a variety of stakeholders and community members (familiarity with Hawaiian communities, culture and customs is highly desirable)
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of current rescue techniques and partner agencies
  • Knowledge of Hawaiian monk seal history throughout the state of Hawaii
  • Demonstrated ability to direct and train staff and volunteers to advance their knowledge of Hawaiian monk seals
  • Strong administrative, organizational, and presentation skills
  • Ability to record, manage, and report volunteer data
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office suite of programs, and web-based programs (e.g. Google Drive)
  • Adept at detail-oriented work
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to delegate effectively
  • Ability to work as a member of a multidisciplinary team
  • Competent use of independent judgment
  • Demonstrated capability to conduct one’s self in a calm and professional manner when dealing with the public, volunteers and/or difficult situations



  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Background and/or relevant experience in public education and outreach
  • Prior volunteer management experience highly valued
  • Experience handling wild monk seals highly desirable
  • Grant writing and/or some fundraising experience highly desirable
  • Valid Hawaiian driver’s license and a clean driving record
  • Must submit to and pass background check



  • Ability to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds
  • Ability to stand/walk up to 3 hours in extreme weather conditions without a break
  • Ability to sit at a desk for extended periods of time using a computer screen, walking, and climbing stairs
  • Hospital environment with access to other parts of the facilities via outdoor pathways
  • Limited exposure to zoonotic diseases



Location: Ke Kai Ola Hospital, Kailua-Kona, HI

Hours: This role is full-time typically working at least 1-3 weekends a month, but may be required to shift schedule to work evenings, weekends and/or holidays, depending on program or facility needs

Reports To: Hospital Director

Direct Reports: None

Apply for this opening at