Conservation Education Internship

2000 Bunker Road, Sausalito, CA 94965 Part-time


The Marine Mammal Center advances global conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.



The ocean is in trouble. From the depletion of fish stocks to increasing ocean temperatures, human activity threatens marine ecosystems that are vital to the health of our ocean and all life on earth. As a critical first responder to these threats, The Marine Mammal Center is leading the field in ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue, veterinary medicine, science, and education. Marine mammals are ecosystem indicators, and these animals provide insights into human and ocean health threats. Together, we are taking action today to support a network of scientists and stewards to protect our shared ocean environment for future generations.

To advance our mission, we focus our work in three key program areas:

  1. Animal Care: With a volunteer force numbering more than 1,200 and the support of a concerned public, the Center is able to respond to marine mammals in distress. Sick and injured animals are treated and rehabilitated at our state-of-the-art veterinary facilities where we care for our patients until they can be released back to their ocean home. Covering a rescue range that spans 600 miles of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai‘i, the Center responds to more stranded marine mammals than any other organization in the world. Our sought-after experts are deployed locally and internationally to provide technical veterinary expertise and training on best practices ranging from anesthesia to disentanglement.
  2. Scientific Research: The Center is a major contributor to the global body of research and knowledge about marine mammal medicine and health. Our veterinary experts develop new clinical techniques to improve marine mammal rehabilitation and care, and investigate the reasons why marine mammals strand and how these factors are connected to ecosystem and human health. Our scientists also investigate how marine mammals use and interact with their ocean environment to better understand and protect them from many threats. Learning from every animal we respond to and studying animals in the wild, our researchers identify novel diseases and pathogens, support endangered and threatened species conservation, identify and help mitigate human-caused threats and partner with scientists around the world on collaborative research that utilizes samples and data collected by the Center. Marine mammal health, ocean health and human health are inextricably linked, and our work advances knowledge of all three to benefit us all.
  3. Education: As a teaching hospital, the Center serves as a vital training ground for veterinary professionals from across the globe, expanding the collective understanding and application of marine veterinary science and conservation. Our innovative school and public education programs build a sense of responsibility through a connection to marine mammals and the marine environment, inspiring future ocean stewards and promoting action to protect the ocean. Each year, these education programs and hands-on trainings reach more than 100,000 children and adults, supporting the next generation of informed scientists and engaged citizens who will care for and ensure the health of our ocean and environment.


The Marine Mammal Center was founded in 1975 by three local citizens: Lloyd Smalley, Pat Arrigoni and Paul Maxwell. Since then, and thanks to their vision, the Center is now a global leader in marine mammal health, science and conservation and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. The Center operates physical locations in Sausalito, Morro Bay and Moss Landing, CA, as well as in Kona, Hawai‘i, and has an annual operating budget of $11.5M. A team of 80 staff and 1,200 actively engaged volunteers make the Center’s impact possible and keep the Center operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 


The Conservation Education Intern is a member of the Guest Experience team within the Education Department and supports adult education volunteers at The Marine Mammal Center as a daily shift leader as well as providing programs for the visiting public. Interns welcome and orient visitors to our hospital, answer questions and interpret rehabilitation procedures, share reasons for animals needing rescue and inspire them to become ocean stewards and supporters of The Marine Mammal Center. Interns may lead tours of the public exhibit areas, behind the scenes experiences, and engage visitors and volunteers in conversations about our conservation work. The position collaborates with fellow interns and is supported and supervised by Guest Experience Team Coordinator with direct collaboration and support from the Public Programs Coordinator. Intern in a comfortable, friendly environment; share your passion for wildlife and conservation; boost your resume; meet like-minded people and feel great knowing that you’re supporting a good cause.

The Convervation Education Internship is available at our Main Hospital in Sausalito. Reduced-cost housing options may be available for this role. The position is unpaid and reports to the Guest Experience Coordinator.


  • Engage visitors regarding the work of The Marine Mammal Center and marine mammals
  • Answer visitor questions and direct them to all of the public areas of the hospital
  • Lead tours of the public areas of the hospital to visiting groups
  • Inspire visitors to support The Marine Mammal Center and marine mammals and become ocean stewards
  • Assist in the management of volunteers, while providing day-to-day support to education volunteers onsite
  • Interpret animal behaviors and animal care procedures to visitors
  • Serve as contact and point person for volunteers when questions arise


  • Background and/ or experience in environmental education, natural sciences, and public speaking
  • Ability to stand or walk for up to 4 hours without a break
  • Ability to lift and move up to 30 pounds
  • Ability to complete tasks in a productive, proactive manner with minimal day-to-day supervision
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc)
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills


Internships are 3 to 6 months long with flexible end dates and extensions available for excellent candidates. The ideal candidate offers 3 days a week for approximately 24 hours a week. Time off must be arranged in advance.

Mandatory trainings (1 pair per season) occur on the following dates:

  • Saturday, February 8 and Sunday, February 9, 2020 (Winter)
  • Thursday, April, 16 and Friday, April, 17, 2020 (Spring)
  • Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, 2020 (Summer)
  • Monday, September 21 and Tuesday, September 22, 2020 (Fall)


We plan to reopen applications for a Winter 2020 internship in late 2019. 

To apply, please click the button below. 

Please contact the Guest Experience Manager at 415-289-7356 or to express interest or learn more about this opportunity.