Conservation Education Internship 2019 - San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, California, United States Part-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, 80 to 90 staff depending on the time of year, and 1,200 actively engaged volunteers, The Center operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. 

The Conservation Education Intern is a member of the Conservation Education Team within the broader San Luis Obispo Operations Team. The intern will actively engage the local community through outreach events, education opportunities, festivals and fairs, and interaction with the public on the beach during stranded marine mammal response. The intern will learn and convey information on The Marine Mammal Center’s global conservation mission and local activities that support this mission, with the goal of inspiring our audiences to become ocean stewards and supporters of The Marine Mammal Center. The intern will work with the Conservation Education Team to brainstorm and plan outreach and education events. There may be limited opportunities if interested and as needed to learn and assist in marine mammal rescue and care, however the focus of the position is conservation education. The position will collaborate with other staff, interns and student programs at the Morro Bay facility, as well as team members across the Center’s range. The intern will be supported and supervised by the San Luis Obispo Operations Assistant and the Operations Manager. 

The Conservation Education Internship is an unpaid position based in Morro Bay, CA.


  • Active participation in tabling at festivals and fairs.
  • Active participation in education events at schools, student camps, etc. in the local community.
  • Active participation in speaking events/presentations to local community groups.
  • As opportunities are available, serve as the communications officer on stranded marine mammal responses, engaging with the public to explain our activities and mission.
  • Potential for “seal-sitting” – conducting outreach and education at the site of a resting non-stranded or on watch marine mammal, particularly elephant seal weaners and harbor seal pups, to help explain to the public how they can help keep the animal safe.
  • Work with Conservation Education Team to brainstorm and plan events.
  • Depending on the candidate and duration of the internship, develop skill to lead and organize above mentioned conservation education events.
  • If interested and as needed, potential to assist in basic marine mammal rescue and care (limited percentage of internship time).


  • Background and/or experience in public speaking and/or education with diverse audiences.
  • Ability to stand or walk for up to 4 hours.
  • Comfortable spending several hours on an open beach area environment.
  • Ability to lift and move up to 30 pounds, and comfortable walking on uneven terrain such as sand and rocky beaches.
  • Ability to remain calm and collected in stressful situations.
  • Ability to work professionally and politely with all, including volunteers and staff of all ages and backgrounds, and diverse public audiences.
  • Able to complete tasks in a productive, proactive manner.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Positive and outgoing attitude.
  • 21 years or older.
  • Pass a background and motor vehicle check.

Intern Schedule

Please note this internship is an unpaid volunteer position. The internship will begin in April and last 3 months with flexible end dates and extensions available for excellent candidates. The weekly time commitment will range from 12-24 hours per week, based on the selected candidate’s interest and availability. The ideal candidate will have at least one weekend day open for flexible scheduling.

To Apply

To apply, click the link below. The deadline to apply for the Spring 2019 Conservation Education Internship at San Luis Obispo Operations is March 24, 2019 or until the position is filled.