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Husbandry Training Program Internship

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Marine Mammal Care Center

Animal Care Team
Group of animal care volunteer members working as a team.

The Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles (MMCC) is a hospital for seals and sea lions located in San Pedro. Our mission is to rehabilitate marine mammals with the goal of releasing them back to their natural environment, and to educate the public about our patients and ocean conservation. The National Marine Fisheries Service depends on MMCC to carry out the important goals of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. As a non-profit organization, MMCC’s primary funding is provided by individuals, charitable foundations, private businesses, and corporations. MMCC operates with dedicated volunteers and staff working diligently to rehabilitate sick, injured, or malnourished seals and sea lions who are rescued on beaches from north of Zuma all the way to Seal Beach.

Role Description:

The Husbandry Training Program offers undergraduate college students, college graduates, veterinary students, and other individuals an opportunity to learn how a hospital for seals and sea lions provides medical care, housing and food to seals and sea lions in distress.

Husbandry Training Interns will assist the Husbandry staff in the patient care and husbandry tasks necessary to provide our patients a second chance at life. This volunteer intern reports to the Husbandry Lead(s) on their scheduled shifts and will be on-site at the hospital in San Pedro. Duties may include:

  • Thawing and sorting frozen fish
  • Making gruel for patients not eating whole fish
  • Washing dishes
  • Monitoring water quality
  • Cleaning pen areas
  • Assisting in feeding of patients
  • Physically restraining patients as needed
  • Assisting in the intake exams of new patients

All intern duties will be taught per staff discretion based on patient case load, confidence in skill level, and availability of staff to properly and effectively train new skills.


The Husbandry Training Program is a 300-hour internship, with interns completing approximately 30 hours per week between four regularly scheduled shifts for about 10 weeks. Interns will work alongside husbandry staff and Animal Care Volunteers on both morning and afternoon shifts. The morning shift runs from approximately 5:00am-1:00pm. The afternoon shift runs from approximately 11:00am-7:00pm. Exact shift times will vary based on patient load. Intern schedules may be adjusted to fill a longer than 10-week commitment but will be completed at 300 hours.

Participants will commit to start the 300-hour internship on a given month between November and May as selected upon acceptance. The final shift schedule will be selected within 6 weeks of the participant’s start date. The participants will commit to the same shift schedule each week through the completion of the program.


The Husbandry Training Intern must be 18 years or older. This is a non-paid internship, and no compensation will be given to participants. Students may apply for credit hours, but the participant is responsible for completing all necessary paperwork required by their school. Participants must have their own housing and accommodations, as well as reliable transportation throughout the internship period. The intern should be physically capable of standing for long periods, squatting and kneeling, lifting up to 50 pounds, and be competent in the following areas:

  • Personal Effectiveness/Credibility
  • Time Management
  • Flexibility
  • Self-Starter
  • Stress Management/Composure
  • Collaboration Skills

The selected candidate will participate in a full screening and on-boarding process including an interview, background check, orientation, and training.

Position Impact:

The Husbandry Training Intern plays a vital role in the care of our patients through the busiest time of the year. Interns progress through the training rapidly due to the high number of shifts per week and will likely work with all three of our most common species: California Sea Lions, Northern Elephant Seals, and Pacific Harbor Seals. They also build lasting relationships with fellow interns, volunteers, and staff members.


To apply for this important volunteer role, complete an application online at Applications are now open for the following spring season. For questions, contact the Volunteer Services Manager at

2 Shifts

  • morning / 06:00 AM to 11:45 AM
    Start and end times may vary depending on patient case load and seasonality.
  • afternoon / 12:00 PM to 04:45 PM
    Start and end times may vary depending on case load and seasonality.
More Shifts

More opportunities with Marine Mammal Care Center

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Marine Mammal Care Center


3601 South Gaffey St. #8, San Pedro, CA 90731, US

Mission Statement

The Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles is a hospital for ill, injured and malnourished marine mammals. Our mission is to rehabilitate and release back into their natural environment, sick and injured seals and sea lions that strand along the Los Angeles County Coastline. We are the only year round rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles County designated to treat marine mammals. Our important work is authorized by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).


The Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles is a hospital for ill, injured and orphaned marine mammals. Our primary work is the treatment and release of rescued seals & sea lions.

The Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles was initially formed as the result of an agreement between Harcourt-Brace and the Los Angeles Unified School District(LAUSD). The Care Center began operating in October 1992.

The Care Center is also involved in the education of students, school teachers and the general public in conjunction with the Center for Marine Studies. We also actively collaborate with other agencies, universities and museums to learn and aid the treatment of the patients in our care.

The Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles is a participating organization of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network. In the case of an oil spill within the Los Angeles, Ventura County area, The Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles would respond to caring for any marine mammals exposed to petroleum products in their environment, working under the Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.
This opportunity has 2 shifts


3601 South Gaffey Street #8San Pedro, CA 90731



  • Veterinary
  • Environmental Education
  • Animal Care / Handling
  • People Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Relationship Building




  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 4 shifts per week, 6-8 hours per day, for 10 weeks. Start months are determined upon acceptance, and will be spread out between November and May of 2020.
  • This is an unpaid internship. Accepted interns must have accommodations and reliable transportation for each shift. Interns can apply for school credit, but all paperwork is the responsibility of the intern. Must be at least 18 years old.

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