Marine Mammal Care Center
Los Angeles


Volunteers are a vital component to our success. Thank you for considering donating your time! 

There are many different ways that you can be part of the MMCC volunteer team.

Animal Care Husbandry

Husbandry volunteers are the manpower necessary to provide a clean and safe environment for our patients to recover in. Involvement in activities will be based on the skill level of the individual. Daily tasks performed include, but are not limited to:

  • Food Preparation:  Thawing fish / Preparing gruel / Weighing out scheduled meals / Engaging in safe food handling practices 
  • Kitchen Tasks:  Washing dishes and feeding tube / Sanitizing food prep areas / Maintaining a clean and safe food prep environment
  • General Cleaning:  Laundry / Kennels and portable housing / Animal enclosures / Human break areas
  • Recordkeeping:  Accurately transferring patient information into medical charts
  • Feeding:  Providing meals to patients – under the supervision of the husbandry staff / Documenting food intake and behavior
  • Facility Assistant: Checking and monitoring of chlorine levels in pools / Water temperature / Pump pressures and flow / Checking mechanical unit functionality / Performing filter backwash / Cleaning system filter basket / Opening drain and bleed  valves as needed / Performing water Coliform tests / Cleaning pump baskets /Reporting any pool failures to appropriate party.

Previous pinniped husbandry experience not required.  Training is performed in-house, “on the job” under the supervision of the husbandry and veterinary staff. 

Education & Outreach 

Education volunteers provide the essential role of interacting with the public. Each category is a distinct position.  However, individuals may participate in more than one area.

  • Fence Docent:  Communication with the public about our mission and the animals in our care.
  • Gift Shop:  Conducting sales / Fielding questions about MMCC and the species that we care for.
  • Group Tour Leader:  For larger or scheduled groups, offering classroom activities along with answering question at the fence
  • Outreach:  Attending events - representing MMCC at fairs, school, and organizations.
  • Fundraising:  Acquiring donations / Helping with event preparation
  • Office Support:  Answering phone inquiries, accepting donations, assisting with outreach preparation. 

Education and office background desired, but not required.  Training is done in-house by the education and outreach staff.

To be considered for a volunteer position at the Marine Mammal Care Center each individual:
  • Must be 18 years or older before your anticipated start date.
  • Selected and Approved Candidates are required to pay for $40 background check.
  • Must be willing to commit to a consistent shift each week during our busy season.
  • Needs to apply below, interview and attend orientation sessions.
How to become a volunteer:

Please complete the online application.

Once your application has been reviewed and your skills and availability match our needs, our Recruiter will contact you and invite you to MMCC LA for an interview.

After the interview, you will be required to attend a series of a 3-Step orientation classes (2 for Education Volunteers).

Once completed, it will be determined if your skills and availability will match current openings.

Orientations are held at MMCC LA in the Center For Marine Studies. Seats are Limited. Classes are held throughout the year.


Volunteer Hours:

MMCC LA is open 365 days a year. We staff a morning and afternoon shift every day including holidays.

Lengths of shift may vary during the busy season and high case-load  times (January - June).

Flexibility is essential to accomodate patient needs.

Animal Husbandry Shifts  - Morning (6am - 12 Noon)  Afternoon (12 Noon - 6pm)

Education Shifts - Morning (10am - 2pm)  Afternoon (1pm - 4pm)

(Group Tours, Outreach and Fundraising Events are scheduled as needed)


Internship Opportunities

MMCC offers hands-on volunteer Husbandry internship opportunities to undergraduate college students, graduates and veterinary students.  Please refer to the Internship page for more information.