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Youth Crew


Want to become part of a global network of ocean stewards that empowers communities worldwide through engagement and education? Find out more information about Youth Crew, a service learning program for high school students at The Marine Mammal Center’s main hospital in the Marin Headlands.

Youth Crew is an annual, application based program specifically for high school students. It is the only volunteer opportunity available for youth (ages 15 to 18) at The Marine Mammal Center. All students must commit to being in the program from January-August and commute weekly to The Marine Mammal Center’s main hospital in Sausalito, California.

Program Overview

Youth Crew is a multi-year, service learning program for high school (or the equivalent level of homeschool) students who want to learn more about the fields of marine science and environmental education. This program is not intended for groups. All students must be between the ages of 15-18 to apply. 

Students selected to participate in Youth Crew will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience rehabilitating marine mammals and engaging The Marine Mammal Center’s visitors. Youth Crew runs from January-August and all participants are required to commit to the full program year. All applicants interested in participating in Youth Crew must have a flexible schedule. 

The Youth Crew program year includes attending:

  • A weekly animal care crew shift in the spring (January-May).
  • A weekly or daily education crew shift in the summer (May-August).
  • Monthly professional development trainings, workshops, and/or field trips!


Information Sessions

All applicants and their parents interested in learning more about this program are strongly encouraged to attend one of the Information Sessions in Fall 2017. Click on the dates and times below to register for an upcoming Information Session.

Applicant Qualifications

All Youth Crew program participants must:

  • Be a high school (or equivalent level of homeschool) student between the ages of 15-18.
  • Be able to commit to a weekly 4-8 hours shift every week from January–August.
  • Have a flexible schedule.
  • Be available to attend all mandatory training days and workshops.
  • Arrange their own transportation to and from the Center.
  • Have an interest in veterinary science, marine biology, information education, conservation and/or other related fields!

Youth Crew Duties

The Youth Crew program year is divided into two sessions, animal care crew and education. Both sessions are mandatory and all students are required to commit to the full program year (January-August).

No prior work/volunteer experience is necessary for applicants. Trainings will be provided before the start of each session. Due to the discretion of the program, we do not offer short-term volunteer opportunities or accept youth under the age of 15 into the program.

Animal Care (January-May):

During their first session as a youth volunteer, youth will work closely with their animal care crew supervisors and fellow adult volunteers to maintain the health of active marine mammal patients in our Veterinary Science department.
Responsibilities include:

  • Washing dishes
  • Meal preparation
  • Cleaning patient pens/pools
  • Laundry

Education (May-August):

In the second session as a youth volunteer, students will become youth counselors or youth interpreters in our Education department. Youth will be required to support Camp Sea Quest or Guest Experience.
Responsibilities include:

  • Greeting and interacting with the Center’s visitors
  • Assisting with onsite programs
The Alumni Program:

After students complete their first year of service, they are encouraged to continue volunteering at the Center as an animal care or education volunteer. The alumni program offers more opportunities to the students including the Youth Advisory Board, expanding their animal care responsibilities, advanced workshops, field trips, assisting with outreach events and much more!

How to Apply

Youth Crew is a competitive, application based program. All applicants must apply by submitting an online application, teacher recommendation, and an emergency waiver before the deadline November 15, 2017. Incomplete applications or application materials received after the deadline will not be reviewed. For further information regarding the program and the application process, please come to an Information Session. We strongly encourage all prospective applicants, parents, and teachers to attend this free event. 

We are now accepting applications for Youth Crew 2018! Select the links below for the online application and required documents. Submit your contact information here if you want to speak with someone about the Youth Crew program, or send an e-mail to

Application Requirements

2018 Youth Crew Online Application

 Teacher Recommendation Form

Emergency Waiver

• $50 Registration Fee* (only for accepted youth)

* Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Application Calendar

  • Application Deadline: 
    November 15, 2017
  • In-person Interviews:
    December 16-17, 2017
  • Acceptance Notifications:
    by December 22, 2017
  • First Mandatory Training:
    January 6 & 7, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Youth Crew application be available?
The application will be posted online in the fall between October-December. 

How can I find out more about Youth Crew?
Download the Youth Crew program flyer or attend an Information Session.

Can I volunteer if I am younger than 15? 
No. All youth must be in high school between the ages of 15-18. You must be at least 15 years old at the time your application is submitted. There are no exceptions.

Can I volunteer for less than eight months, if I volunteer daily for several weeks?
No. All interested youth must commit to be in the Youth Crew program from January-August. All youth volunteers will be placed on a weekly crew, selected by the Youth Crew Team.

Can I just join animal care crew?
No. Education is a large part of The Marine Mammal Center’s mission. Not only do we work to rehabilitate marine mammal patients but we also want to spread awareness. All selected students will be required to participate on an education crew in the summer. They can either be a camp counselor with Camp SeaQuest or a youth interpreter with Guest Experience.

How often do I have to come to The Marine Mammal Center if I am accepted to the Youth Crew program?
Participants will be required to come weekly for their shift and attend a few additional workshops and trainings during the five-month program.

How can I learn more about Youth Crew?
Before the application deadline, we offer Information Sessions for students, parents, and teachers to meet the Youth Crew leads and ask questions.

For More Information Contact:

Cameron Steinback 
Marine Science Educator:
Youth Crew Lead


Thank You to our Supporters

The Marine Mammal Center is grateful for the generous support from Bank of America and the SATO Foundation, which has made it possible to remove cost as a barrier for youth participation.

If you are interested in sponsoring Youth Crew or other education programs, please contact Jennifer Morrow, Foundation and Corporate Relations Officer, at

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