Skip to main content

Your Impact Will Go Twice as Far for a Pup

Do you notice all those folds of skin? They tell a heartbreaking story of a pup far too thin. 

Right now, there’s a $5,000 gift match waiting for the pups, and your support is needed to unlock it. 

Yes, your $5 = $10 today, meaning you can provide double the fish meals for a pup like Horseshoe. 

Get your gift matched
elephant seal pup Horseshoe
veterinary experts examining a California sea lion
  • Veterinary Professionals

Learn and Train Alongside Our Experts

The Marine Mammal Center is the largest marine mammal teaching hospital and a critical training ground for veterinary professionals from around the world, combining high-quality animal care with a hands-on learning environment.

Veterinary professionals can apply for a competitive weeks- or months-long internship or externship, residency or international veterinary fellowship, giving veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary students and animal husbandry staff worldwide a chance to learn and train alongside experts onsite at The Marine Mammal Center. 

Our Teaching Hospital combines practical experience, innovative medicine and meaningful professional collaboration with the Center’s staff and volunteers. 


Learning Opportunities for Veterinarians - Clinical

Clinical Zoo-Wildlife Resident Rotation

Plus icon Minus icon

The Clinical Zoo-Wildlife Resident Rotation provides veterinary residents actively enrolled in a wildlife/zoo/aquatics/exotics residency program the opportunity to gain exposure to marine mammal medicine, rehabilitation, husbandry and necropsy.  

This position is two to four weeks in duration, generally between March 1 and September 30 during the Center’s peak animal season.   

Key Responsibilities  

  • Work with a robust team of veterinary professionals and volunteers to provide care for stranded marine mammals (mostly seals and sea lions) including assessment, treatment, husbandry and critical care  
  • Work with the pathology team to conduct post-mortem examinations on deceased patients to investigate causes of death and disease processes 
  • A collaborative research project may be possible but must be discussed ahead of time and appropriate background inquiry must be initiated prior to the actual rotation

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Veterinary residents currently enrolled in veterinary specialty residency program; open to international zoo/aquatics/wildlife residents 

How to Apply 

  • Application period: Rotations are full for 2024; applications will reopen in spring 2024 for 2025 rotations
  • Onsite for rotation: March to September 2025 – each rotation is two to four weeks

Marine Mammal Medicine & Pathology Veterinary Internship

Plus icon Minus icon

The Intern Veterinarian provides primary medical management and care of hundreds of stranded marine mammals and conducts post-mortem examinations and histological evaluation of deceased animals. This position also involves developing and conducting a marine mammal health-based research project, medical recordkeeping, teaching veterinary students and other visitors, and participating in some fieldwork and response.  

This is a one-year collaborative position with the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine that is paid, with benefits that include housing. 

Key Responsibilities  

  • Work with a robust team of veterinary professionals and volunteers to provide care for stranded marine mammals (mostly seals and sea lions) including assessment, treatment, husbandry and critical care  
  • Work with the pathology team to conduct post-mortem examinations on deceased patients to investigate causes of death and disease processes  
  • Collaborate on multiple ongoing marine mammal health research projects, and develop and conduct a unique research project during the internship  
  • Help instruct visiting veterinary students and other veterinary health professionals in marine mammal health, husbandry and medicine

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent degree from an accredited veterinary institution  
  • One or more year(s) practicing clinical veterinary medicine is strongly preferred  
  • Ability to obtain a California veterinary license  
  • Valid driver’s license 

How to Apply 

  • Application period: September to December 2024 
  • Application review: January 2025 
  • Notification of application acceptance or denial: end of January 2025
  • Onsite for internship: August 1, 2025 – July 31, 2026



International Veterinary Fellowship

Plus icon Minus icon

The International Veterinary Fellowship provides marine mammal veterinarians across the globe an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in marine mammal rehabilitation medicine and pathology.

This position is up to three months in duration, and it is expected that successful applicants will return to their pre-existing program prepared to implement and expand training programs of their own.

Airfare and travel to San Francisco, California, is provided as well as a room in a shared Center Guest House within the Marin Headlands and a stipend for food and basic living expenses. The Guest House is shared with other students, residents and researchers associated with the Center. The Center and National Park Service will support a J-1 Visa for the training period and will require the Fellow to have an international driver’s license.

Key Responsibilities  

  • Work with a robust team of veterinary professionals and volunteers to provide care for stranded marine mammals (mostly seals and sea lions) including assessment, treatment, husbandry and critical care  
  • Work with the pathology team to conduct post-mortem examinations on deceased patients to investigate causes of death and disease processes  
  • Help collect samples for research projects and maintain animal medical records  
  • Develop and carry out a research project with the goal of presenting results to the Center community; fellows are highly encouraged to submit results for publication 

Qualifications and Experience  

  • A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree or equivalent confirming completion of veterinary school is required 
  • Preference will be given to veterinarians who are currently employed within a marine mammal rehabilitation program or nonprofit organization equivalent 
  • Strong written and spoken English is required 

How to Apply

  • Application period: September to December 2024
  • Application review: December to January 2025
  • Notification of application acceptance or denial: January 2025
  • Onsite for fellowship: March to September 2025; fellowship is up to three months long with two positions offered each year 

Veterinary Student Externship Rotation in Marine Mammal Medicine and Pathology

Plus icon Minus icon

The Veterinary Student Externship Rotation in Marine Mammal Medicine and Pathology provides veterinary students in their final/clinical year the opportunity to gain exposure to marine mammal medicine, rehabilitation, husbandry and necropsy.

This position requires a minimum of three weeks to a maximum of four weeks from March through September.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with a robust team of veterinary professionals and volunteers to provide care for stranded marine mammals (mostly seals and sea lions) including assessment, treatment, husbandry and critical care
  • Work with the pathology team to conduct post-mortem examinations on deceased patients to investigate causes of death and disease processes
  • Investigate and present a research project (topic- or case-based) during the rotation

Qualifications and Experience

  • Veterinary student enrolled in end of third year through fourth year (clinical year) of veterinary school; open to international students
  • Demonstrated interest in marine mammal and wildlife health and pathology

How to Apply 

  • Application period: Applications closed December 8, 2023 
  • Application review: January to March 2024 
  • Notification of application acceptance or denial: March 2024 
  • Onsite for externship: March to September 2025 – each rotation is three to four weeks

Learning Opportunities for Veterinarians - Pathology

Pathology Resident Rotation

Plus icon Minus icon

The Pathology Resident Rotation is an opportunity for anatomic and clinical pathology residents in established programs (traditional and non-traditional tracks) to gain experience in marine mammal anatomy and pathology.

This position requires a minimum of two weeks with openings year-round.

Key Responsibilities  

  • Perform necropsies and write necropsy reports, and evaluate histology from current or previous cases and write associated reports after review with pathologist 
  •  Opportunity to aid in gross necropsy instruction with veterinary students    

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or equivalent
  • Anatomic or clinical pathology resident currently enrolled in a pathology residency training program (traditional or non-traditional track); open to international residents 

How to Apply 

  • Application period: Always open, rolling application process 
  • Application review and notification: Within two weeks of submission  
  • Onsite for rotation: Residents can rotate any time of the year, but the busiest time for necropsies is April to October. We recommend at least two weeks for rotation, but residents can rotate for as long as their program allows. Four-week rotations are encouraged so that follow-up from cases is possible.

Apply Now


Pathology Veterinary Student Externship

Plus icon Minus icon

The Pathology Veterinary Student Externship is an opportunity for veterinary students in their final/clinical year and veterinarians who have completed veterinary school, to gain experience in marine mammal anatomy and pathology. There is no clinical component to this externship.  

This position requires a minimum of two weeks and maximum of four weeks from March through September.   

Key Responsibilities  

  • Perform gross necropsies on marine mammal patients (mostly seals and sea lions) and write necropsy reports  
  • Learn collection techniques for sampling for histology and other diagnostics  

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Veterinary student (DVM or equivalent) enrolled in end of third year through fourth year (clinical year) of veterinary school or graduate of veterinary school with DVM or equivalent; open to international students  
  • Have a primary interest in pathology (no clinical work); encouraged to have clinical year necropsy rotation before scheduled visit  

How to Apply 

  • Application period: September to December 2024
  • Application review: January 2025
  • Notification of application acceptance or denial: February 2025
  • Onsite for externship: March to September 2026 – each rotation is two to four weeks 

Learning Opportunities for Veterinary Technicians

Zoo & Aquarium Professional Development Program for Veterinary Technicians

Plus icon Minus icon

The Zoo & Aquarium Professional Development Program for Veterinary Technicians is an opportunity for experienced zoo vet techs currently employed in a zoo or aquarium to gain additional experience in marine mammal medicine and husbandry.  

This position requires a minimum of one week and maximum of two weeks from March through September.    

Key Responsibilities  

  • Assist the Center’s veterinary staff on daily clinical rotations – physical exams, diagnostics, anesthesia, etc.   
  • Work on an animal care crew performing daily husbandry tasks – feeding, cleaning, administration of medications, etc.   
  • Optional day performing necropsies with our pathology staff  
  • Optional day performing in-house diagnostics with our laboratory staff  

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Licensed, registered, and/or certified veterinary technicians (LVT, RVT, CVT) or equivalent    
  • Currently employed as a veterinary technician in a zoo or aquarium that has or will shortly have pinnipeds in their collection   

How to Apply

  • Application period: Always open, rolling application process; email training@tmmc.org to apply
  • Onsite for rotation: March to September - each rotation is one to two weeks; if you have a particular species that you are hoping to gain more experience with, we encourage you to coordinate your rotation to coincide with the time of year in which we typically have those patients in care (e.g. California sea lions in the summer months) 

Veterinary Technician Externship for Licensed Technicians and Recent Veterinary Technician Graduates

Plus icon Minus icon

This program is currently on hold and will not be accepting applicants for 2024. The website will be updated when this externship is reopened. If you meet the criteria for this externship, you may be interested in our professional development program for veterinary technicians.

The Veterinary Technician Externship is an exciting opportunity for recent graduates of a veterinary technician program who are not receiving school credit and/or licensed, registered and/or certified veterinary technicians (LVT, RVT, CVT) who are interested in increasing their technical skills, gaining experience and knowledge as a technician in veterinary medicine, and learning about the behavior, rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals.  

The externship requires a minimum of eight weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks. Externs must be able to work two to five days a week, at least 16-40 hours per week. Work schedule must be flexible and may include evening shifts, weekends and holidays.  

Key Responsibilities  

  • Assist with the daily procedures of the hospital, including helping to prepare, monitor and expedite a busy schedule of exams and procedures that may require sedation or anesthesia 
  • Assist and work directly with the staff technicians on duty to ensure all of the daily tasks and preparation for the next day are complete   
  • Work on an animal care crew one day a week to gain husbandry experience with duties including animal handling, pen cleaning, medical charting, feeding, and medication preparation and administration 

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Completion of a veterinary technician program or completion of alternate-track Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) program (or equivalent) with proof of veterinary technician license and medical insurance 
  • Worked a minimum of two months in a veterinary hospital  
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record

How to Apply

  • Application period: Late summer/fall 2024 for 2025 externships
  • Application review: October to November 2024
  • Notification of application acceptance or denial: December 2024
  • Onsite for externship: February to September 2025; externships are eight to 12 weeks

Veterinary Technician Externship for Students Receiving Academic Credit

Plus icon Minus icon

The Veterinary Technician Externship is an exciting opportunity for students in a veterinary technician program and/or approved alternate-route track to become a licensed veterinary technician who are interested in increasing their technical skills, gaining experience and knowledge as a technician in veterinary medicine, and learning about the behavior, rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals.  

The externship requires a minimum of eight weeks to a maximum of 12 weeks. Externs must be able to work two to five days a week, at least 16-40 hours per week. Work schedule must be flexible and may include evening shifts, weekends and holidays.  

Key Responsibilities  

  • Assist with the daily procedures of the hospital, including helping to prepare, monitor and expedite a busy schedule of exams and procedures that may require sedation or anesthesia 
  • Assist and work directly with the staff technicians on duty to ensure all of the daily tasks and preparation for the next day are complete   
  • Work on an animal care crew one day a week to gain husbandry experience with duties including animal handling, pen cleaning, medical charting, feeding, and medication preparation and administration 

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Must be in the second year or equivalent of a veterinary technician program or near completion of alternate-track Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) program (or equivalent) and receiving university credit for the externship with proof of liability insurance from the school/program 
  • Worked a minimum of two months in a veterinary hospital  
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record

How to Apply

  • Application period: September to December 2024
  • Application review: Applications will be reviewed upon submission
  • Notification of application acceptance or denial: December 31, 2024
  • Onsite for externship: February to September 2025; externships are eight to 12 weeks

Learning Opportunities Focused on Animal Husbandry

Zoo & Aquarium Professional Development Program for Zookeepers and Aquarists

Plus icon Minus icon

The Zoo & Aquarium Professional Development Program for Zookeepers and Aquarists is an opportunity for experienced animal care staff currently employed in a zoo or aquarium to gain additional experience in marine mammal husbandry.  

This position requires a minimum of one week and maximum of two weeks from March through September.    

Key Responsibilities  

  • Work on an animal care crew performing daily husbandry tasks – feeding, cleaning, administration of medications, etc. 
  • Assist the Center’s veterinary staff on daily clinical rotations – physical exams, diagnostics, anesthesia, etc. 
  • Possible day performing necropsies with our pathology staff (as available)
  • Possible day performing in-house diagnostics with our laboratory staff (as available)

Qualifications and Experience  

  • Currently employed as a zookeeper or aquarist in a zoo or aquarium that has or will shortly have pinnipeds in their collection   

How to Apply 

  • Application period: Always open, rolling application process; email training@tmmc.org to apply
  • Onsite for rotation: March to September - each rotation is one to two weeks; if you have a particular species that you are hoping to gain more experience with, we encourage you to coordinate your rotation to coincide with the time of year in which we typically have those patients in care (e.g. California sea lions in the summer months) 

All Are Welcome at The Marine Mammal Center

We strongly encourage people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and non-binary people, veterans, parents, and individuals with disabilities to apply. In your cover letter, please feel free to note which pronouns you use (e.g. she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, etc.). 

Research has shown that women and people from marginalized communities apply to roles when they meet 100 percent of the job requirements, versus male applicants who apply if they meet an average of 60 percent of the requirements. If you think that your skills are transferable and can add value to this role, please apply so we can determine whether it’s a good fit. 

The Marine Mammal Center is an equal opportunity, nonprofit employer committed to social and environmental equity

The Marine Mammal Center actively engages individuals from all backgrounds. We are committed to embracing diversity within our organization because we firmly believe that diverse teams help us to achieve our best organizational outcomes and provide the most effective support to the communities we serve. 

The Marine Mammal Center believes that a healthy work environment means building an inclusive culture where people can thrive together and feel supported and empowered. We believe in stretch versus constraint. 

What Is It Like to Train at The Marine Mammal Center?

view of the hospital from the back showing someone working in pool areas with sea lions

Work Environment    

  • Exposure to zoonotic diseases   
  • Exposure to sharp instruments and needles  
  • Working in outdoor weather conditions and elements daily   
  • Potential exposure to formalin  
  • Involves strong smells associated with dead animals and the care of animals 

Location
The Marine Mammal Center's Teaching Hospital is located in the Marin Headlands of Sausalito, California, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and all positions are based out of this location though some may include limited travel to our other facilities in California.

Housing
For many of our Teaching Hospital positions, temporary housing may be available at reduced cost within two miles of the hospital.  

Transportation 
Applicants are responsible for their own transportation. Due to our hospital's remote location within a national park, some of our positions require applicants to have a valid driver's license and clean driving record. There are limited public transportation options into and out of the park. Ride-share and delivery services are also limited.

Physical Requirements   

  • Ability to stand, walk, climb stairs and lift up to 50 pounds throughout the primarily outdoor hospital for extended periods of time in variable weather conditions  
  • Ability to physically restrain and interact with large and potentially dangerous marine mammals both in the rehabilitation hospital setting and in the field  
  • Ability to remain in a stationary position, and move in an office environment for extended periods of time  
  • Ability to operate a computer and other office equipment   
  • Ability to walk/cover up to five miles during a shift on a frequent basis  

Meet Our Experts

The veterinary team includes 5 veterinarians and 8 veterinary technicians. On average, the Center admits 600-800 patients a year with the majority in care from March to October. Species admitted to our hospital in Sausalito, California, include California sea lions, northern elephant seals, harbor seals, fur seals, southern sea otters and Steller sea lions. We see a wide variety of diseases including urogenital carcinoma, leptospirosis and domoic acid toxicosis, as well as malnutrition, pneumonia, trauma (including human-associated) and much more.

The pathology team includes two pathologists (one with over 30 years of experience in marine mammal pathology) and two technicians. On average the Center performs approximately 350 necropsies a year. In addition to the pinniped species we treat onsite, we also perform necropsies on cetaceans including dolphins and harbor porpoises, and whales such as gray, humpback and occasionally others.

two volunteers throw fish into a pool of sea lion patients

 

Looking for Other Opportunities to Learn? Become a Volunteer

Volunteers are the heart and soul of The Marine Mammal Center. You can help rescue and rehabilitate marine mammals, educate the public, and so much more.

See volunteer opportunities

Have Questions?

Contact us at training@TMMC.org

veterinary training. professional development for veterinarians, veterinary fellowship, learn how to be a marine mammal veterinarian, opportunities for veterinary students, marine mammal veterinary training, International Veterinary Fellow, International Veterinary-in-Residence, IVIR