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Get Your Gift Matched Today!

Sick patients like Larissa need your help to make it home for the holidays. Today your donation will be doubled dollar-for-dollar, so you'll make twice the difference! Will you give a pup a second chance at life?

Yes, I want to help a pup like Larissa!

northern fur seal Larissa
Montana de Oro coast in San Luis Obispo

Follow these steps to become a volunteer

San Luis Obispo volunteer speaking to guests at a conservation education event
photo © The Marine Mammal Center
  1. Add your name to the volunteer interest list to receive an application when volunteer spots are available. (Please note there may be a waiting period of several months before you receive an application and only adults 18+ who are no longer in high school are eligible to apply.)

  2. Complete an application, phone or in-person interview and background check.

  3. Attend a New Volunteer Onboarding Training.

Available Opportunities

Day Crew

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San Luis Obispo Day Crew Volunteers support all aspects of marine mammal rehabilitation from rescue to rehabilitation to release.

Duties include fielding calls from the public, rescuing and transporting* injured and sick marine mammals, preparing food and feeding patients, cleaning pens and equipment, updating patient charts and assisting with releases. With additional training, volunteers can prepare and administer medications.

*Volunteers must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license and clear a Motor Vehicle Report to drive on behalf of the Center.

Time Commitment:

  • Commit to the same 6-hour day shift every week for a minimum of six months.
  • Shift times vary depending on season and number of patients onsite.
  • Typical day shifts run from 7:30am to 1:30pm and 1:30pm to 7:30pm.

Night Crew

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San Luis Obispo Night Crew Volunteers support patient rehabilitation by providing care during evening shifts.

Duties include preparing food and feeding patients, cleaning pens and equipment, and updating patient charts. With additional training, volunteers can prepare and administer medications.

Time Commitment:

  • Commit to the same night shift every week for a minimum of six months.
  • Shift times vary depending on season and number of patients onsite.
  • Typical night shifts run from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

Conservation Education

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Conservation Education Volunteers play a vital role in advancing global ocean conservation by inspiring the public to better appreciate the ocean and help protect the animals that live in it.

Duties include interacting with the public at outreach events and education programs.

Time Commitment:

  • Attend quarterly planning meetings as well as continuing education trainings on an annual basis.
  • Commit to at least 2 events per quarter; assignments include indoor and outdoor shifts in varying weather.
  • Shadow at least one Animal Care day shift per quarter during busy season.

Patient Transport

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Patient Transport Volunteers ensure our patients are able to receive long-term rehabilitative care by helping transport them from our triage facilities in San Luis Obispo and Monterey to our large hospital in Sausalito.

Transport Volunteers must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license and clear a Motor Vehicle Report.

Duties include driving the Center’s vehicles from Morro Bay to King City.

Time Commitment:

  • Commit to at least one on-call shift per week for a minimum of six months.

Facilities and Equipment

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Facilities and Equipment Volunteers engage in hands-on projects to help maintain our facilities and equipment.

Duties include conducting minor building or equipment repairs as well as building or developing new equipment, such as animal rescue carriers or nets.

Time Commitment:

  • Commit to volunteering for a minimum of six months; projects and hours will vary and can be flexible.

Have Questions?

Contact us at volunteer@tmmc.org.