At Pacific Marine Mammal Center, we love our volunteers! We utilize volunteers to help us with our animal care, docent & education, and Gift Shop needs.

Please note Animal Care volunteers must be age 21 or over

Docent and Gift Shop volunteers must be age 18 or over

If you are interested in an Animal Care, Docent or Gift Shop position, please click on the "Apply Here" button below.


Animal Care Volunteers

Animal Care Volunteer Description

Animal care volunteering is a unique opportunity to work with marine mammals. As a volunteer, you will assist in the treatment and care of seals, sea lions and cetaceans stranded due to injury or illness along Orange County beaches, and to help release healthy animals back to their natural habitat.

Time Commitment

  • Commitment of one year

  • One 4-8 hour shift per week on a consistent day

  • All our volunteers are encouraged to volunteer at our annual fundraising events

Skills/Qualifications

  • Must be 21 years or older

  • Ability to work well on a team

  • Willingness to commit to PMMC on a weekly basis

  • High levels of physical fitness and mental dedication

  • Eagerness to work hard under difficult and stressful conditions

  • Ability to tolerate unpleasant sights and smells

PLEASE NOTE: Our Animal Care Volunteer Application is currently open for the following shifts:

Friday AM, Friday PM, and Saturday PM

If our call for Animal Care volunteers does not meet your current availability, please continue to check back. We will update this banner as our open opportunities change. Thank you!

Volunteer Necropsy Assistant Program for 2019

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) rescues, rehabilitates, and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration. A big part of research is performed after a seal or sea lion dies. A necropsy, an autopsy on an animal, is a vital part of what helps us understand disease processes, emerging diseases, and human impact on wildlife. To better aid the veterinary staff, PMMC is offering a volunteer necropsy assistant program with a priority to senior high school and college students, who are considering entering specific medical fields (either human or animal).

The ideal candidate will be at least 18 years old and in college with an interest in marine mammal anatomy, pathology and disease processes, have reliable transportation to and from the center and be able to dedicate at least 1 day a week from 8:00 am to 1300 or 1300-1800 pm from January to August of 2019. This position requires working with deceased seals, sea lions, dolphins, occasionally sea turtles and coming into contact with potential zoonotic diseases. Before beginning as a necropsy assistant, the volunteer assistant will be required to watch a power point presentation on how to perform a necropsy, collect samples, and log samples. During a typical shift the volunteer may be required to:

  • Set up all of the instruments, table, and set out the body for the necropsy

  • Take weight, length, and width measurements of the body

  • Take down all notes and descriptions of each body system, as dictated by the veterinary during a necropsy

  • Take photographs of the body and any organs, as dictated by the veterinarian

  • Take the weight and length of individual organs and body part

  • Package individual samples to be stored in formalin, in the -80 freezer, or as directed.

  •  Dispose of the body accordingly after the necropsy has concluded and clean the necropsy area

  • Help the veterinarian in cataloging samples in -80 freezer or in formalin packs

  • Help package and send samples to other laboratories for analysis

As the student progresses and the case load increases, the student may be asked to perform necropsies on seals and sea lions only and when under the supervision of the attending veterinarian. 

Interested parties should send a resume and letter of intent to spolito@pacificmmc.org detailing work experience, interest in the area, and availability. No Phone Calls Please.


Docent Volunteers & Volunteer Teachers

Docent Volunteer Description

Morning shift: 10 am - 1 pm
Afternoon shift: 1 pm - 4 pm

As a PMMC Docent, you will be joining a team of dynamic individuals who are passionate about sharing our mission and knowledge about marine mammals and conservation. Docents greet our guests and take them on a tour to view the animals in our outdoor pools. Throughout the tour, PMMC Docents share information about how we rescue and rehabilitate the animals in our care as well as why it is important and how people can get involved in our mission. Docents can also get involved with promoting PMMC’s mission throughout the community by participating in various local outreach events. 

Volunteer Teacher Description

Morning shift: 10 am - 1 pm
Afternoon shift: 1 pm - 4 pm

As a PMMC volunteer teacher, you will be joining a team of creative and enthusiastic individuals who have a passion for sharing knowledge about marine mammals and the environment with children and other individuals through structured educational programs. Our education programs include a presentation, a tour and hands on-activities that allow participants to learn the importance of conservation. Additionally, teachers can participate in PMMC’s ‘give back’ programs. These experiences assist children at risk, children in hospitals as well as veterans with challenges they face. Join the team and help us make a difference in the lives of others!

Time Commitment

  • Commitment of one year

  • One 3 hour shift per week - on a consistent day

  • All docents will be cross-trained to assist in the "Treasure Trove" Gift Shop as needed

  • Flexibility to assist at evening or weekend off-site outreach events

  • All our volunteers are encouraged to volunteer at our annual fundraising events

Skills/Qualifications

  • Age 18 or older ( If you are under 18 you are encouraged to call our education department to inquire about seasonal volunteer opportunities as a junior counselor for our Ocean Heroes and Camp Pinniped program.)

  • Ability to work well on a team

  • Prior docent or teaching experience a plus but not required

**Please note, all potential PMMC Docents will be required to complete a Live Scan.


"Treasure Trove" Gift Shop Volunteers 

"Treasure Trove" Gift Shop Volunteer Description

Morning shift: 9:30 am - 1 pm
Afternoon shift: 1 pm - 4:30 pm

Gift Shop volunteers greet and assist our visitors with their Gift Shop purchases and payment transactions. Volunteers help stock the gift store shelves, take simple inventory as requested, and help keep the Gift Shop tidy.

Time Commitment

  • Commitment of six months

  • One 3.5 hour shift per week - on a consistent day

  • All our volunteers are encouraged to volunteer at our annual fundraising events

Skills/Qualifications

  • Age 18 or over preferred

  • Basic computer skills a plus

  • Basic cashiering skills a plus

  • Ability to work well on a team

  • Willingness to commit to PMMC on a weekly basis (some flexibility allowed during summer months)

Current Volunteer Sign-In