The California Wildlife Center (CWC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured, orphaned, and sick native wildlife. CWC fulfills this mission through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, and treatment of avian and terrestrial wildlife in our rehabilitation hospital. This internship will provide an exciting and challenging educational experience in the marine mammal rehabilitation field. Working closely with the Marine Mammal program staff, individuals are exposed to various aspects of pinniped stranding response and rehabilitation, including logistics, assessment, capture, restraint, transportation, husbandry, data collection, and public relations. The marine mammal team also perform rescues on native marine avian species, providing interns a view into the skills necessary for capture and transport of these species. To minimize cross contamination potential, all rehabilitative care of non-marine mammal species is handled solely by the hospital personnel.


Under supervision of Marine Mammal staff, duties will include:

  • Assess stranded marine mammals on the beach
  • Assist or lead responder teams in the capture and handling of stranded marine mammals needing medical attention
  • Provide appropriate transport conditions for stranded marine mammals to the rehabilitation facility
  • Maintain detailed records of daily activities including reports of stranding, human interaction, and patient health status
  • Perform daily husbandry tasks in the marine mammal enclosures for patients admitted to the on-site rehabilitation facility
  • Work closely with Marine Mammal department staff to provide patient-specific rehabilitative care
  • Adhere to all safety guidelines set forth by California Wildlife Center and the Marine Mammal Department
  • Participate in releases of healthy marine mammal patients back to their Pacific Ocean home
  • Maintain good rapport with representatives of various public agencies, as well as members of the public
  • Assist with marine mammal necropsy and sample collection


The internship is open to all applicants at least 18 years of age or older. Undergraduate students and non-students alike are encouraged to apply. If an intern intends to receive academic credit, they will be responsible for making all arrangements with their educational institutions. Due to the unpredictable nature of marine mammal stranding response, interns may be requested to work beyond their normal scheduled hours. Interns must be able and willing to work flexible hours including weekends and holidays. Interns will be required to have good physical strength and the ability to lift/carry 50 lbs. Interns need to have the ability to multitask and work in a fast-paced environment. Animal care and/or marine mammal experience not required.