The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is seeing a part-time Program Assistant to work for an average of 16 hours per week (including Saturday or Sunday) to assist in the day-to-day operations and education programs at the Sanctuary Exploration Center at the Monterey Bay National Sanctuary.  The goals of the Sanctuary Exploration Center are to educate visitors about the sanctuary’s unique and fascinating coastal marine environment and to encourage stewardship of the sanctuary and a better understanding of how to responsibly enjoy and protect the ocean.

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is one of the nation’s largest marine protected areas encompassing more than 6,000 square miles of central California coastal waters containing a rich array of habitats and marine life.  The Sanctuary program provides protection of these natural resources through research and education to foster public understanding and stewardship of this nationally significant marine area.  MBNMS opened a state-of-the-art Exploration Center in 2012 to educate and outreach to the local community and visitors to the Santa Cruz area.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF) is a non-profit (501)(c)(3)), non-governmental organization managed and controlled independently of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  The foundation’s purpose include increasing national and international awareness and protection of and support of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, developing a constituency to support the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, educating the public and decision makers about the value of sanctuaries and supporting sanctuary related education, outreach and research through the creation of actual and virtual visitor experiences.


The Program Assistant will work with the Sanctuary Exploration Center team and the NMSF to do the following:

 Assist in the daily operations at the Center:

  • Open and close the center.
  • Operate and troubleshoot computer equipment associated with exhibits.
  • Greet and receive visitors during open hours.
  • Answer questions about Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Santa Cruz area.

Act as a point of contact for volunteers at the center during open hours:

  • Deliver briefing to volunteers at the beginning of a shift.
  • Assist Volunteer Coordinator in day-to-day activities at the center.
  • Work with volunteers on the exhibit floor.
  • Write original content for volunteer weekly updates.
  • Assist in docent enrichments and other events as they occur at the Center.

Assist with Education Programs

  • Assist with school field trip programs at the Exploration Center
  • Lead Guided Tours of the Visitor Center to groups of all ages.

Complete other duties as assigned.


  • At least two years college experience or a proven equivalent experience in science, environmental science or environmental education (or combination).
  • Must have a general knowledge or training in marine biology, oceanography, or environmental science.
  • Must enjoy working with the public.
  • Must be able to work independently with a history of self-directed work.
  • Must possess the ability to take direction and demonstrate decision making skills.
  • Must have strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability with Apple computer platforms and Microsoft Office software, especially Microsoft Excel.
  • Must be able to work on weekends and have semi-flexible hours.