The Marine Mammal Center advances global conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.


The ocean is in trouble. From the depletion of fish stocks to increasing ocean temperatures, human activity threatens marine ecosystems that are vital to the health of our ocean and all life on earth. As a critical first responder to these threats, The Marine Mammal Center is leading the field in ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue, veterinary medicine, science, and education. Marine mammals are ecosystem indicators, and these animals provide insights into human and ocean health threats. Together, we are taking action today to support a network of scientists and stewards to protect our shared ocean environment for future generations.

To advance our mission, we focus our work in three key program areas:

  1. Animal Care: With a volunteer force numbering more than 1,200 and the support of a concerned public, the Center is able to respond to marine mammals in distress. Sick and injured animals are treated and rehabilitated at our state-of-the-art veterinary facilities where we care for our patients until they can be released back to their ocean home. Covering a rescue range that spans 600 miles of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai‘i, the Center responds to more stranded marine mammals than any other organization in the world. Our sought-after experts are deployed locally and internationally to provide technical veterinary expertise and training on best practices ranging from anesthesia to disentanglement.
  2. Scientific Research: The Center is a major contributor to the global body of research and knowledge about marine mammal medicine and health. Our veterinary experts develop new clinical techniques to improve marine mammal rehabilitation and care, and investigate the reasons why marine mammals strand and how these factors are connected to ecosystem and human health. Our scientists also investigate how marine mammals use and interact with their ocean environment to better understand and protect them from many threats. Learning from every animal we respond to and studying animals in the wild, our researchers identify novel diseases and pathogens, support endangered and threatened species conservation, identify and help mitigate human-caused threats and partner with scientists around the world on collaborative research that utilizes samples and data collected by the Center. Marine mammal health, ocean health and human health are inextricably linked, and our work advances knowledge of all three to benefit us all.
  3. Education: As a teaching hospital, the Center serves as a vital training ground for veterinary professionals from across the globe, expanding the collective understanding and application of marine veterinary science and conservation. Our innovative school and public education programs build a sense of responsibility through a connection to marine mammals and the marine environment, inspiring future ocean stewards and promoting action to protect the ocean. Each year, these education programs and hands-on trainings reach more than 100,000 children and adults, supporting the next generation of informed scientists and engaged citizens who will care for and ensure the health of our ocean and environment.


The Marine Mammal Center was founded in 1975 by three local citizens: Lloyd Smalley, Pat Arrigoni and Paul Maxwell. Since then, and thanks to their vision, the Center is now a global leader in marine mammal health, science and conservation and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. The Center operates physical locations in Sausalito, Morro Bay and Moss Landing, CA, as well as in Kona, Hawai‘i, and has an annual operating budget of $11.5M. A team of 80 staff and 1,200 actively engaged volunteers make the Center’s impact possible and keep the Center operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


The Response Dispatcher is a foundational role in our call-center and is often the first point of contact with the public.  Reports regarding distressed marine mammals and sea turtles are received through our hotline.  The Dispatcher evaluates the call, provides detailed documentation of the exchange, and facilitates any needed response.  The Dispatcher is also responsible for coordinating patient releases, scheduling call-center coverage, data entry, and general support of the Response team.  Team members in our call-center are often faced with a fast-paced, high call volume involving stressful situations.  The Dispatcher provides a sense of quiet competence and an ability to multi-task that allows the center’s team to function calmly and effectively.


  • Answer distressed animal hotline
  • Rotate after-hours call, as well as evening, weekend, and holiday coverage
  • Coordinate assessment, rescue, transport, and release of marine mammals
  • Respond to public questions and concerns about distressed animals, volunteer opportunities, and general inquiries
  • Enter call and patient data into the animal database
  • Assist with vehicle and equipment maintenance and maintain supplies as directed
  • Develop schedules and coordinate volunteer dispatchers, interns, and apprentices for call-center coverage
  • Deliver training and public information programs


  • Demonstrate excellent communications skills
  • Ability to read and interpret documents and be fluent in the English language
  • Ability to write routine reports and correspondence
  • Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with individuals, various sized groups, and the general public
  • Ability to work as a member of a multidisciplinary team


  • Preference may be given to candidates who are at least 21 years old
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred, or equivalent combination of education, and experience
  • At least 2 years of full-time employment
  • Maintain a valid CA Driver’s License, with a clean driving record, and provide valid proof of insurance
  • Recommended related experience working with people, communications, marine mammals or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Practical computer knowledge with programs such as Excel, Outlook, and Word
  • Enthusiastic, self-motivated team player able to work in an office as well as field environments
  • Comfortable lifting 40+ pounds


• Ability to sit/stand/walk in a call center/dispatch environment for extended periods of time

• Ability to use a computer, climb stairs, and walk around the facility for extended periods of time

• Limited exposure to zoonotic diseases.

• Comfortable lifting 40+ pounds


LOCATION: Sausalito, CA

HOURS: Part-time, 24 hours per week, hourly/non-exempt, eligible for overtime

BENEFITS: Full Benefits

REPORTS TO: Dispatch Manager

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.