Veterinary Student Externship 2024
Sausalito, CA Veterinary Science
Job Type
 We’re Hiring!Veterinary Student Externship Rotation in Marine Mammal Medicine and Pathology

Location of Position: Marin Headlands, Sausalito, California 

Reports to: Medical Director: Dr. Cara Field

Position Classification: Seasonal externship/ rotation: March 1- Sept 30, 2024

Benefits:  No benefits

Position Overview

The Marine Mammal Center Veterinary Externship Program provides veterinary students in their final/clinical year the opportunity to gain exposure to marine mammal medicine, rehabilitation, husbandry and necropsy. The veterinary student extern will work under the direct supervision of veterinary staff and volunteers, and students will participate in animal husbandry, veterinary examination and diagnostic procedures, surgical and anesthetic procedures, recordkeeping, daily clinical rounds, and necropsies. The student will also complete a project during the externship and present the results to staff and volunteers during the last week of their rotation.

This position requires a minimum of 3 weeks to maximum of 4 weeks duration, between March 1 and September 30 of 2024. (All slots for 2023 have been filled). 

Shared housing MAY be available, for a fee, at the Center’s Guest House located within the Marin Headlands, within walking distance of the hospital: a housing application must be filled out for accepted students who are interested in this option. Transportation is the students’ responsibility: there is no public transportation to the Center’s hospital.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with a robust team of veterinary professionals and volunteers to provide care for stranded, debilitated marine mammals, mostly seals and sea lions including assessment, treatment, husbandry and critical care.
  • Work with the pathology team to conduct post-mortem examination on deceased patients to investigate causes of death and disease processes.
  • Investigate and present a research project (topic or case-based) during the rotation.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Veterinary student enrolled in 4th/ clinical year of veterinary school: open to international students.
  • Demonstrated interest in marine mammal and wildlife health and pathology.

Physical Requirements 

  • Ability to stand, walk, climb stairs and lift up to 50 pounds throughout the primarily outdoor hospital for extended periods of time in variable weather conditions.
  • Ability to physically restrain and interact with large and potentially dangerous marine mammals in the rehabilitation hospital setting. 
  • Hospital environment with use of potent anesthetic drugs, radiographic and other diagnostic procedures indoors and outdoors.
  • Ability to remain in a stationary position, and move in an office environment for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to operate a computer and other office equipment. 
  • Ability to walk/cover up to 5 miles during a shift on a frequent basis. 

Work Environment 

  • Potential exposure to zoonotic diseases.
  • Exposure to sharp instruments and needles.
  • Working in outdoor weather conditions and elements daily. 
  • Potential exposure to formalin.
  • May involve strong smells associated with dead animals and the care of animals. 


The Marine Mammal Center actively engages individuals from all backgrounds. We are committed to embracing diversity within our organization because we firmly believe that diverse employee teams help us to achieve our best organizational outcomes and provide the most effective support to the communities we serve. We are deeply dedicated to creating and maintaining an inclusive, equitable and supportive work environment. We strongly encourage people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and non-binary people, veterans, parents, and individuals with disabilities to apply. The Center is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. The Marine Mammal Center believes in growth and supporting our employees as best we can so they can become their best selves in and outside of work. We believe that a healthy work environment means building an inclusive culture where people can thrive together and feel supported and empowered. We believe in stretch versus constraint. 

Research has shown that women and people from marginalized communities apply to roles when they meet 100% of the job requirements, versus male applicants who apply if they meet an average of 60% of the requirements. If you think that your skills are transferable and can add value to this role, please apply so we can determine whether it’s a good fit.


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


The Marine Mammal Center is leading the field in ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue, veterinary medicine, science, and education. The Center is the largest marine mammal Teaching Hospital in the world and a critical training ground for veterinary professionals, combining high-quality animal care with hands-on learning experiences.

For more information, please visit our “About Us” page at 

To Apply: Applicants must submit all the following materials to be considered for this position:

1. Cover letter outlining the applicant's interests and professional goals

2. Current Curriculum Vitae (CV)

3. Two letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the applicant’s academic and/or clinical performance. These letters MUST be signed and in letter form, such as a PDF, NOT sent as the body of an email: it is the applicant's responsibility to confirm receipt of these letters. Letters can be uploaded with other application materials, OR mailed directly to Please ensure your letter writers indicate WHO the letter is for in the subject line!

Application period is open through December 23rd, 2022. Selection process will occur in January-February 2023, with notification to applicants to follow by the end of February.

Inquiries can be directed to the following email address: