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30 Jan 2024

Temporary Pathology & Diagnostics Apprentice

The Marine Mammal Center – Posted by TMMCRecruit Marin County, California, United States

Job Description

We’re Hiring!

Pathology & Diagnostic Apprentice


Location of Position: Marin Headlands, Sausalito, California

Reports to: Necropsy Manager

Position Classification / Expected Time commitment and work schedule:

  • Full-time, non-exempt position, 5 days a week, 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week.
  • Apprenticeship will last for one (1) full year.
  • Regular onsite work is required.
  • Evening, weekend, and holiday work is required.
  • Occasional travel to satellite facilities and/or fieldwork is required.

Compensation Range: $20 – $22 per hour

Full Benefits:

  • Holidays
  • Sick Time
  • Vacation
  • Medical, Dental, and Vision
  • Life Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • 401k Retirement Plan
  • Employee Assistance Program

Team Overview:

The Pathology & Diagnostic team at The Marine Mammal Center performs necropsies and samples up to 500 cases a year on various pinniped species, large and small cetaceans, southern sea otters, and a few sea turtles.


Job Summary:

The Pathology & Diagnostic Apprentice will observe, assist, and contribute to necropsy, histopathology, clinical laboratory techniques, biobanking, and research at a marine mammal rehabilitation hospital. The apprentice will work closely with the Pathology and Diagnostic team under the supervision of the Necropsy Manager to facilitate the core daily activities of the diagnostic service.


Essential Functions:

Necropsy: 60%

  • Assist in sampling during necropsy.
  • Enter specimens and data into the database.
  • Keep the necropsy lab clean and stocked.
  • Assist in maintenance of necropsy lab, equipment, and supplies.
  • Assist/perform necropsies on carcasses as needed or directed.
  • Assist/participate in large whale necropsy response.
  • Assist in fulfilling sample requests and collaborative research projects.
  • As needed or directed, assist, or perform the trimming of formalin fixed tissues for histology.


Research: 12.5%

  • Assist in sample collection and storage for research purposes.
  • Assist in data collection through use of clinical laboratory equipment (serum chemistry analyzer), urinalysis, histology trimming, etc.
  • Inputting data into database.
  • Data and statistical analysis.


Biobank: 12.5%

  • Archive specimens collected at necropsy and updating the database.
  • Participate in freezer inventory and updating the database.
  • Assist with archive of histology samples, including the formalin fixed tissues, glass slides and paraffin blocks.


Clinical Laboratory: 10%

  • Shadow clinical laboratory personnel.
  • Observe clinical laboratory techniques such as microbiology, hematology, parasitology, urinalysis, and cytology.


Administration & Other Duties as Assigned: 5%

  • Attend meeting with Necropsy Manager on Performance Evaluation and Planning.
  • Attend research meetings, and other appropriate meetings/seminars as assigned.
  • Perform special projects and research as assigned.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility:


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to work collaboratively and maintain open communication in a team environment.
  • Knowledge of basic principles of mammalian anatomy and physiology.
  • Skills operating Microsoft Office Suite, including spreadsheet, word processing, presentation, and email programs.
  • Attention to detail with ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks at once.
  • Ability to operate equipment safely and competently to carry out their duties.
  • Understand and follow written and oral instructions and priorities as set by management.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work, which includes internal co-workers (volunteers, interns, staff, and others) as well as external partners.
  • Communicate and interact effectively with people across cultures, ethnic groups, and identities.
  • Practice self-awareness and respect while engaging with people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Willingness to support and participate in The Marine Mammal Center’s diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.


Certifications and/or Licenses:

  • Valid driver license with acceptable motor vehicle record to maintain standards of insurability.
  • Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or waiver (medical or religious)
  • Respirator Fit Test required which will be provided upon hire.


Preferred Education and Experience:

This position requires a combination of education and/or experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in biology, marine science, or related field.

Preference for experience with research, specifically laboratory techniques that require pipetting and working with laboratory equipment. Research experience can be from undergraduate course work. Previous experience, exposure to necropsy, bio sampling, and/or data entry is a plus.

Work Environment & Physical Requirements: 

  • This position operates in a professional office, laboratory, and hospital environment both indoors and outdoors with access to other parts of the facilities via outdoor pathways.
  • Exposure to slippery surfaces and working in outdoor weather conditions and elements.
  • Routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, scanners, and filing cabinets.
  • Ability to work at a desk for extended periods using a computer.
  • Ability to perform physical work requiring manual dexterity, agility, strength, and coordination including ability to lift up to 50 pounds.
  • Ability to walk/hike/cover up to five miles during a shift on a frequent basis.
  • Ability to spend extended periods on your feet, walking, standing, crouching, and climbing stairs (potentially in inclement weather conditions).
  • Ability to drive/operate a vehicle or plan for transportation between sites.
  • Exposure to allergens and zoonotic diseases through bio samples.
  • Exposure and working with laboratory chemicals, including formalin.
  • Expose to sharp instruments and needles.
  • Involves strong smells associated with animals and the care of animals.

Position Type, Expected Hours of Work, and Travel:

  • This is a full-time, on-site position.
  • Work hours are generally Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm, with some seasonal variability.
  • Evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand. Specifically, weekend work due to cetacean response is to be expected.
  • Some travel within California is expected for this position.


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 from underrepresented groups to apply. 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.



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.


For more information, please visit our “About Us” page at www.marinemammalcenter.org

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How to Apply

To Apply: Application Link. Please submit a cover letter and resume and provide a brief description about how your experience aligns with the role. Note that applications without a cover letter will not be considered.  In your cover letter, please feel free to note which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, etc). 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. If you need reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know.

Job Types: Temporary. Job Tags: Apprentice, Diagnostics, laboratory, and pathology. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

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