We are always in need of support for our research programs. If you are interested in volunteering, interning, donating supplies or services, or making a financial contribution to our project, please see the following information on how to get involved.

Our program is entirely funded by "soft" support -- that is, contracts, grants, and awards that we compete for on a project-by-project basis. We are in great need of support for the many unfunded research activities, student projects, and animal care expenses that are not covered by other funding sources. Working with marine mammals is very costly and highly labor intensive, so private donations go a long way towards supporting the needs of the animals and the students in the project. To make a tax-deductible gift to the program, please click here, or to discuss a possible gift, contact pinnipedlab@gmail.com. Large gifts can be used to sponsor individual animals or research projects that would be otherwise impossible to support.

Our program is powered by a group of incredibly hard-working volunteer research assistants. These individuals typically work 12-15 hours per week in the laboratory and receive comprehensive training in all areas of the research program. Preference is generally given to UCSC students in the natural, behavioral, or physical sciences, or to individuals with a background in computer sciences/engineering. These "apprentice" positions are most suitable for local students and recent graduates with the potential of staying with the program for a minimum of one year. Available positions are typically filled at the start of each academic quarter and are quite competitive. For more information about the volunteer program, including instructions on how to apply, please contact us here.

We offer intensive internships to individuals that are recent college graduates with an interest in marine mammalogy, bioacoustics, comparative cognition, and/or animal husbandry. Interns complete a rigorous training program followed by immersion in all aspects of the program, including specialized roles in upcoming and ongoing research projects. Interns typically work for four months, five full days per week, mainly in the laboratory and occasionally in field research settings. Internships are not paid positions, and applicants are responsible for their own housing arrangements. Applications are accepted quarterly as outlined below. For more information about this special program, including instructions on how to apply for an internship, please contact us here.

Application Due
Selection and Notification
Approximate Term
March 1
March 21
May 1 - August 31
June 1
June 21
August 1 - November 30
September 1
September 21
November 1 - February 28
December 1
December 21
February 1 - May 31

We have an opportunity for an intern placement for intensive fieldwork starting in December 2018. The project concerns maternal behavior and multimodal communication, and the intern will join our awesome field field team based at Long Marine Laboratory in Santa Cruz. Please contact us here for more information about this opportunity.



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