Ocean Career: The Marine Mammal Center Pathology & Diagnostic Apprentice

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

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

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

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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