Dream of working with The Whale Museum? Here are some opportunities:

Employment Opportunities: 

Finance Manager:

Year-round, full-time with benefits. Responsible for bookkeeping, grants/contracts, some HR, etc. Experience with QuickBooks, non-profit accounting, POS systems, and Microsoft Office Suite required. Degree preferred. Cover letter and resume to: The Whale Museum, POB 945, FH 98250 or via PDF packet to jenny@whalemuseum.org


Volunteer Opportunities

The Whale Museum has numerous year-round and seasonal volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering for us, click here to download the Volunteer Questionnaire, which has more information about specific opportunities. Email completed questionnaires to rebekah@whalemuseum.org and we will be in touch shortly!

Volunteer Museum Docent:

The Whale Museum's Exhibit Hall is open daily. Each year, approximately 30,000 people visit.  We are looking for volunteer docents! If you are interested in learning more or spending time telling visitors about the Salish Sea and the amazing marine life therein, please email rebekah@whalemuseum.org


The Whale Museum's Stranding Network Program: Summer Interships!

The San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network (SJCMMSN), a program of The Whale Museum established in 1980, is authorized by NMFS to respond to all marine mammal strandings in San Juan County, WA. We typically respond to more than 200 calls of both live and deceased animals a year.  SJCMMSN recruits a San Juan Island-based intern every summer to help respond to marine mammal strandings during our busy season. Interns and volunteers of this critical program serve as ambassadors between humans and marine mammals as well as contribute scientific data that is crucial to both human and animal health.

Internship is based in Friday Harbor, WA: approximately 30-40 hours per week, June-August; variety of tasks both in the field and in an office setting. Schedule may vary and involve weekends and “on call” time. Shared housing at reasonable cost is likely available.


  • Assist with stranding response including: health assessments of live seal pups in the field; tagging harbor seals that are not collected for rehabilitation; transfer of harassed or injured pups to a local rehabilitation center; Level A examinations of dead marine mammals
  • Perform first mate duties on board The Whale Museum’s stranding boat, the R/V Buzzard
  • Assist with necropsies of fresh dead marine mammals including: transfer of carcass to the lab space; preparation, set-up, and take-down of necropsy supplies; organizing and archiving biological samples
  • Assist with data entry and analysis


At least 18 years of age, physically fit (able to lift 40 lbs), possess a valid US driver's license. Preference will be given to undergraduates or recent graduates in the marine or wildlife sciences. Animal handling and/or boating experience is preferred but not required.  

Please send a letter of interest, a resume, and three letters of recommendation. Be sure to include what dates you can start/end. 
Applications for the summer season are accepted after the first of the year; decisions made by early April.

Please send application materials to:
ATTN Jennifer Olson
The Whale Museum, P.O. Box 945, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
Or email (preferred) to: 

For more information, visit the Stranding page on our website


Be Part of The Whale Museum's Education Department Team: 2018 Spring Internship Available!

The Whale Museum’s mission is to promote stewardship of the marine mammals and the (local) Salish Sea ecosystem, with a particular focus on the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. The Whale Museum offers many excellent education programs; including tours, presentations, workshops, and labs such as: Southern Resident Killer Whales: From an Endangered Species to a Thriving Population, Cetaceans of the Salish Sea, Acoustics Lab with a field trip to Lime Kiln Point State Park, Orca ID Lab, Puget Pinnipeds, Gray Whale Project, Marine Naturalist Trainings, Pod Nods, Gear Down and Gear Up workshops. With many group bookings, including schools and cruise lines, our busiest time of year is from April-September and we are seeking interns to help! We are currently offering a spring internship (April-June) although other opportunities are likely to arise for the summer and fall. The internship is based in Friday Harbor, WA. Intern will receive a small stipend. Housing is not provided, but shared housing at a reasonable cost is likely available. This is a great way to gain practical experience as a naturalist and in teaching/educating in the marine field with a wide diversity of age ranges and groups as well as gain valuable knowledge of our local Southern Resident Killer Whales and other marine mammals within the Salish Sea. Not only do you get to live and teach in a beautiful setting, but have the potential to observe a variety of marine life in the wild, including Orcas, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, seals, sea lions, and marine birds.

Focus of Environmental Education internship:

Public education and engagement about Salish Sea marine life, especially whales

Time Frame:

  • Spring internship: April-June
  • Internships can be flexible in length and timing but strong preference for applicants that can commit to at least 20 hrs a week for 3 months. Can be part-time or full-time.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Report to TWM’s Education Curator, Tracie Merrill
  • Develop education content
  • Conduct and/or assist with education programs and public engagement
  • Help with administrative tasks (copying, printing educational materials, preparing crafts, etc.)
  • Education programs and public engagement might include:
    • Assisting with Naturalist trainings
    • Serving as a Naturalist on board the Washington State Ferries twice a week (Friday Harbor-Anacortes-Friday Harbor runs)
    • Serving as a Museum tour docent
    • Preschool and Elementary teaching assistant


  • Must have a driver’s license and have own transportation
  • Be reliable and dependable
  • Background check upon acceptance as an intern
  • Willing to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends, while maintaining a consistent number of hours each week
  • Have experience in marine science and/or environmental education, including basic knowledge of cetaceans
  • Comfortable with public speaking
  • Comfortable using computers, copier machines/scanners, power point projectors
  • Familiarity with Microsoft word, excel, and PowerPoint
  • Can commit to at least 20 hours a week for 3 months
  • Can physically do light to moderate exercise and lifting (going up and down stairs, carrying boxes of educational materials, setting up chairs/tables, etc.)
  • Be polite, patient, and professional in dealing with the public and children
  • Able to lead groups and children independently at times
  • Work in a small office space and tolerate having children and pets in the work environment
  • Maintain a professional appearance


To apply for Spring internship position:

Please send the attached application to

Tracie Merrill, Education Curator

The Whale Museum

P.O. Box 945

Friday Harbor, Washington 98250

Or email to tracie@whalemuseum.org

*Be sure to include what dates you can start/end.

Applications accepted until February 1, 2018

Decisions will be made by February 15, 2018   

You can check our webpage, https://whalemuseum.org/pages/job-internship-volunteer-opportunities, for summer and fall opportunities

Questions? Feel free to contact Tracie Merrill at tracie@whalemuseum.org or (360) 378-4710 ext. 23


The Whale Museum's Soundwatch Boater Education Program: 2018 Spring Internship Available!

Soundwatch is a successful and internationally acclaimed education and monitoring program working to reduce vessel disturbance to orcas and other marine wildlife in the Salish Sea region of Washington State (USA) and British Columbia (Canada). Soundwatch needs interns to help conduct seasonal vessel patrols, educate boaters on regional/federal guidelines and regulations, and collect data while monitoring vessel activities around whales. Data from this critical program characterizes vessel activity trends around endangered orcas and other marine wildlife. The data is used to promote better boater compliance and to inform marine mammal management strategies such as state and federal vessel laws and guidelines. The Soundwatch program is operated by The Whale Museum (TWM), a not-for-profit organization located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington state.

Interns Must:

  • Commit to at least 12 weeks between May and September (with possible extension)
  • Be able to work approximately 35-40 hours per week, Mon-Sun
  • Perform a variety of tasks both in the field on the boat and in an office setting
  • Have a strong sense of responsibility, work ethic and attention to detail
  • Produce high quality research efforts and exhibit strong interpersonal skills
  • Field days: Interns must be able to spend many hours on the water sometimes in extreme seasonal conditions. Field days typically exceed eight hours and occur at least three or four times a week.

Internship is located in Friday Harbor, Washington. Interns are responsible for finding their own housing and having a mode of transportation. Once accepted, TWM staff will be able to assist Interns in suggesting suitable housing options and locations.

Applicant requirements: At least 18 years of age, physically fit (able to lift 40 lbs), must be able to swim, not easily susceptible to seasickness, and familiar with database spreadsheets. Preference will be given to undergraduates or recent graduates in the marine or wildlife sciences. Interns will need a valid passport or an enhanced driver's license, and a CPR/First Aid certification. A state boater license/or equivalent safe boating card, not required, but is encouraged.


Please send a letter of interest, a resume, and contact information for three references. Be sure to include what dates you can start/end. 

Applications accepted until March 20, 2018.

Decisions will be made by April 14, 2018.



Soundwatch Coordinator

P.O. Box 945

Friday Harbor, Washington 98250

Or email (preferred) to: soundwatch@whalemuseum.org


Please visit The Whale Museum’s Web site for more information on Soundwatch:  http://www.whalemuseum.org/programs/soundwatch/soundwatch.html


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