Animal Training & Research International Center

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Trainer For A Day- Internships


"I love the passion everyone has in providing the best care for the animals. This project exceeded my expectations."

-Jacqueline Olvera

We offer opportunities for all levels of interest and incredible hands on experiences working with some of the best trained marine mammals in the world. Come learn about marine mammal care and training from the staff and animals of the world renowned Animal Training and Research International in Moss Landing, California . Directed by Dr. Jenifer Zeligs, who has been recognized as an expert in the fields of animal training and research for over 30 years, ATR Intl has been featured on National Geographic, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and was selected to represent the best of the U.S. marine research community at the ocean-themed World's Fair in 1998 in Portugal.

We offer internships for all experience levels; from Jr. internships for children 10-16, to general adults, to professionals in the field. This allows people to experience what it's really like to work with sea lions, not just an interaction program like other facilities offer (although it's still fun and exciting!).  Jr. internships require a signed parental consent form. For more information please visit our Jr. Internships page.
Interns will receive personalized attention designed to give them a feel for what it’s like to actually care for, work with, and train sea lions. All interns learn animal care, feeding, husbandry skills, and much more!
Internships are also customized for individual interests with special experiences available in training, research or veterinary medicine.
* Optional specialized animal interactions are available for multiple-day interns at a variety of costs. Contact us to ask about these experiences!

General Information:

  • Daily rates, weekly rates (5 day), or longer offered (discounts available)
    Internships available year round – 7 days a week (multiple days do not have to be consecutive)
  • All ages and experience levels welcome
  • Scheduled on a first come, first served basis, with no more than 2 interns at a time for personal attention (summer is the busiest time, so early reservations suggested)
  • Hours are 8:30am-5:00pm for adult interns and 8:30am-3:00pm for Jr. interns
  • Adults taking two ATR Intl classes (Techniques and Theories of Animal Training & Working With Marine Mammals) and a 5-day internship earns a Certificate In Beginning Marine Mammalogy and 6 units of transferable upper division biology credit
  • All internships include a sea lion kiss and a photo for you to keep


  • Student internship:   People who have taken or are registered to take an ATR Intl class: experience and practice techniques and skills learned in the class setting. Week long internship includes feeding sessions, 2 training sessions at the fence and 2 training sessions inside.
  • Adult internship:     For anyone who wants to learn more about animal training or loves animals. Week long internship includes training explanation talks, feeding sessions, 2 training sessions at the fence and 2 training sessions inside.

*special couples deal for 2 people

  • Professional internship:*   For anyone working in the animal field, offers a more in-depth opportunity. Includes normal week-long activities plus; 2 extra animal sessions, 1 hour personal mentor time with Dr. Jenifer Zeligs**, and full time senior staff mentoring and interaction. .

*Some restrictions apply based on experience
**More mentoring time with Dr. Jenifer Zeligs available for additional fee

To sign up for an internship: 

Call (831) 771-4191 or email

Deposits should be mailed to:

Stefani Skrovan
Moss Landing Marine Labs
8272 Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039

Praise from our past interns:

"This was such an awesome experience! The staff here is great and the animals are amazing!  I would definitely recommend this opportunity to others."

-Lydia Miller


“Your facility is absolutely amazing! Clean, well-managed, fun, enriching, refined and meets high standards of care. If only more animal facilities could be run this way.”

-Sarah Brookes

“I also admire how structured the facility is with detailed record keeping, dedicated volunteers, disciplined training techniques; resulting in amazingly well trained animals. This all made for an extremely valuable internship overall."

-Larissa Comb

“The helpfulness, support, encouragement from all the staff made this incredible opportunity and extraordinary experience.”

-Heather Edwards

“I am very excited that I was able to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. I hope this project thrives for many years to come.”

-Kristi Leikvoll

“The positive and enthusiastic attitudes of the SLEWTHS staff, gives this program really great energy. You all have created a safe environment which has made it easy and fun to learn.”

-Jennifer LaBar

“I really enjoyed learning all of the “behind-the-scenes” stuff such as fish kitchen and pool cleaning. There is something so satisfying about knowing you’re taking care of the animals, it is the most important part-making sure the animals are well cared for.”

-Bree Hodge

“I was able to see how valuable the trained behaviors are in relation to the animals care, I also saw how rewarding the training is for both the animal and the trainer.”

–Ronda Hammond

“This experience was unbelievable and the staff is amazing! They know their stuff! I appreciate everyone’s help and the great opportunities I was given. Thanks!”

–Kasey Rowe

“I feel that the voluntary blood draw was the most valuable experience. It was very interesting to see the voluntary cooperation of a sea lion during an actual medical procedure.”

-Samantha Kechely

“The volunteers at this program are so encouraging. This internship has opened my eyes even more too how much I want this as my every day. These long, tiring and demanding days are a dream.”

-Jacquilene Munoz

“I really valued the direct contact I had with the animals and the conversations with the staff. Everyone was so knowledgeable about what was going on and the why behind it.”

-Sarah McClain

“I learned creative ways to use both operant & classical conditioning techniques to solve behavioral problems and/or other training dilemmas.”

-Nicolette Canzoneri

“I have learned most about the animals here, what they like and don’t like, their histories, and their personalities."

-Jessica Arvidson

“I learned how to think outside the box!”

-Rebecca Gaples