Heal the Bay Aquarium Public Programs Associate

About the Organization  

Heal the Bay is the most recognized environmental nonprofit group in LA for a reason: we have been keeping Southern California’s coastal waters and watersheds safe, healthy, and clean for people and marine life since 1985. Using education, science, advocacy, and community action, we raise awareness and make progress with practical solutions to often complex problems. We conduct hundreds of beach and community cleanups each year, informing people about the root causes of pollution along the shorelines and in their neighborhoods. We advocate for strict water quality regulations that protect the health of both humans and the animals that call local creeks, rivers, and the Santa Monica Bay home. We operate the award-winning Heal the Bay Aquarium at the Santa Monica Pier, inspiring visitors to become stewards for the region’s most important natural resource: clean water. We also educate and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, with more than 100,000 students joining us each year for school field trips, science-based classroom presentations, and events. Learn more about us at www.healthebay.org/our-impact 

About the Role  

Heal the Bay is looking for a part-time Public Programs Associate to support our community and outreach programs and guest relations. During Aquarium Public Operations, you will be able to gain valuable marine biology, teaching, public speaking, customer service, retail sales, and event coordination skills while building your resume and obtaining references.

Expectations & Responsibilities  

  • To greet, listen, understand, and address the needs of our visitors, employees, and volunteers while creating a welcoming environment that supports Heal the Bay’s mission of fostering inclusivity, dignity, and respect 
  • Support the public hours daily operations including running the front desk, managing the registers, and organizing the day’s activities 
  • Assist with all aspects of public program open hours, including but not limited to: setup and breakdown of all public spaces and displays; restocking Gift Shop inventory, bathroom supplies, and money count; general cleaning and organizing of the public space; checking for and reporting hazards 
  • Assist in education programming including researching and creating exhibit materials, interpreting at touch tanks/exhibits, and answering visitor questions 
  • Facilitate birthday parties and assist with other events and Aquarium needs as necessary
  • Run outreach programs on the Santa Monica Pier such as Angler Outreach Program, Sustainable Seafood Watch, Beach/River Report Cards, and emphasize ongoing Heal the Bay science and policy campaigns and initiatives
  • Support Public Programs Manager in training and supervision of Heal the Bay volunteers and interns

Preferred Experience & Skills  

  • Excellent communication, customer service, and public speaking skills; ability to work with many people in outdoor and indoor settings 
  • Conversational level knowledge of at least two languages required, strong preference for Spanish and Asian languages 
  • Ability to respectfully communicate with visitors of all ages, ethnicities, exceptionalities, gender identities, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds 
  • Strong organizational skills, with the ability to be flexible and multitask 
  • Ability to lead and coordinate volunteers during weekend and weekday public hours 
  • Experience with, or interest in learning about, working with animals and educating about animals, including familiarity with Santa Monica Bay marine organisms and ecosystems
  • Experience with, or interest in learning about, public health, environmental health regulations, and marine science issues
  • Experience working with children and the ability to maintain an Adult and Infant CPR/First Aid certification
  • Affinity and passion for the environment
  • Deep desire to honor and respect the diversity of our visitors, tourists, and anglers
  • Can work collaboratively and communicate well with a team
  • Can also work independently with minimal supervision and take initiative
  • Ability to work in variable weather conditions with potential exposure to heat, wind, and inclement weather both inside the Aquarium and outdoors on the Santa Monica Pier
  • Must be at least 18 years of age


$15.00 per hour with appropriate state and federal taxes withheld. All Heal the Bay recognized holidays will be compensated at 1.5x normal pay rate in accordance with time worked.  


There are no dental, medical, health insurance, or vacation benefits included as part of the employment. As per the state of CA Labor Law, the employee will be eligible to receive up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year, after completing 90 days of employment.


Part-time 15-29 hours per week, but can expect an average of 25 hours based on scheduling needs. Public Programs’ schedule currently operates Thursday through Sunday from 11:30 am to 4:30 pm and the candidate must be available for those base hours, but will also include private events, occasional special evening events, and some holidays outside of that schedule.   

How to Apply  

Please email your resume and cover letter to Nancy Cheng, Public Programs Manager, at ncheng@healthebay.org with the subject line “Public Programs Associate” No phone calls please. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis in the order they are received. This position will remain posted until filled. 

Heal the Bay is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status and we strongly encourage applications from individuals that reflect the diversity of Los Angeles County.

Heal the Bay complies with AB 1008, the Fair Chance Act, during the hiring process. Once a conditional job offer has been made the candidate will be asked to complete a Live Scan criminal background check. A thorough assessment of conviction history will be considered including: the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job the candidate is seeking.