The Art of Marine Mammal Monitoring

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The Art of Marine Mammal Monitoring combines three different learning methods, classroom based learning, E-learning and practical learning. Upon completion of all course materials and exam each learner will receive a total of four certificates which are internationally-recognized and can aid them in broadening their horizons in the job sector.

Materials are written by our highly experienced team and include thorough support materials. This course provides the skills needed to use all equipment currently in the marketplace and is aimed at participants with a scientific interest, preferably in biology and marine sciences.

A total of four certificate for industry work, also recognized by environmental consultancy firms and research bodies, will be awarded upon successful completion of this course. The course is divided into five different topics. Additional to this is a boat practical at the end of the course which is required to allow the participants to practice their new skills and understand what it is like to work at sea. 


Topic 1: Marine Mammals

This section covers marine mammals in a broad sense. It ranges from classification of marine mammals, anatomy, behavior, migrations and conservation management. This section is also used to introduce the learners to marine mammal acoustics, communication and identification techniques all which are crucial in the coming sections.

Topic 2: Marine Mammal Observer

This section of the course is ideal for individuals who wish to pursue a career in marine mammal observation and mitigation in the renewable, geophysical and research sectors. It will equip you with a thorough background in all aspects of the role of a marine mammal observer. This section of the course covers technical theory, monitoring, recording and reporting. All participants will practice these new skills on the boat practical at the end of the course.

Topic 3: Protected Species Observer

During this section of the course learners will be trained in protected species monitoring and mitigation procedures. This will give the learner a thorough grounding in all aspects of the PSO role.

Topic 4: Arabian Marine Wildlife

This section of the course provides the skills needed for protected species observation, while providing an overview of global guidelines for activities inputting noise in the marine environment (geophysical exploration, dredging and pile driving). Highest quality training both in the classroom and again on the boat practical to allow learners to gain experience with marine mammal identification while at sea.

Topic 5: Passive Acoustic Monitoring

This internationally-respected PAM training will provide the skills needed to become a Passive Acoustic Monitoring Operator. These skills can be used in various job sectors including research, consulting and geophysical. Throughout this section of the course you will expand your knowledge of acoustic monitoring and provide insight into industry requirements for environmental mitigation. You will learn more about marine mammal acoustics, effects of noise on marine mammals, and receive a thorough introduction to PAM software, including PAMGuard at your convenience. All participants will use these skills on the boat practical to complete their training.

Boat Practical

Applying skills learnt in a practical setting is crucial to the learning process. This 8-hour boat trip will test each participant’s understanding on marine mammal identification techniques, monitoring and mitigation guidelines, boat communications and operations as well as troubleshooting acoustic hardware and software. The tutor has years of experience working in remote locations under various weather conditions and thus can give a true impression of what it means to work in this industry

Course Syllabus

Module Topic Learning Method & Time
Classification of Marine Mammals Marine Mammals

Classroom learning

24 hours

Anatomy and Physiology of Marine Mammals
Marine mammal Behavior
ID of Marine Mammals
Threats to Marine Wildlife
Conservation Management
An Introduction to the acoustics of Marine Mammals
Communication in Marine Mammals
Legislative Background Marine Mammal Observer
Mitigation for Seismic
Mitigation for VSP
Mitigation for Piling
Marine Mammal Observer Role
Reporting and Recording
Legislative Background Protected Species Observer
NTL Guidelines for Mitigation and Monitoring
Reporting forms
Protected Species Observer Roles and Responsibilities
Protected Species of Gulf of Mexico
Abu Dhabi Legislative Background Arabian Marine Wildlife
A Global Overview of Coastal Construction Mitigation and Monitoring
Marine Mammals and Reptiles in the Arabian Gulf
Sound in Water Passive Acoustic Monitoring


16 hours

Marine Mammals
Anthropogenic Noise in the Sea
Effects of Noise on Marine Mammals
PAM Principles and Roles
PAM Hardware and Operations
PAM Software
PAM Workbooks
Boat Practical MMO, PSO, PAM

Practical activities carried out on a boat

8 hours

Learning Hours

24 classroom hours

16 e-learning hours

8 boating hours


Total for completion of course: 48 hours

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  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “All sections of the course were really useful”

  • PAM

    “Fun course!”

  • Protected species observer course

    “Wonderful course, thank you!”

  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “Teacher’s knowledge, course materials and presentation. Refreshments were very good!”

  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “I think it is quite effective as an introduction on physical aspects”

  • PAM

    “Great practical’s”

  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “Highlight of the course is the quality if the instructors”

  • PAM

    “A good introductory course, thank you”

  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “Excellent lecturers, very passionate and well prepared. Excellent material provided! Nice small groups-good discussions! Excellent venue, facilities and catering”

  • Protected species observer course

    “Stephanie was great. She kept us engaged. Excellent material!”

  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “Paul and Victor brilliant Lecturers”

  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “The whole course has been really interesting, well presented and enjoyable”

  • Marine Acoustics Course

    “Thorough explanation of standards and terminology”