Marine Mammal Observer Training
 Protected Species Observer Training

Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs) and Protected Species Observers (PSOs) monitor the presence of marine mammals during activities such as geophysical surveys (e.g. seismic surveys used in the exploration for oil and gas) and construction projects (e.g. offshore wind farms, harbours, bridges, etc.). They provide advice to ensure that operations comply with relevant guidelines to reduce the risk of injury or disturbance to marine mammals.

Carolyn Barton has been training MMOs and PSOs for two decades and is approved by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)/ Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Carolyn is the only trainer who has been involved in the development of the JNCC guidelines, has designed the JNCC recording forms and has regularly analysed MMO data to assess the effects of offshore activities on marine mammals and examine the operation of the guidelines; she is also an experienced MMO. This breadth of experience enables the delivery of high quality training about the role of the MMO and the practical operation of the guidelines. Regularly updated to reflect current practices, these  courses present an affordable but high quality option for MMOs.

Training courses

Marine mammals like this harbour porpoise are protected by Marine Mammal Observers who have received training in implementing JNCC guidelines.
JNCC-recognised MMO course

MMOs in the UK are engaged on geophysical surveys, pile-driving and explosives operations, and increasingly also for other operations such as cable-laying or dredging. It is a prerequisite for all MMOs working on the UK Continental Shelf to have been trained on a course recognised by JNCC.

Marine mammals like these pilot whales are protected by Protected Species Observers who have received training in implementing mitigation protocols.
PSO course

In the US, Protected Species Observers (PSOs) monitor the presence of marine mammals and sea turtles during geophysical surveys and other offshore activities. All PSOs are required to be approved by NMFS, and completion of PSO training is part of the approval process.

Upcoming courses

JNCC-recognised MMO course
March 18-19, remote delivery

JNCC-recognised MMO course for UK waters, delivered over 1.5 days by Zoom.  This course teaches the mitigation requirements of the JNCC guidelines for geophysical surveys, pile driving and the use of explosives, and the role of the MMO in implementing them.

PSO course

Online, self-navigated PSO course: this course is for Protected Species Observers who will be working in offshore waters of the US Gulf of Mexico and US Atlantic on activities such as geophysical surveys and offshore wind energy developments.

JNCC-recognised MMO course
JNCC-recognised MMO course
BOEM accepted PSO course
BOEM-accepted PSO trainer
BSEE accepted PSO course
BSEE-accepted PSO trainer

Carolyn Barton has been a JNCC-recognised MMO trainer since 1996 and a BOEM/BSEE-accepted PSO trainer since 2003.


"It was brilliant!"

January 2024

"It was very interesting and engaging."

December 2023

"The course was very informative."

October 2023

"Your feedback has been invaluable, and I truly appreciate your guidance."

October 2023

"I really appreciate your time, help and patience."

April 2023

"Thank you for being a wonderful teacher and instructor."

April 2023

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