About

Carolyn is a marine biologist whose work focuses on acoustic disturbance of marine mammals. Through her work Carolyn aims to reduce potential injury and disturbance to marine mammals from anthropogenic noise; training MMOs to implement relevant guidelines forms part of this. In addition to MMO training, Carolyn is available for consultancy work.

MMO/ PSO training courses:
In 1996, at the request of the offshore oil and gas industry, Carolyn provided the first ever training course for MMOs in UK waters. Intended as a one-off course, its success was such that demand grew. In 2003, when mitigation measures were introduced in the US Gulf of Mexico, Carolyn was accepted to train PSOs for work there. To date Carolyn has provided training courses on over 400 occasions to a variety of clients and has trained over 3,000 MMOs and over 800 PSOs worldwide. Carolyn has provided marine mammal mitigation training for a number of high-profile projects, including the Queensferry Crossing, the V&A Museum Dundee, Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project and the salvage of the Costa Concordia.

Carolyn Barton provided MMO training for construction of the Queensferry Crossing.
Carolyn Barton provided MMO training for construction of the V&A Museum Dundee.
Carolyn Barton provided MMO training for the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion Project.

MMO work:
Carolyn was the first dedicated marine mammal observer on board seismic survey vessels in UK waters and has worked extensively covering all the main types of seismic survey as well as drilling, dredging and pile-driving operations. She has substantial experience of the job that she is training others to do.

Guidelines and data recording protocols:
Carolyn has twice been responsible for revising the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) guidelines for seismic surveys and continues to make regular recommendations for revisions based on studies of their operation; she has a thorough knowledge of the guidelines and the reasons behind their various requirements. She has also had an input towards the development/ revision of mitigation measures in several other countries. Carolyn has designed and periodically revises the JNCC Marine Mammal Recording Forms.

MMO data:
Under contract to JNCC Carolyn created the JNCC databases of MMO records from UK geophysical surveys, offshore piling and explosives operations, undertaking all quality assurance, data entry and maintenance over a 25-year period. She has analysed these data to examine the effects of the activities on marine mammals and compliance with JNCC guidelines, and has published the results. The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers Joint Industry Programme on Sound and Marine Life awarded Carolyn, with RSK Environment Ltd, a contract to examine the potential utility and collation of MMO data globally and scope a central database system for managing these data.

Other work:
Carolyn’s experience is recognised worldwide and she is often called on to provide advice on MMO-related matters. She has been on the executive committee of the MMO Association since 2007. Prior to becoming an MMO she spent five years undertaking offshore surveys of seabirds and marine mammals for JNCC's Seabirds at Sea Team. Earlier research included describing new species and genera of ascothoracids (crustacean parasites of starfish) and studying the larval development of barnacles.

Academic qualifications:
B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. in marine biology, + teaching qualification (PGCE).

Publications:
See Publications for a list of published papers and reports.

Carolyn Barton, JNCC-approved MMO trainer and NMFS-accepted PSO trainer.
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