Gulf of Mexico PSO course

The PSO course is currently being updated and will be available again this autumn. Please contact us for further details.  The information below is for reference and further information will become available when the course resumes.


This course is specifically aimed at personnel who will be acting as Protected Species Observers (PSOs) in the US Gulf of Mexico and US Atlantic. The PSO course introduces the regulations and mitigation protocols that apply and aims to equip PSOs with all the necessary knowledge to fulfill their role effectively. The course trains delegates in the requirements of Seismic Survey Mitigation and Protected Species Observer Protocols, including the mitigation measures, reporting requirements, and the identification of marine mammals and sea turtles.  The course content follows that laid down by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE); course materials have been reviewed by the BOEM/ BSEE and the course is accepted by them.

Who can do the course?

PSO course content

Who can do the course?

This course is for those who want to work as a PSO in the Gulf of Mexico.  There are no prerequisites for attending the course, but delegates should be aware that approval from the regulatory authorities for work as a PSO is required in addition to PSO certification. Normally to gain approval PSOs are expected to have successfully attained a bachelorís degree from an accredited college or university with a major in one of the natural sciences, a minimum of 30 semester hours or equivalent in the biological sciences, and at least one undergraduate course in maths or statistics. The educational requirements may be waived if the PSO has acquired the relevant skills through alternate experience, but this is at the discretion of NMFS.

The course is presented in English, so delegates should have sufficient understanding of the English language to follow the presentation and complete the practice examples.

Please note that to work as an PSO offshore you will need appropriate offshore survival and medical fitness certificates.

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PSO course content

The PSO course syllabus includes the elements required under the Seismic Survey Mitigation and Protected Species Observer Protocols

The PSO course is currently being updated. The course content will be posted here when the course becomes available again.



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BOEM/ BSEE accepted PSO course

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Site last updated 15/11/23

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Next course dates:


JNCC MMO course

30 Nov & 1 Dec 2023

Remote delivery

£180 per person



PSO course




Carolyn Barton - MMO training
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