Ocean Science Consulting NZ DOC-approved MMO & PAM training course

Ocean Science Consulting Limited (OSC) is running a Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) training course, which has been approved by the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC), as being consistent with standards in the ‘2013 code of conduct for minimising acoustic disturbance to marine mammals from seismic survey operations’ (the Code). OSC’s DOC-approved course is currently the first and only combined MMO and PAM training available in the world for working in NZ waters. The first course ran successfully in May 2014, and due to popular demand, will be available to candidates again in November 2014, in preparation for the Antipodean seismic exploration season.

The Code is regarded as international best practice, particularly concerning the establishment of observer training and performance standards. To meet DOC’s requirements, OSC had to develop the most comprehensive and intensive training course on the market today. There is a current shortage of trained MMO and PAM Operators for New Zealand waters, so successful graduates will therefore have a significant commercial advantage (PAM Operators in particular). The knowledge, skills and experience derived from this PAM training will also be applicable worldwide.

OSC’s high quality course involves responsive personal (including one-to-one) tuition throughout, hands-on experience with state-of-the-art PAM equipment during classroom theory and practical sessions, and field practice aboard a custom-designed environmental survey vessel at sea.

OSC is a technology-focused marine science company with over a decade of experience in supplying commercial and scientific MMO and PAM services to the offshore and other marine-related industries worldwide (www.osc.co.uk). Based in Scotland, OSC also has a branch in New Zealand servicing the Asia-Pacific region (www.osc-nz.co.nz). Our course instructors are highly experienced and degree-level qualified scientists, practiced MMOs and PAM Operators, and authors of the ‘Marine Mammal Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Handbook’ (www.marinemammalobserverhandbook.co.uk), which forms the manual for the course. Our knowledge and expertise are second-to-none, so this course is the obvious choice for anyone wishing to train and prepare as a competent MMO and PAM Operator to work in the field anywhere in the world (please note additional local qualifications and experience may be required).

The next course will be run in Dunbar, East Lothian, UK, for 10 days from 10–19 November 2014.

All candidates must have their own equipment, including reticle binoculars, handheld GPS, ID guide, and a laptop with NZ data forms, software required for their GPS, and PAMGuard pre-loaded.

To register for the course, please send your CV to courses@osc.co.uk. The deadline for applications is 30 September 2014, but places will likely be awarded sooner. Upon acceptance to the course, a £225 non-refundable deposit towards the £2,250 total cost per candidate is required to secure your position. Course costs do not include accommodation or food, and candidates are required to make their own travel arrangements to and from Dunbar. Once payment has been received, each candidate will receive an author-signed pre-release copy of the ‘Marine Mammal Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Handbook’, which must be read prior to attending the course.

Please note that this is not simply an ‘attend-and-pass course’. In accordance with DOC’s requirements, successful candidates must achieve ‘results of 75% and above’, although we will provide further reassessment procedures for those initially scoring less than 75%. This high pass mark is a key selling point for successful candidates.

This course is being organised by popular request, so we anticipate high demand and places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

We look forward to seeing you on our course soon.

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