Upcoming Courses & Events
Once you receive your PSO certification, it does not currently expire. You will receive various marine mammal and sea turtle identification guides, which will be yours to keep as part of the course cost. Seeing the animals in photos is one thing, but seeing the animals themselves is completely different when you are learning to be a PSO. Our class trips to view the animals themselves ensure that you are better prepared to identify the animals at sea, adding great value to the certification. To register and pay online for any available courses, please click the registration button below.
MPSC l 2261 Northpark Drive #147 l Kingwood, TX USA 77339 l 832-523-2402 l ABostwick@PSOCertifications.com l ProtectedSpeciesObservers.com
Disclaimer & Copyright
Obtaining PSO certification is not a guarantee of finding work as a PSO. All materials in the MPSC training course and website are protected under copyright, and may not be reproduced without prior written consent from the company.
Can you spot the humpback whale underwater in the photo above, and the whale "footprint?" Compare the underwater features visible to the full body of the humpback to the right. PSOs often see no more than glimpses of parts of the animals. In the PSO Certification course, students learn how to search for cues such as these, and how to identify animals with key characteristics.
The PSO Certification Course
In this this two-day course, students learn the measures that are required to reduce impacts to protected species during seismic surveys on the first day of class. The second day will cover animal identification, followed by exams on animal identification and on the regulations discussed in class. While lodging is not included, the following materials are supplied and included in the nonrefundable $750 course fee (competitive student/recent graduate, group, and military/veteran and nonprofit discounts available).
• Various regulatory documents, including BOEM NTLs 2016-G02, 2016-G01
• Large whale identification charts showing blows, surface profiles, and flukes
• Sea turtle reference chart showing head shape, scute numbers, etc.
• Whales, Dolphins, and Other Marine Mammals of the World
• Sea Turtles of the Atlantic & Gulf of Mexico, a Folding Guide by B. & D. Witherington
• Career guidance on applying for PSO positions
Marine Protected Species Consulting is based in Houston, Texas. The training course may also be offered at various locations throughout the country or internationally. Please contact Angela Bostwick at ABostwick@PSOCertifications.com or 832.523.2402 with any questions. Student/recent college graduate, group, and military/veteran discounts are available.
Protected Species Observer Training
Boston, MA - Includes Vessel Trip to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
June 8-9, 2019
The course meets in downtown Boston and will include a vessel trip to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, one of the top whale-watching destinations in the world! We'll discuss the measures required to reduce seismic survey impacts on protected species, and some tricks of the trade in locating and identifying marine mammals and sea turtles. The vessel trip will provide opportunity to practice the methods we discuss in class, and students will also be able to practice wildlife photography using digital SLR cameras. Sightings this time of year will include various species of large whale such as humpbacks, fin whales and sei whales. Other possible sightings include harbor porpoises and various species of dolphins and seals. This course will also host a guest speaker from NMFS, Max Tritt, who will discuss PSO roles, regulatory framework and more!
Protected Species Observer Training
Monterey, CA - Includes Vessel Trip to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
June 1-2, 2019
The course meets in Monterey, CA and will include a vessel trip to Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which is renown for it's incredible diversity of marine mammals. The vessel trip will provide opportunity to practice the survey and identification techniques that we discuss in class. We'll practice estimating distance to animals using binoculars with reticles onboard the vessel, as well as wildlife photography using digital SLR cameras. Marine mammals in Monterey this time of year include humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales, gray whales, orcas, harbor porpoises, sea otters, seals, and sea lions. The L pod of transient killer whales have also been present and very active in the area. This course will also host a special guest speaker from the US Antarctic Program, who will discuss life at sea and work in remote settings!