Passive Acoustic Technology Training

Passive Acoustic Technology Training

Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) is commonly used to conduct research, surveys, mitigation and monitoring of marine mammals by academic researchers,  the Navy, the oil and gas exploration industry. This course wihich typically lasts five days, combines theoretical instruction via letures with hands-on demonstrations and training to give participants a better understanding of passive acoustic technologies and methods  applied to marine mammal research, monitoring and mitigation of the effects of noise.  Particiipants are familiarized with passive acoustic hardware (e.g. towed hydrophone arrays and sonobuoys), acoustic processing systems, real-time acoustic data-processing software (e.g. PAMGuard and Ishmael), data post-processing (e.g. Triton) and data management. The goal of this training course is to provide individuals with the  basic skills to prepare them for work as bioacoustic  field technicians and data analysts.

The course focuses on the following topics:

  • An introduction to the physics of underwater sound
  • An introduction to marine mammal bioacoustics
  • An introduction to PAM hardware such as hydrophones, hydrophone arrays, sonobuoys, and autonomous recorders
  • Instruction on the design, setup, troubleshooting maintenance and basic repair of towed hydrophone array systems
  • Training in software used for real-time and post-processing of passive acoustic data
  • Training in software used to detect, localize, and classify sounds produced by marine mammals
  • Lectures about experimental design and mitigation using PAM.
  • Lectures on best practices for effective acoustic data collection and management
  • Guest lectures from subject area experts in underwater acoustics, signal processing, bioacoustics, and acoustic ecology of marine mammals.

At the conclusion of the course, participants will have gained a theoretical and working knowledge of the applied fields of passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals, and marine passive acoustic system design, maintenance and operations. In addition, they will participate in computer laboratory training with software that is commonly used during field operations and for data review, post-processing and analysis. Guest lectures are presented from experts and researchers from nearby research institutions (i.e., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, NOAA Fisheries). All participants will receive a set of educational materials that can be used for reference in the field.


Upcoming training dates TBD.  Keep checking back for updates!