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Here you can keep up to date on what we are up to and read up on how our previous courses have gone.

May Practical Course

By macster110, Jul 1 2014 08:55PM

Just a quick (and late) report on our practical course. We filled the course with participants from as far flung as Hong Kong. The Isle of Mull isn’t the easiest place to get to but all managed to arrive on time in the beautiful town of Tobermory. Our classroom was located at the top of the harbour association building, overlooking the marina and seafront, a great place to learn passive acoustics.

The first day was spent introducing everyone to PAMGUARD, the software suite we use for research and mitigation. Initially we looked at some of the basic functionally, including how to detect clicks, create a spectrogram and set up some basic configurations. The next day was spent learning some of the more advanced features of PAMGUARD, interspersed with lectures on physics of underwater acoustics, some talk on mitigation and demonstrations of real passive acoustics kit.

With brains thoroughly frazzled the third and final day of the course gave everyone a chance to go out on Silurian, a 16m research vessel used by HWDT. Silurian is primarily used by HWDT for visual and passive acoustic surveys on the west coast of Scotland, but she’s also been involved in some cutting edge work looking at porpoise distribution in tidal streams and is regularly used to teach marine mammal masters students from the University of St Andrews. Participants learned how to problem solve, figure out what might be wrong with hardware and software when surveying. To make the whole experience ultra-realistic the hydrophone actually did break at the start of the day! Not a problem as we had brought a spare but just goes to show why a course like this is important.

Congratulations to everyone who attended! We pushed you hard - you all did very well and now have a PAMTech practical cert to show it.

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