[MARMAM] Volunteer Inexperienced Cetacean Observers Wanted July 2006

Yvonne Miles yvonnesmiles at googlemail.com
Mon Jun 19 05:44:38 PDT 2006

We are looking for 32 volunteers to help with a final phase of a marine
mammal observer study. Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th July 2006 and then
Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th July 2006. You would only be asked to
attend 2 days in total!

Some members volunteered last time, and were a great help!

The biggest problem is that we need people who have had NO training in
marine mammals and this is what we are finding a problem as all the people i
know are trained!

If you know any one who would like to be trained and does not live too far
away from Southampton can you please read below and contact Susan Cannings
at Southampton Solent University, England.

Yvonne Miles

Research Study
Ocean Eye is a Research Programme, in response to the Government's
commitment to providing accurate population assessments of marine mammals
and effective reduction of noise disturbances under national and
international law. Methods of minimising disturbance from sources such as
seismic or military activity rely on the acoustic and visual detection of
marine mammals. However, there has been little research that has
investigated visual observations and the factors, which effect observer's
abilities to detect marine mammals at sea. This study examines the
efficiency of visual observers in detecting marine mammals without having to
go to sea. The Ocean Eye project opens the door to the development of an
innovative new approach that could see improved visual search effectiveness
and detection accuracy by Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs), reduced impact of
disturbance on marine mammals and cost-efficiency improvements for

What will participating in the study involve?
You will be asked to:
Undertake a pre test of your ability to spot a marine mammal Listen to a
talk about marine mammals

Complete a background questionnaire to provide details of any wildlife
observer training and experience you may have. We prefer you to have no
training at all, but are happy if you do any water-based activities.

Complete a two week Eye training session on line (some volunteers must have
access to a computer and the internet for a period of 15 minutes in the
morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon)

Undertake a post test of your ability to spot marine mammals

Sign a consent form if you wish to take part in the study.

Each volunteer will be randomly assigned a number indicating your turn in
the assessment process. Some volunteers will be trained to spot marine
mammals and have an eye training session (carried out on line), some will
have no training or only part training.

Each volunteer will be pre tested and post tested on the simulator. There
may be a wait until it is your turn. Tea and coffee (and lunch in some
cases) will be provided, and a volunteer coordinator will be with you until
it is your turn. He/she will be happy to answer any questions you may have,
but will not be able to give you any more details about the study itself.
When it is your turn, you will be taken in to the Ship's mess to acclimatise
to being aboard the ships bridge for 10 minutes. The Bridge Officer will
greet you. She will explain the equipment and ask you to conduct a 20-minute
watch on board the ship. When this is complete, you may either leave or wait
for colleagues in a separate waiting area, but you will be asked to not
re-join the other volunteers until everyone has completed their watch.

Your task
You are a marine mammal observer aboard the bridge of the research vessel
'MV Norsim'. Your job is to notify the Officer of the Bridge whenever you
see something you consider to be a marine mammal. You will be the marine
mammal observer on watch for a 20-minute session. During the course of the
sessions, you may see any of the marine mammals or blows on your
identification chart, or nothing at all. If you do see something, you will
be asked to

Call out what you see immediately, and

Indicate the position of your observation with a laser pointer. (You will be
given the laser pointer on the Bridge and instructions on how to use it

The Officer of the Bridge will note your observation thank you and ask you
to continue watching.

If you are happy to take part in this study, please complete the
questionnaire and sign the consent form. If you would like details on the
outcome of the study please tick the box on the Consent form.

Please let Susan Cannings know if you require transport to the Warsash
Maritime Centre where the training and simulator tests will take place.

All Details please contact Susan.Cannings at solent.ac.uk or
Yvonne at this60.freeserve.co.uk

Yvonne Miles
80 Garland Road
BH15 2LD

Yvonne at this60.freeserve.co.uk
01202 682313
0790 5021 631
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