PAM Software Basics

Online Training in Marine Mammal Bioacoustic Software

Flexible training to support your goals of learning to use industry leading software used for passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals.


PAM Software Basics is an online technical training course in software used for the passive acoustic monitoring of marine mammals.  This eight module course provides guided instructional videos and activities to enhance software skills in two industry leading software programs, Ishmael and PAMGuard.  In this self-paced environment, participants learn to be proficient in the use of these programs through the completion of approximately 30 hours of training materials.  Whether new to passive acoustic analysis, or simply needing to brush up on program features, the guided videos and associated activities are designed to help develop (or foster) various skill set levels.  After seven modules of guided activities, a final module is provided to off an opportunity to further practice software features using a less than perfect dataset.  Topics in both open-access software programs include: 

  • Sound processing and visualizations

  • Data collection and storage configurations

  • Detection of marine mammal vocalizations

  • Localization methods

  • Post-processing features for monitoring applications (PAMGuard)

Access to the course is provided for a period of one month from date of purchase (or at the beginning of the training session, if purchased in advance) to enable ample time to review all guided videos and complete activities at your own pace. Participants must have access to a PC Computer, and a minimum of 8 GB of RAM is required for this training (Mac use is unsupported).  The semi-interactive format includes email feedback on your activity submission by an experienced course instructor. Upon completion of all modules, participants will receive a certificate of completion from OSA.  

Due to the support provided for the training, space is limited to 10-15 participants within each training session (period of time where instructor is offering support - participants work independent of one another).  Training sessions are scheduled six months of the year  and are dependent on instructor availability. The 30 days of course access starts from the date of purchase within a given month (for example, a purchase on March 10 for the March cohort would extend through April 8). For companies or individuals looking for customized group training, please contact us regarding your project and needs via the "Store" link.

IMarEST Accredited

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) is an international society for marine professionals. IMarESTĀ provides a peer-reviewed assessment of courses to ensure effective delivery of rigorous technical content.Ā PAM Software BasicsĀ is recognized as an accredited Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course.

Learn More About IMarEST CPD

Customized Group Course

PAM Software Basics can be organized to fit a virtual group setting - link below to find out more information and complete the group interest form

Take A Look at Our Course

Interested in getting a feel for PAM Software Basics ahead of time? Take a look below at a preview of the online software training experience


Frequently Asked Questions

Both Ishmael and PAMGuard are open-access programs and free to download.  However you will need to use a PC computer for which you have administrative privileges to download and install software.  Unfortunately, the software is not supported for Mac users, so this course cannot accommodate Macs. Additionally, you will need reliable internet access for the duration of the course in order to view videos and submit coursework. 

Training groups are limited in capacity due to the support provided during the course.  However, you can join a training group at any time during the indicated month and still have the same period of access (30 days). For example, if you join the course on April 10, you will have access until through May 9th.

That is up to you!  There is approximately 30 hours worth of training materials, but individuals work at different paces depending on their familiarity with software and comfort level with computers.  The 30 days of access is intended to allow you to work at your own pace. 

If a scenario arises where you are in need of more time, we are happy to work with you to help you meet you goal of completing the training. The best approach is to contact us if you encounter an issue!

A certificate is provided upon completion of all module activities.  PAM Software Basics is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology as a continuing professional development course, which is indicated on our certificates.


I feel much more comfortable interpreting data now and using the software. Elizabeth was a great instructor and very quick at answering my questions and responding to the completion of training modules. Thanks Liz! 

- Environmental Scientist, Canada


I would say this was the best online course I've ever taken. I'd say that Liz is an awesome teacher, she makes herself available to her students and is very prompt in her replies. This course was very thorough for a basics level course! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!!

- PSO/PAM Operator, United States


Highly recommended course for the beginners, Have plenty time to explore the software and do it perfectly. Instructor Liz, very perfect keenly observing the activity and giving valuable suggestions. Thanks to the OSA TEAM. 

- Marine Fauna Observer/Marine Biologist, U.A.E.

Liz’s course with its straight forward and concise guidance in addition to its thorough exercises not only prepared me for an entry role into PAM, but as well instilled a greater sense of wonder over the world of acoustics.

- Bioacoustician & PSO


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