SouthCoast Wind and RPS are working together to provide local Native American communities with cost-free training and all certifications required to work as a Protected Species Observer (PSO). The 2024 schedule and location are to be determined based on trainees’ needs.

The program kicked off in Summer 2022 and three graduates have been deployed on SouthCoast Wind’s or other offshore survey programs. You can learn more about the PSO training Program and SouthCoast Wind’s other workforce development initiatives on the Core Initiatives webpage.

What is a PSO?

PSOs are deployed to support industry and academic marine activities where there is potential for those activities to impact marine protected species. The role of the PSO is to monitor for the presence of protected species, and to implement mitigation measures where needed to ensure the animals are not impacted by marine activities. The PSO works closely with the vessel crew to implement these mitigation measures, and also keeps watch for protected species during vessel transit to avoid potential vessel strikes.

To be scheduled

To be scheduled

Katherine Gideon
Katie has been with RPS since 2019. Prior to RPS, Katie was a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy for nine years, specializing in operations and training programs.

The PSO Training program includes three modules that will take approximately 10 days to complete:

  • PSO Certification Training
  • RPS U.S. Atlantic PSO Offshore Wind Training
  • RPS PSO Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Training

RPS will provide:

  • A mentor for the full course of the program
  • Coordination and delivery of all training and the required physical exam
  • Opportunities for employment as a PSO with RPS. RPS will deploy the PSO on an offshore survey program, with the potential for continued employment.

In addition to all costs covered related to training and certification, a scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded to each participant.

For more information, please email

Who is RPS?

RPS Group is an international, scientific technical consultancy that employs more than 5000 people and trades in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia and undertakes projects in many other parts of the world. In the field of marine in-field environmental monitoring of industry and academic programs, RPS is the single largest provider of PSO personnel where they have more trained and experienced PSOs than any other consultancy that operates in this space.

Download the PSO Training Program Flyer