MARINE MAMMAL AND ACOUSTIC RESEARCH

Scientists from LGL have experience working with:

  • Cetaceans (whales, porpoises, dolphins)
  • Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, walrus)
  • Polar bears

Specialized Services:

  • Aerial, vessel, and shore-based surveys
  • Marine mammal observers
  • Measurements of underwater and in-air noise
  • Passive acoustic monitoring
  • Radio and satellite telemetry
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing
  • Environmental management and planning

For over 50 years, LGL has conducted marine mammal research and monitoring along the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Gulf of Mexico coasts of Canada and the U.S.A., as well as numerous projects overseas.

Objectives of projects can include:

  • Environmental impact assessments (U.S. NEPA compliance)
  • Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) and Letter of Authorization (LoA) applications for U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act compliance
  • Literature reviews
  • Mitigation and monitoring of potential effects of development and disturbance
  • Seasonal distribution and abundance
  • Foraging ecology
  • Habitat use assessment
  • Photography and photo-identification / cataloging

MARINE MAMMALS & NOISE

LGL and associates literally “wrote the book” on effects of noise on marine mammals. After years of studies of the effects of industrial disturbance on whales and other marine mammals in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans, LGL scientists compiled their information with collaborating partners to publish a comprehensive treatise on the subject (Marine Mammals and Noise, 1995, Academic Press).

MARINE MAMMALS & NOISE

LGL and associates literally “wrote the book” on effects of noise on marine mammals. After years of studies of the effects of industrial disturbance on whales and other marine mammals in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic oceans, LGL scientists compiled their information with collaborating partners to publish a comprehensive treatise on the subject (Marine Mammals and Noise, 1995, Academic Press).

IMPACT ASSESSMENT, MITIGATION, AND PERMITTING SUPPORT

LGL has experience linking agency-enforced requirements to operational plans to support operational efficiency and project delivery.

Start-to-finish regulatory support:

  • Agency consultations, including Biological Opinions, Section 7 Consultations
  • Community meetings
  • Permit application preparation (Incidental Harassment Authorizations, Letters of Authorization, Biological Assessments, Environmental Assessments)
  • In- and post-season reporting

Customized monitoring and mitigation plans:

  • Ensure regulatory compliance
  • Maximize operational efficiency
  • Collect high-quality data
  • Produce robust reports

LGL has developed long-term working relationships with:

  • State, province, federal, borough, and local governments
  • Native Corporations and Indigenous councils and governments
  • Scientific community
  • Collaborative corporate partners

LGL recognizes that continuous dialog among agencies, local stakeholders, and clients is critical to build cohesive working relationships and preempt regulatory hurdles in‑season.

MARINE WILDLIFE AERIAL SURVEY

LGL has a long history of delivering safe, cost-effective aerial programs, and providing innovative solutions to meet study objectives.

Manned and unmanned photographic surveys:

  • Conducted more than 1,000,000 miles of aerial surveys
  • Operated out of a wide range of charter aircraft
  • Safe and efficient operations in remote regions

Customized photographic surveys:

  • Camera packages configured for target species, area coverage, and on-water resolution
  • Adaptive design and installation of camera mounting systems within aircraft
  • Flexible survey planning to accommodate dynamic operational and regulatory considerations

Marine mammal automated detection:

  • Developed species-specific software to detect Arctic marine mammals
  • Automated detections were ground-truthed with manual image analysis detections
  • Delivered an end-product capable of producing cost effective, near real-time results

Specialized equipment available:

  • Professional-grade photographic equipment
  • High-speed processors for image download and management
  • Image analyst workstations

Our seasoned staff members, proficient in traditional methods and emerging technologies, design and implement aerial programs that are customized to client needs and project specifications.

DATA MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING

LGL offers support for all stages of data management, from database planning and design to final validated data, statistical analysis, and reporting.

Custom database construction, including:

  • Database planning, design, and implementation
  • Development and testing of custom data collection forms
  • Restricted values and automated error flagging

Efficient, accurate data collection ensured by:

  • Automated data collection and validation where appropriate
  • Detailed manual review where required
  • Low-bandwidth options for remote field sites

Flexible in-season reporting:

  • Multiple reporting streams (daily, weekly, event triggered)
  • Automation of reports available in a variety of formats
  • Easy access to data through pre-defined queries and online maps

GIS integration to facilitate:

  • Collection of spatially aware data
  • Ability to uncover geographic patterns and trends
  • Interactive web mapping

LGL’s data management team emphasizes automation and web-based application to ensure clarity, accuracy, and accessibility of data to clients and stakeholders in near real‑time.

EMERGING TECHNOLOGY

LGL is at the forefront of emerging technologies in marine mammal science that improve monitoring efforts and increase safety, reliability, and efficiency. Similarly, we use state-of-the-art methods when avian detection is a required component of an offshore observation program.

Passive Acoustic Monitoring:

  • Collaborated to create one of the largest and most comprehensive sets of underwater acoustic data collected globally to date
  • Custom-designed autonomous recorders to document sounds produced by anthropogenic activities and marine mammal vocalizations
  • LGL projects have incorporated both towed and fixed acoustic monitoring

Aerial Digital Marine Wildlife Monitoring:

  • Professional-grade photographic equipment installed and operated in manned aircraft and unmanned aerial systems (UAS)
  • Reduced risk exposure compared to deployment of visual observers
  • Expertise in large-scale image data management, synthesis, and analysis
  • Developed automated detection software for marine mammal monitoring to deliver cost effective, near real-time results

Infrared Technology:

  • One of the most promising methods for detecting marine mammals during darkness or poor visibility conditions
  • LGL has conducted surveys using both aerial, vessel, and shore‑based infrared systems