Welcome to the Marine Mammal identification course. On this site, you will find sections on otariids, phocids, mustelids and cetaceans.

In each section, we will discuss the natural history, biology and unique features of each species, which should help Beach Watch volunteers and other marine mammal responders identify marine mammals found on the beach.

Here are a couple of quick tips to help you navigate the slide presentations:

    • Look for the tool bar at the bottom of the page. You will find the play, pause/stop, forward, rewind and volume adjustment buttons.
    • You will also find the closed captioning by clicking on the CC button.
    • At the end of each module you will be given the opportunity to download pdf’s of the referenced resources.
    • Click on the link below and then the arrow/play button to begin each module.

 Click here for a page with the downloadable resources, including cheat sheets and reporting information.

Course Content


Data Collection and Reporting 




Cetaceans Part 1:  Mysticetes

Cetaceans Part 2:  Odontocetes