Course Information

Scientific Diver Proficiency

This workshop is designed to provide an opportunity for newly trained, or inexperienced, American Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS) Divers-in-Training (DIT) to gain proficiency in scientific diving techniques. Upon completion, the DIT will have successfully earned their 30 ft diver rating while gaining useful knowledge on commonscience diving skills. It also allows the opportunity for previously trained, andactive, 30 ft divers to maintain their status, as required by AAUS Standards Section 5.60, by providing dives that contribute to the annual number of dives required to maintain their depth rating.

This workshop is NOT intended to train beginning scientific divers. Instead, it offers the opportunity to advance ormaintain their current scientific diver status while learning skills crucial to conducting research. This is an intensive (32 hour minimum) four day workshophosted by the Florida Institute of Oceanography at the Keys Marine Lab (KML).

Last minute cancellation due to unsafe weather conditions, at the discretion of KML staff, may require rescheduling (backup dates or next session).

Workshop Objectives
  • Offer AAUS DITs an opportunity to complete the minimum 12 dives necessary to become fully accredited AAUS scientific divers with a minimum of a 30' depth rating
  • Offer current AAUS divers the opportunity to maintain their 30' diver status by completing the required number of annual dives
  • Offer AAUS divers an opportunity to gain proficiency in common scientific diving skills
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion, DITs will be able to:

  • Demonstrate basic understanding and knowledge of essential diving skills that were learned in their recreational diving courses that are critical to skills in all diving situations:
    • Buoyancy Control
    • Navigation
    • Air consumption and management
    • Dive planning
    • Emergency planning, procedures and rescue
  • Demonstrate an understanding and knowledge of scientific diving equipment and perform skills essential to scientific divingdata collection:
    • Common scientific equipment: Use and handling
    • Safety while task-loading
    • Diving in extremeenvironments: surge, tidal currents, etc.
    • Sampling techniques and data collection while diving
    • Team leadership: Planning and coordination of science dives
Requirements and Materials

To be completed PRIOR to attending:

  • Submission of KML Scientific DiveProficiency Training file (Appendix A)
  • Completion of initial requirements outlined in AAUS Standards 5.00, and certification of AAUS Scientific Diver-In-Training Permit, as described in AAUS Standards 5.40 (Appendix B)
  • Current affiliation with a recognized AAUS Organizational Member dive program
  • Letter of Reciprocity (LOR) from home organization's Dive Safety Officer (DSO) indicating:
    • Affiliation with dive program
    • Current dive physical
    • Successful completion of AAUS swim test
    • Successful completion of check-out dive
    • Dive gear serviced within 1 year
    • Competence as a scientific diver or DIT
  • Personal SCUBA gear:
    • Mask, fins, snorkel and booties
    • BC
    • Weights and weight belt
    • First and second stageregulator with alternative air source and pressure gauge
    • Depth gauge
    • Watch and/or dive computer
    • Slate
    • Compass
    • Dive knife
    • Wetsuit
    • Gear clips
    • Signaling devices (whistle and SMB)
    • Repetitive dive tables (NAUI, PADI, NOAA, etc.)
  • Dive log
  • Note taking material (KML will provided waterproof datasheets for underwater activities)
  • Closed-toe shoes recommended
  • Sealable drinking water bottle
  • Personal items (e.g., appropriate clothing for your stay, toiletries, etc.)

Note: All SCUBA gear must comply with the minimum of AAUS Standard 3.20 (Appendix B) and equipment service dates must be indicated on an LOR from your home- institution's DSO

Lodging and Facilities:

KML provides housing (dormitory bunk bed style), linens and kitchen facilities.Although you likely will be split into more manageable group sizes during dive exercises, we recommend you work as a team during this workshop - starting with meal planning, cooking and housekeeping duties. The nearest full-servicegrocery option (Publix and/or Winn-Dixie) is approximately 20 miles in eitherdirection of the lab. More information can be found at our website: