Scientific Diving

Diving at SPMC conforms with the university-wide dive policy, which follows OSHA and WISHA regulations. SPMC is an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), adheres to AAUS standards for the conduct of scientific diving operations and diver training, and fully supports diving reciprocity between AAUS member organizations. The SPMC Diving Control Board (DCB) manages all scientific diving activities. The Diving Safety Officer (DSO) is involved in all aspects of program operations including training, verification of training, evaluation, conduct, and program oversight. Those interested in scientific diving at SPMC should contact the DSO, Nathan Schwarck at 360-770-4277 or after reviewing the Authorization Procedure to request participation in University approved scientific diving activities.

Diving Safety Manual

If your research will require scientific diving activities, plan on financially supporting this work. SPMC does not maintain diving equipment for loan, and scientific divers are expected to purchase and maintain their own equipment. SPMC does provide tanks (divers are responsible for the cost of air fills), weight, and all diving affiliated safety equipment. Sampling gear, underwater cameras, and high definition videography equipment are available. SPMC participates in AAUS-sponsored factory-direct discount programs wherein equipment is available from manufactures who have generously agreed to assist in the promotion of safe scientific diving. Scientific divers with deficient or missing equipment are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Purchasing restrictions apply.

The DCB encourages active diving knowledge and skill development for all dive team members regardless of experience level. A variety of additional safety and skill specific courses and training modules are available. Team members are encouraged to consult with the Diving Safety Officer (DSO) to outline continued training objectives that best relate to their skill level and specific area of scientific study.

Shannon Point Marine Center encourages its scientific dive team to develop and maintain proficiency through active recreational diving. The DCB recognizes that an individuals muscle memory and related kinesthetic skill set specific to diving activities is best developed through practice and repetition. Recreational proficiency dives conducted to AAUS standards may therefore be used to maintain AAUS depth certification and required minimum activity. The marine center's proximity to multiple shore and dive charter options affords abundant opportunity for skill development and proficiency.

The DCB recognizes the potential financial impact of pursuing scientific diving projects. Scientists are encouraged to seek project support for their diving research. The following organizations have previously awarded funding or training opportunities to Shannon Point scientists. The DCB would like to extend its appreciation to these groups for their support of scientific diving:

A man standing on a boat holds two flags, one red/white and one white/blue.
Underwater photo of diver