research diving course

Research Diving Techniques (Summer Series)

UC Davis Scientific Diver Certification Course 2024

scientific divingThe UC Davis Scientific Diver Certification Course trains staff and evaluates their readiness to use scuba under the auspices of UC Davis.  This is accomplished through lectures, workshops, field exercises, and in-water development and evaluation of breath-hold diving and scuba diving skills. The UC Davis Scientific Diver Certification Course is an intensive program that requires significant preparation prior to attendance.

Course Description

Scuba divers involved in subtidal research and/or training programs through an educational institution, such as UC Davis, are exempted from the Federal OSHA regulations concerning commercial diving if they have passed an approved training program. (Among other requirements). This course meets those requirements and those of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS). UC Davis Research Diving Course will concentrate on diving safety and planning. There will be further development of scuba skills, diving related physics, physiology, dive planning, search and recovery, accident management and diver rescue. Certifications for NAUI Scuba Rescue Diver, DAN First Aid for Professional Divers, and AAUS Scientific Diver will be earned.

This course trains divers in the knowledge and skills needed to manage risks and effectively handle limited in-water problems and diving emergencies. Included are: Diving 1st Aid, O2 for diving emergencies, AED’s, assists, transports, surface rescues and rescues from depth involving both boat and shore based skin and scuba divers.

Along with more development of theory and techniques related to diving, this course will provide lectures and practical application of advanced diving techniques and how to use these diving skills in a subtidal research project will be discussed and practiced.

UC Davis Scientific Diver Certification Course 2024

The UC Davis Research Diver Training Course is designed for Researchers, Staff, and Students to meet training standards for the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS).

Course Dates: May 6-17 2024

Course Schedule:

Session 1: pool, rescue, first aid training in Mendocino CA

May 6-10 (at Fort Bragg Pool and Albion Field Station)

Session 2: ocean training and checkout dives at Bodega Marine Laboratory

May 13-17 (housing at Bodega Marine Lab and training at local dive sites)

Additional training opportunities:

  • Scientific Diving: Advanced Rescue Techniques Refresher at BML (July 2024, dates TBD)
  • Scientific Diving: Sonoma Coast Biological Surveying Techniques and Underwater Archaeology (August 2024, dates TBD)
  • Scientific Diving: Underwater Archaeology with CA State Parks in Tahoe, CA (September 2024, dates TBD)
  • Scientific Diving: Underwater Photography and Biological Surveying Techniques at Big Creek, Big Sur (October 2024, dates TBD)


All required equipment (see list below)

  • Regulator and BC serviced within 12 months
  • "Scientific Diver" medical clearance
  • DAN (or other) Diving Insurance covering hyperbaric treatment
  • Pass pool and ocean swim/scuba skills tests.

Required Equipment

  • Regulator with alternate or redundant air source. (Divers must show proof of regulator service or purchase in the previous 12 months)
  • Gauges (depth, time keeping, compass, cylinder pressure)
  • BCD with auto inflator compatible with the regulator
  • Full exposure suit (7mm with gloves, hood, and booties)
  • Small U/W slate
  • Mask/snorkel
  • Fins
  • Knife or other cutting device
  • Ocean weight belt (integrated weights ok, but also need weight belt)
  • Underwater Flashlight (backup recommended)


Course is limited to 10 students maximum. The 2024 Scientific Diving course is currently full. Please email to be added to the waitlist.

Complete the UCD WebDiver application

2024 Prospective Student Letter

Course Cost

Course fee is: $1,000.00 UC (*+36% NUD for non-UC Clients) and includes instructor-supplied texts, materials & certifications. (Does not include housing and meals).

*All training rates are subject to a Non-University Differential (NUD) assessment for non-University of California clients.

Other courses

Relevant Forms, Manuals, and Instructions