OSU is an organizational member in good standing with the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) and operations are conducted in accordance with the AAUS Standards for Scientific Diving (PDF) (Nov 2019). All persons conducting scientific diving under the auspices of Oregon State University (OSU) must be authorized to do so and have their dive plans approved by the OSU Diving Safety Officer (DSO) and Diving Control Board (DCB).

Eligibility for Scientific Diver Authorization

To be eligible for OSU Scientific Diver authorization, a person must be a current student, staff, faculty, or approved volunteer and have a need to dive as part of their schooling, research, or work for the University.

Scientific Diver Training Options

AAUS standards require a minimum of 100 hours of theoretical and practical training. These may be achieved through a scientific diver course, a combination of a scientific diving course and advanced recreational dive training, or through extensive recreational dive training. Experience in lieu of training will be determined on an individual basis by the DBSO and approved by the DCB. Confined and open water diving evaluations with the OSU DSO or designee may be required for individuals not receiving their training through the OSU Scientific Diving Program. To complete the 100-hour training program, divers must have logs documenting at least 12 hours of bottom time in research. The OSU Scientific Diver Exam must be satisfactorily completed by all Scientific Diver Applicants.

OSU offers Introduction to Scientific Diving in the spring term. This is a 4 credit, term long course and permission from the instructor is required to register. Interested students should review the prerequisites listed below and contact the DBSO for more details.

Minimum Course Prerequisites:

  • Permission of Instructor
  • Submission of an AAUS/OSU Scientific Diving Application (PDF) Diving Medical History (PDF) to the OSU DBSO
  • Submission of an AAUS/OSU Medical Evaluation (PDF) of Fitness for Scuba Diving showing no contraindications for diving to the OSU DSO
  • Complete the OSU Scientific Diver Swim Evaluation (during first lab session)
  • Advanced Open Water certification from a recognized training agency (NAUI, PADI, SDI, SSI, etc). Experience in lieu of training may be recognized by the DBSO
  • Current certifications in CPR, First Aid, AED, and Oxygen Administration (can be acquired during term)
  • Proof of diving accident insurance (Divers Alert Network or equivalent)
  • Student must provide basic snorkeling gear, suitable exposure protection, cutting tool, light, slate, and underwater timing device

Recommended Course Prerequisites:

  • Rescue Diver certification from a recognized training agency (NAUI, PADI, SDI, SSI, etc).
  • Cold water diving experience; experience with cold water exposure protection (drysuit, thick wetsuit, thick or dry gloves)