Diver Training

The Diving Science and Safety Program (DSSP) provides training to achieve completion of the 100 hours required for the Scientific Diver classification. All scientific divers are classified by AAUS standards as either a Diver-In-Training or Scientific Diver. The former has completed a basic scuba class and the entry procedures checklist. The latter has had 100 hours of training and at least 17 dives. Training at other establishments may also be applied toward the 100 hours.

To facilitate the movement from Diver-In-Training status to Scientific Diver status as defined by AAUS, the DSSP offers a ten module series of classes upon request. These address primarily issues which contribute to diver competency and safety in the water. Since the initial evaluation to qualify includes an overview and explanation of the relationship of AAUS, DSSP, and OSHA as well as a check-out dive and quiz, credit toward the scientific diver status will be provided for that time. The class time will be approximately 60 hours with 12 16 dives included. Classes available from the community and the university dive programs may also be applied to the status up-grade.


  1. DSSP Program Introduction & Evaluation, (2 hours and 1 dive)

  2. Legal Overview (2 hours and 1 dive)

  3. Diver Accident Management – Bloodborne Pathogens, First Aid, CPR/AED, Advanced Oxygen Provider, (12 15 hours and no dive)

  4. Introduction to research and advanced diving techniques ,(2 4 hours and 4 dives)

  5. Dive Planning & Risk Management (2 hours)

  6. Review of Dive Physics and Physiology(2hours3hours)

  7. Deep Diving and Decompression Tables Basic Review (2 3 hours and 1 dive)

  8. Dive Computers (1 hour and 1 dive)

  9. Mixed Enriched Air Nitrox Gas (4 hours w/2 dives)

  10. Rescue Procedures (16 hours w/2 dives)

  11. Overhead Environment (12 hours w/5 dives)Specialized environments (4 hours and 3 dives)

  12. Search and Recovery (2 hours and 1 dive)

  13. Hazardous Materials (Cylinder Handling and filling), (4 hours)

  14. Equipment Maintenance (4 hours)

Training Agency Affiliations

AAUS, IANTD, DAN, NACD, NAUI, YMCA (Agency certifications may be available for the above materials – costs may include travel, gas, text and certification.)

Certification Options

In order to comply with University, American Academy of Underwater Scientists (AAUS) and Federal OSHA standards for scuba diving, any person using scuba diving as part of a scientific research or educational activity must become a Certified Scientific Diver. This can be achieved through the UF DSSP. Scientific Diving is a tool used in science courses and by faculty, staff and student researchers.

There are two options to achieve this certification. All options require an interview with the Diving Safety Officer to clarify your diving background and current scientific diving requirements. This should be done prior to planning to become a scientific diver since there is an extensive physical and paper work to be completed prior to certification.

Option 1 

Take the PEN SCUBA classes (Basic Openwater Scuba, Advanced Openwater, Rescue – 12 dives) or their equivalent (local recreational dive stores) and then apply for the research series of classes divers modular package offered by the DSSP to complete your training.

Option 2

If you are already certified as a scientific Diver (AAUS standards) at another institution – Letter of Reciprocity or Verification of Training Letter supplied by the other institution’ DSO is available.