Essentials of Scientific Diving

Essentials of Scientific Diving

Essentials of Scientific Diving

Business: Unified Team Diving

Price of Digital Course


The Essentials of Scientific Diving course integrates UTD’s diving practices with the scientific community’s need to work underwater. This course cultivates the essential techniques required by all sound diving practice and introduces the student to the basic techniques associated with scientific diving.


  • Must meet UTD General Course Prerequisites as outlined in Section 1.6

  • Must be a minimum age of 16 years of age.

  • Must be a certified open water diver from a recognized training agency

  • Must be able to swim a distance of at least 50 feet/15 meters on a breath hold.

  • Must be able to swim at least 300 yards/275 meters in less than 14 minutes without stopping.

Course Limits

  • General training limits as outlined in Section 1

  • Student to Instructor ratio is not to exceed 6:1 during land drill, surface exercises, and any direct in-water training. The Instructor has the discretion to reduce ratios based on environmental conditions.

  • Maximum depth 60 feet/18 meters or 100 feet/30 meters if the student is Nitrox certified.

  • No stage decompression.

  • No overhead environment diving.

Course Content

The Essentials of Scientific Diving course is a skills-based class and is normally conducted over a 4 to 5 day period. It involves a minimum of 32 hours of instruction, encompassing classroom review, in-water work and debriefings. Course requirements include a minimum of eight hours of academics and eight in water sessions.

Essentials of Scientific Diving combines lecture, practical (in-water) sessions and debriefings. This course focuses on cultivating the foundational skills required by all scientific diving practice. It is focused on increasing diving efficiency by reducing stress and increasing diver proficiency through proper control of buoyancy, trim, propulsion, teamwork, and other UTD principles, and integrates these diving practices with the task loading associated with working underwater.

Classroom and Text

  • Required Online Classroom Materials – Essentials of Scientific Diving

  • Essentials Gas Planning Worksheet (PDF)

  • Essentials of Recreational Diving DVD is recommended

Academic Topics

  • UTD organization

  • Teaching Methodology

  • Essentials Diving Principles

  • Diving Proficiency with in water skills

  • Buoyancy Control and Trim

  • Streamlining & Equipment Configuration

  • Propulsion Techniques

  • Air Sharing and Valve drill procedures

  • Situational Awareness

  • Communication

  • Gear Configuration

  • Breathing Gas Overview

  • Dive Planning & Gas Management

  • Introduction to Scientific Diving

  • Environmental Awareness and Navigation

  • Working Underwater

  • Tools of Scientific Diving

  • Data Collection

  • Species Identification

  • Animal Collection

  • Small Boat Operations

  • Hazards of Scientific Diving

  • Introduction to Aquariums

Land Drills and Topics

  • Dive team protocols

  • S-drill and Valve Drill

  • Equipment fit and function

  • Propulsion Techniques

  • Tools of Scientific Diving

  • Small Boat Safety

  • Navigation and Environmental Awareness

  • Pre-Dive Drills

Dive Skills and Objectives

  • All skills and drills as outlined in the general diving skills as outline in Section 1.5

  • Demonstrate superb team awareness skills

  • Emergency Out of Air management, including a direct ascent to the surface

  • Demonstrate the ability to deploy a lift bag/surface marker

  • Demonstrate good buoyancy and trim

  • Demonstrate proficiency with Basic 6 Open water skills

  • Kicking techniques including one that is appropriate for silty and/or delicate environments

  • Familiarization with UTD configuration and equipment

  • Basic Navigation and Environmental Awareness

  • Basic Search and Retrieval Techniques

  • Use of tools of scientific diving, including but not limited to

  • Transects

  • Quadrats

  • Collection Bags

  • Lift Bags

  • Marking Devices

  • Basic techniques of Data Collection, Species Identification, and Animal Collection

  • Small Boat Operations

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