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Scientific Diving Program

Scientific Diving Program students emerge from the surf line.

The Scientific Diving Program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is one of the oldest, largest, and most active science support programs of its kind in the United States.  The program trains and supports more than 150 scientists, students, technicians, and volunteers in the use of underwater techniques and technology necessary to safely conduct their research in underwater environments.

Scripps's Scientific Diving Program, empowered by the Scientific Diving Control Board, establishes and ensures compliance with the standards outlined in the Scripps/UC San Diego Manual for Diving Safety. These policies govern all aspects of scientific and aquarium diving operations for those affiliated with Scripps/UC San Diego and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Through the promulgation of effective standards, thorough training, and broad science support and oversight the Scripps Scientific Diving Program promotes diving safety and scientific productivity.

Scripps Oceanography is a founding member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and remains an organizational member in good standing.  Adherence to AAUS standards facilitates collaboration between member institutions as qualifications and authorization are recognized through a process of reciprocity.

Scientific Diving Support Facilities

The Scripps's Scientific Diving Program maintains comprehensive research support infrastructure at the La Jolla campus. Our Diving Locker is the primary scientific diving support and equipment testing facility for local diver training and scientific diving activities at Scripps/UC San Diego and includes:

  • Rix 4VX 20 cfm breathing gas compressor supporting air and nitrox (EANx);
  • +150 steel scuba cylinders (76 ft3, 85 ft3, 95 ft3);
  • Emergency Oxygen (local and extended care options) and Diving First Aid equipment; and
  • Remote air test kit, CO and EANx analyzers, full face masks and communications equipment, and a host of subtidal data collection tools and technologies.

BCDs, regulators/gauges/computers, and weights may be checked out for diver training and short term use. Men's/Women's Locker Rooms and a limited number of lockers are available to support local diving operations.

Contact Rich Walsh, Diving Locker Supervisor, for a complete inventory, availability, and training opportunities.