How do I earn an AAUS science diving certification?

Scientific Divers at MLML are students, staff, and faculty members of MLML that are involved in subtidal research, thesis projects, or class projects that require diving. There are approximately 60 divers currently certified and together they conduct about 1500 dives a year. Completion of the following steps is required to dive under the auspices of MLML. To maintain certification please see the requirements at the bottom of this page.

Scientific Diver Certification Requirements:

If the applicant has limited experience (i.e. <25 dives), or has no diving experience in cold water (50 degrees F) or in kelp forests, then the applicant should check the requirements and enroll in MS 105 Marine Science Diving or the summer Marine Science Diving – MLML/CSUMB course. This course satisfies the requirements for MLML/AAUS Scientific Diver Certification. If the applicant meets the criteria above, then either request an application packet from the DSO (dsteller@mlml.calstate.edu), or download and complete the first 9 items on the below list and return the complete package to the DSO (by email.

  1. Diver Information Application: Completed, including a summary of diving experience. Download this fillable pdf form.
  2. Diving certification cards – copy all cards, include DAN insurance coverage if you have it (strongly suggested).
  3. CPR, First Aid and Emergency Oxygen certification: Provide a copy of current certification cards.
  4. Medical Exam.  A current diving medical is required to dive with MLML’s research diving program. Anyone interested in diving must obtain a diving medical from a licensed physician before they can dive. The student Health Center on consortium campuses can usually perform the required tests at reduced costs.  Current MLML diver’s must have a new medical done every three years (every 5 years until age 40, every 3 years until age 60, every 2 years after age 60 and after any diving accident). A complete listing of medical tests required are found in section 6.16 of the CSU Diving Standards.  Download this pdf. This is NOT fillable. Diver must sign release and verify that medical practitioner signed off on the form.
  5. Waiver and Release Form: Sign it, have it witnessed. Download this form. This is NOT fillable.
  6. Dive Log: Provide proof of diving activity, and a log of the 12 most recent dives on an MLML dive log form. Download this excel spreadsheet.
  7. Read CSU/MLML Diving Regulations Manual: Read the CSU/MLML manual, then download and complete this form signifying that you have read the regulations and list emergency contact information .
  8. Computer Use: To use a computer for diving at MLML you must have a copy of the users manual, show proof of knowledge of use and download, sign and submit the verification of abiding by computer use guidelines.
  9. Equipment: Download and submit this form listing the equipment you own, the year purchased and the service history. A check of your diving gear will be made at the time of the open water dives. Proof of annual servicing is requested at time of entry into program.
  10. Written Examination: A thorough written exam must be completed. This is given upon receipt of full application.
  11. Pool Evaluation: May be required depending upon experience. CLICK TO VIEW POOL SKILLS
  12. Openwater Evaluation: The initial check out dive will include surf or boat entry, a surface swim of 400 yd., descent, neutral buoyancy, mask clearing, mask removal and replacement, regulator retrieval and clearing, air sharing, simulated emergency swimming ascent, a normal ascent, and a rescue or two. Additional dives with members of the diving control board will also be required before certification.

If you have current scientific diving certification at a recognized AAUS scientific diving program, reciprocity may be granted. Contact the Diving Safety Officer for details (at minimum request a Letter of Reciprocity from your AAUS institution and submit the above paperwork).