Penn State Scientific Diving

News and Announcements  

Learn more about COVID-19 updates related to scientific diving activities. More information can be found on the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research COVID-19 webpage.

See the Guidelines for the Conditional Return to Necessary Diving Activities. In addition, researchers should review the Penn State guidance for Gradually Increasing On-Campus Research-Related Activities.


The Penn State Scientific Diving Program is an administrative unit functioning under the Office for Research Protections. The Program supervises all Scientific-Diving symbolcompressed gas diving for scientific and educational purposes under Penn State policy RP-09 - Scientific Diving at Penn State.

The Program is administered by a Diving Control Board and the operations of the program are defined by a set of Dive Standards.

Solely recreational diving operates under the student organization -- Nittany Divers -- and Penn State Adventure Recreation, and adheres to an independent Standard Operating Procedure. Recreational dive courses are also available for credit through the Department of Kinesiology.

The Penn State Scientific Diving Program is an Organizational Member of the American Academy of Underwater Scientific (AAUS).

Approval for Scientific Diving Safety Plans

The Diving Control Board or its delegate, the Diving Safety Officer, must approve all scientific diving conducted by Penn State researchers, staff, and students. No scientific diving should be conducted unless the dive safety plan has been approved.  Before submitting your plan for approval, please see the Penn State manual of Standards for Scientific Diving.  You can submit your diving safety plan for review by completing this form.

Become a Certified Scientific Diver

Before you apply for entry into the scientific diver program at Penn State, please review our process to become a certified scientific diver.

Participation in the Penn State Scientific Diving Program is by application only. The application process includes a signed waiver of liability and requires a medical exam. Medical exams are also required at periodic intervals in order to maintain active diving status. A Dive Medical History Form must be completed each year and submitted to the Scientific Diving Program. Complete all pages of the dive application.

Participants are also required to submit a log of each dive. The web form can be found here:

Student Opportunities

Learn more about a number of student opportunities for those interested in scientific diving:  Read about some of our student success stories.

Scientific Divers in Action

See videos of Penn State scientific divers in action across the globe!  Visit

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