Penn State Scientific Diving

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.

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

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

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 the dive application process in the Bloop diving management system.

Managing Compliance within the Program

Scientific divers must be up to date on relevant certifications and training. A diver can track their compliance using the online diving management system called Bloop. After logging into Bloop, the appendicies listed below can be located on the left-side menu under "Documents". We recommend bookmarking the Applying to the Dive Program web page as it has many useful tutorials to help you navigate Bloop. Learn what documents you need to upload to Bloop by visiting the Applying to the Dive Program web page.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Participants are required to submit a log of each dive (accomplished under the auspices of Penn State) which must be done in the Bloop diving management system:

Appendix Name  [Bloop Certification Name]

  • Appendix 6 AAUS Medical Evaluation of Fitness for SCUBA Diving Report --> [Medical Exam / Dive Fitness Physical]
  • Appendix 6b AAUS Medical Evaluation of Fitness for SCUBA Diving Report & APPLICANT'S RELEASE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION FORM --> [Medical Information Release Form]
  • Appendix 7 Diving Medical History Form --> [Medical History]
  • Appendix 9 PSU Diver Questionnaire --> [Emergency Contact Information]
  • Appendix 10 Application for Diving Certification – Diving Resume --> [Diving Resume]
  • Appendix 11 Scientific Diving – Safe Diving Practices --> [Standards for Scientific Diving Manual]
  • Appendix 12 Statement of Voluntary Consent General Release & Waiver of Liability --> [Liability Waiver]

Approval for Scientific Diving 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 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 plan for review by completing the process in the Bloop diving management system.

Dive plans should be submitted to the DSO through Bloop at least 2 weeks prior to diving.

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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