A University of Maine student learns research diving in the Damariscotta River. The UMaine program has trained 87 scientific divers in the last nine years.
A University of Maine student learns research diving in the Damariscotta River. The UMaine program has trained 87 scientific divers in the last nine years.
Nine undergraduate and graduate students recently completed their scientific diving certification at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole. Scientific divers study the underwater environment using scuba or other diving equipment. 

According to UMaine’s diving safety officer, Christopher Rigaud of Jefferson, the UMaine program follows American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) standards, which require passing stringent physical exams, meeting additional training requirements, and maintaining a sustained level of diving activity.

“Our students spend many hours learning about diving physics, physiology, equipment, first aid and rescue techniques, while studying regulatory and scientific policy and procedures,” explains Rigaud. “They’re also putting those skills into practice under the water.”

Students earn scientific diving certification after the successful completion of UMaine’s School of Marine Science (SMS) course 324, Introduction to Research Diving. The course has run 11 sessions over nine consecutive years, training a total of 87 scientific divers. 

SMS 324 will be offered at the DMC during the summer of 2017 through UMaine’s Summer University. To learn more about the diving program and SMS 324, visit umaine.edu/scientificdiving and umaine.edu/summeruniversity.