Scientific diving is defined by Ocean Quest Global as:
“Diving performed solely as a necessary part of a scientific, research, or educational activity by anyone whose sole purpose for diving is to perform scientific research tasks. Scientific diving does not include performing any tasks usually associated with commercial diving such as: Placing or removing heavy objects underwater; inspection of pipelines and similar objects; construction; demolition; cutting or welding; or the use of explosives.”
The training prepares the diver to safely conduct data gathering underwater through proper planning and implementation. The Ocean Quest Global scientific diving course standards is specific for each geographic location.
Scientific exploration has ventured into areas that is alien to humans. Through development of life support systems, we can venture far and deep into environments that are inhabitable to us. Driven by the quest for knowledge, we invested our energy and resources to make possible the exploration of deep sea and space. Inventing the life support systems for exploration of oceans is only part of the process. To dive into the ocean and return safely with the needed data requires specific training. Surviving the journey, extract information and return to share with others is a discovery that must be planned and implemented through precise protocols. There are many systems and uses of underwater exploration. Scientific diving is one specific area that is applicable to undersea survey and data gathering. Besides the diving exploration, elements of science must be incorporated to the diving skills. Safety in diving, environmental observations, sampling, process integrations, photography, and writing is part of the scientific diver’s acquired skills. Without it, divers will venture aimlessly into the unknown oceans and return with little or no acquired information.
THE SCIENTIFIC DIVING PROGRAM
This scientific diving program is developed by Ocean Quest Global to fulfill the need of the organization’s expansion in research at sea. Since its founding in 2010, Ocean Quest Global has been at the forefront of coral reef rehabilitation. This demands an ever-expanding study to improve its diving safety standards. Recognizing this need, it is now necessary to introduce scientific diving training as part of the organization’s curriculum. Ocean Quest Global also realizes that scientific diving covers large aspects of diving systems, its safety, equipment, and applications in research work. This is why it is necessary to break the training into 3 levels. Science also dictates that a good system of organization must be incorporated into the scientific diving program. Therefore, the standards of this scientific diving program are specific to Ocean Quest Global. The application of this scientific program is aimed at regulating safety in exploring, assessing, documenting, protecting, and restoring coral reefs worldwide. Other institutions may have their own scientific diving program that is designed to suit their own need of scientific explorations.
PROGRESSION OF SCIENTIFIC DIVING TRAINING
There are three levels in the scientific diving training program. Each level is aimed at knowledge and skills development that will develop a competent scientific diver. Upon completion of the training the students will be awarded a scientific diving certificate from Ocean Quest Global. With this qualification the diver will be given permits to dive in scientific explorations under the auspices of Ocean Quest Global.