Scientific Diving

Mission and Purpose


The mission of the University of South Florida's Scientific Diving Program is to support excellence in underwater research. To this end we must develop, review and implement standards for safe scientific diving; educate and train the membership in the most current safe scientific diving practices; and to represent the scientific diving interests of the membership before administrations of the University of South Florida, the Florida Institute of Oceanography as well as other organizations and government agencies. See Scientific Diving Policy 0-312.

The purpose of the USF Scientific Diving Office is to ensure that all scientific diving is conducted in a manner that will maximize protection of scientific divers from accidental injury and/or illness, and to set forth standards for training and certification that will allow a working reciprocity between other research facilities specifically organizational members of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS). USF is an active member of the AAUS and thereby complies with all AAUS policy and procedure.


The Diving Safety office oversees all Scientific Diving that is to occur throughout any discipline at USF. In addition, the office is also responsible for the oversight of diving that occurs through the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) whether at the FIO lab or onboard any of the USF or FIO owned research vessels. Obtaining clearance for diving projects can be a timely process. Sufficient time for preparations should be considered.