Scientific Diver Training


Scientific Diver-in-Training, commonly referred to as a DIT, is the beginning point for most scientific divers. Generally, a DIT is also a scientist, or scientist-in-training. The training process for a DIT to become a scientific diver is extensive, at least 100 hours minimum. For a complete breakdown of requirements, check the LUMCON Diving Safety Manual.

The LUMCON Diver-in-Training Course includes at a minimum:

  • Prerequisite – At least Open-Water Scuba Diver. Certification may be included at DSO discretion.
  • Completion of LUMCON online scientific diver course and tests.
  • Submission of dive medical and other required documents
  • 5 pool sessions, each around 4 hours
  • 1 day of open water rescue/emergency management practical
  • 12 open water scientific training dives. May be supervised by DSO or qualified PI.

Scientific Diver-in-Training courses are taught in several formats throughout the year. Prospective participants can choose from offerings which will meet their particular needs. Prospective participants should submit an application to the Diving Safety Program at least one month prior to the beginning of courses.

  • Fall and Spring Semester Period Courses
    Fall and Spring courses are taught each year beginning about the second or third week of respective university or college semester periods and running roughly until the end of the semesters. Courses meet one day per week at various venues, on the same day as decided upon by class participant consensus at the beginning of each course. No credit is offered for this course. Each successful participant upon completion receives a certificate authorizing them as a LUMCON Scientific Diver, and an AAUS Scientific Diver certification card.
  • Summer Courses
    Three week summer courses are taught in either June or July at LUMCON. Course meets daily Monday-Friday. Participants are required to reside at LUMCON.  College credit can be offered through University of Louisiana – Lafayette. Each successful participant upon completion receives a certificate authorizing them as a LUMCON Scientific Diver, and an AAUS Scientific Diver certification card.
  • Ad hoc Courses
    Customized ad hoc courses may also be arranged through the office of the Diving Safety Officer by request, taught at LUMCON, at parent institutions of Consortium members, or combinations of both. In most cases a minimum number of participants will be required and requesting PI’s or institutions will be required to make local classroom and pool arrangements.

Contact the Diving Safety Officer to for further information about Scientific Diver-in-Training courses.


Recreational based scuba courses are offered by request to meet specific research goal or proficiency requirements such as deep diving, dry suit diving for cold water work, night diving, etc. Courses may be customized as much as is possible to meet requirements both to issue a recreational certification and for research needs.

When conducting Continuing Education Certifications the primary goal will be to meet work up requirements for future research diving experience needs, and secondarily to provide a recreational based certification through various non-AAUS dive agencies.

Continuing Education Certification may be used as proficiency training since any and all training ultimately increases a divers overall experience and competency.

When diving is conducted for these purposes, no scientific dive plan is filed and no credit for completion of scientific dives is issued. However, dives may be used towards the 12 annual dives required to maintain active diving status through LUMCON. In most cases a recreational certification card will be issued in the specialty area of the dive series.

Contact the Diving Safety Officer to arrange Continuing Education Certification courses.


Technical diving training and certification is offered through LUMCOM by special request. All requests will be reviewed by the LUMCON Diving Safety Committee prior to approval and researchers must be prepared to offer written justification to both the LUMCON DSC and their parent institution Risk Managers and/or Director of Environmental Health and Safety, why technical diving is needed for their proposed research.

Technical Certification is conducted through Technical Diving International (TDI) recreational standards and certification cards issued through TDI. However, TDI recreational certification is only a foundational baseline. AAUS requirements for technical diving including decompression, nitrox, mixed gas use and CCR use are extensive and all standards must be met before conducting technical dive operations under LUMCON auspices.

In most cases, for complex technical diving operations, the Diving Safety Officer will also require work up dives prior to advancing to the field to conduct deep diving operations. Consult the LUMCON Diving Safety Manual for a full listing of all requirements for technical diving. Contact the Diving Safety Officer for further information about scientific technical diving.