General: This category recognizes that a diver has the knowledge skills and experience necessary to continue training as a scientific diver under supervision, as approved by the DSO.  It allows for future Smithsonian Scientific Divers to begin their work prior to completion of the scientific diving course and the requisite 25 dives needed to qualify.

Eligibility: Smithsonian personnel (including but not limited to: Volunteers, Fellows, Interns, Contractors, Research Associates as well as Employees) who require the use of scuba for research activities.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Scientific Diving Course participation/completion with less than 25 open water dives; or Dive Rescue and Advanced Open Water Diver from an internationally recognized recreational certification and a minimum of 25 open water dives.
  • SDP swim test completion
  • SDP check-out dive
  • SDP written exams

Limitations: Divers must abide by the limitations outlined in the  SI-SCIENTIFIC DIVING SAFETY MANUAL and shall be supervised at all times.  Initial depth limitations will be set to 30 fsw.

Steps to authorization: 

To enroll in the SI Scientific Diving Course:
  1. Contact your Unit SI Diving Officer (DO), see CONTACT for DO information
  2. Submit enrollment letter with Supervisor or Sponsor approval
  3. Ensure diving is included in your performance plan (Employees only)
  4. Create a DecoStop account (SI-DO will provide link) 
  5. Receive diving medical clearance certification
  6. Successfully complete SDP swim test
If not currently participating in the SI Scientific Diving Course and not a Reciprocity Diver:
  1. Receive Supervisor or Sponsor approval
  2. Contact your Unit Diving Officer (DO), see CONTACT for DO information
  3. Create a DecoStop account (SI-DO will provide link) 
  4. Provide the following diving records:
    • Logs of last 25 open water dives
    • Recreational scuba certification cards for Advanced Open Water and Rescue
    • Current CPR/AED training (within one year)
    • Current Oxygen Administration training (within one year)
  5. Successfully complete SDP swim test
  6. Successfully complete SDP check-out dive
  7. Successfully complete SDP written exam
If you are a Reciprocity Diver with less than 25 open water dives:
  1. Submit Letter of Reciprocity