The Smithsonian Scientific Diving Program (SDP) is a research-based diving program.  The SDP does not support recreational or citizen science programs. 

  • If you are interested in assisting with a science project, see the Smithsonian Institution (SI) Volunteer, Intern, or Fellowship website at http://www.smithsonianofi.com
  • If you are a scientist with a research project and need to dive with SI Divers or at a SI Marine Station, see FOR SCIENCE DIVERS for information on SDP policy and how to apply for authorization to dive at SI.

Scientific Diving as defined by OSHA in 29 CFR 1910 Subpart T App B is: 

1. The Diving Control Board consists of a majority of active scientific divers and has autonomous and absolute authority over the scientific diving program's operations.
2. The purpose of the project using scientific diving is the advancement of science; therefore, information and data resulting from the project are non-proprietary.
3. The tasks of a scientific diver are those of an observer and data gatherer. Construction and trouble-shooting tasks traditionally associated with commercial diving are not included within scientific diving.
4. Scientific divers, based on the nature of their activities, must use scientific expertise in studying the underwater environment and, therefore, are scientists or scientists in training.

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