This authorization is issued by the SDO for a certified scientific diver from an organization that operates, at a minimum, under scientific diving regulations that meet or exceed those of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS).
Diver must be a Scientific Diver and part of a Scientific Diving Program which has established reciprocity with the SDP either as being an Organization Member of the AAUS or through a direct request to the Central Diving Office via the Diving Officer for the Unit in which the diving will occur. Diver’s status and eligibility will be verified through a signed Letter of Reciprocity (LOR) from the Diving Safety Officer of the scientific diving program in which the diver belongs. Verification of meeting the minimum standards listed will be the responsibility of the diver’s Diving Safety Officer and will be specifically addressed in the LOR. The LOR, at a minimum, will address the elements listed in Appendix 6 of the AAUS Standards for Scientific Diving.
Steps to authorization:
Contact the appropriate Smithsonian Institution Diving Officer (SI-DO), see CONTACT for SI-DO information
Create a DecoStop account (SI-DO will send you the link)
Submit a dive plan to the SI-DO (Lead diver only)
Submit a Letter of Reciprocity from your Diving Officer to the SI-DO
Submit an SI Indemnification form, signed by your supervisor or Department Chair (see SI-DO for this form)
You will be notified of your Dive Plan Authorization number via email from the SI Scientific Diving Officer