Underwater diving remains one of the most popular water activities around the world. Exploring the many magnificent environments and creatures under the surface attracts many different driver types, from recreational to enthusiasts alike. One particular category of diving attracts many individuals around the world, and that includes scientific divers. Researchers first and divers second, these individuals study and further develop an understanding of marine life, particularly in the fields of marine biology and marine chemistry. Scientific divers perform tasks such as monitoring seagrass, marine life, and the deep reef and the undertaking of biodiversity surveys of fish, algae, and invertebrates. Essentially, life underwater is a scientist’s playground! To get started on becoming a scientific diver, the top steps that need to be followed are listed below:
First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that any underwater or scuba diving will usually require a certification of some sort. Scientific diving certifications vary significantly by country, with different places requiring different training levels and prior knowledge. Australia follows the Australian Diver Accreditation Scheme, which trains divers to become familiar with diving equipment, proper safety techniques, and skills while maneuvering in the water and how to utilize a variety of tools used in numerous fields, including marine biology.
Certification completion time varies depending on the training level and requirements. Some training takes a few days, with training in a swimming pool and open water dives. Other certifications may take longer and require the performance of more complicated tasks. Costs also vary by instruction, though high fees are usually involved when signing up for certification and training. The equipment used is generally expensive, and travel is involved when going for open dives. Therefore, scientific diving is usually a considerable investment of both time and finances, and certifications should be researched thoroughly before settling in on one.
- Become Familiar with Diving Companies and Organizations
Such an exciting career prospect has attracted many, and therefore there exist many different diving companies. Each offers its diving services and opportunities. For instance, Melbourne Professional Diving Service has over 60 years of experience providing various diving services, including scientific diving. Having worked in multiple underwater habitats around Australia, the company performs the usual scientific monitoring, surveying, and cleaning while also offering project management, video surveys, and water and sediment analysis. They’ve also worked with such organizations such as Parks Victoria, Victorian Desalination Plant, and the Port of Melbourne. Each company will have its list of exciting services and tasks and a list of partnerships they’ve taken on while on diving expeditions. This information is not only crucial in understanding the scope of scientific diving but also can help with figuring out the exact avenue to go down when deciding on the ultimate diving goal.
- Decide on Your Ultimate Diving Goal
With such an abundance of underwater services to perform, it can initially seem overwhelming on which path to follow with scientific diving. Different scientific divers will want to focus on perfecting specific skills. Though marine biology and marine chemistry are standard scientific diver research focuses, other scientific divers focus on underwater archeology and geology. Underwater archeologists will examine such artifacts such as old ship plans, logs, maps, and study the transformation of underwater environments. Meanwhile, underwater geologists study the ocean and ocean floor’s history, examining patterns of change in rocks and sediments and their effects on the surrounding environments. The possibilities of which scientific field to pursue underwater are vast, so all interested divers should focus on deciding which ultimate goal to follow.
Though it is not a simple process to become a scientific diver, the rewards are well worth the hard work and commitment. A scientific diver’s life is an exciting one that involves the potential of job placements all around the world, studying an endless amount of underwater life. Using the latest technology and incorporating scientific methods of both qualitative and quantitative means, this career path remains stimulating with every day and will always involve adventure. Additionally, scientific divers give back to their community with their discoveries and findings, ensuring that the ocean and its marine life remain healthy and thriving for all to enjoy across Earth.
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