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Scientific Diving Operations

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Diver working underwater

Stanford has been an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) since 1985. The AAUS Standards for Scientific Diving have been used as guidelines for the development of Stanford University's scientific diving standards. The standards for diving safety, training, experience, and certification outlined in Stanford's Diving Safety Manual are designed to ensure that all diving under the auspices of Stanford University is conducted in a manner that will maximize protection of divers from accidental injury and/or illness while furthering research, education and safety, and to allow a working reciprocity between Stanford University and other institutions with scientific diving programs whose standards meet or exceed those of the AAUS. Learn about the OSHA exemption for scientific diving.

Diving and Boating Safety Officers


Stanford University's Scientific Diving Program is based at Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, 90 miles south of Stanford on the southern shore of Monterey Bay.

For current Stanford Scientific Divers

Being an active diver in an AAUS scientific diving program requires a considerable amount of effort, planning, and commitment on the part of the diver. The Diving Safety Officer can issue reminders and offer necessary training, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the individual diver to stay current in the program. Please see the requirements for maintenance of active diving status in the Additional Diving Information section below.

Who can join the program

Stanford students, faculty and staff intending to dive for Stanford research or coursework are eligible to join the Scientific Diving Program.

How to join

If you have not been trained and certified according to AAUS standards or equivalent, you will need to meet certain requirements to join the program and begin training for scientific diver certification. Please allow sufficient time to complete prerequisites, training and certification before any planned underwater research -- depending on your initial qualifications, this could take several months.

If you are currently a scientific diver in active status with another AAUS program, or were previously active, please see requirements in the Transfer Diver section below. 

New scientific diver training options for 2024 are currently in development and will be posted here as soon as they are finalized.