Scientific SCUBA Diving at BU

This is an outline of the requirements for becoming and maintaining status as an Authorized BU AAUS Scientific Diver.

1.Become Authorized BU AAUS Scientific Diver

2. Submit/Follow Dive Plans for approval by DSO according to BU Dive Safety Manual

3. Maintain SCUBA and safety equipment according to BU Dive Safety Manual

4. Maintain training, clearance, and proficiency requirements for Authorized Scientific Diver status


 Note that this is an absolute requirement for research and research training diving and is legally regulated by OSHA, which is US federal law. Faculty who allow unauthorized diving are subject to severe legal liabilities personally and would be operating in violation of BU policies. 

All scuba diving for BU follows AAUS standards and the BU Dive Safety Manual, including the submission of a required dive plan in advance of any field work.  For details on what is AAUS, see Scientific divers must also purchase insurance from the Divers Alert Network (DAN), see . The purchases of any insurance should be discussed with the research Principal Investigator or course Instructor.

Students are not considered employees by Boston University and therefore are NOT covered by workman’s compensation benefits. Students need to be certain that their health insurance will cover diving related accidents and long-term care should a severe accident occur. DAN insurance will cover immediate emergency medical care. Faculty may be only covered by BU workman’s compensation insurance if they have fully complied and are current with the requirements of the BU AAUS program.

The policy at BU has been that only persons whose research requires scuba diving are allowed to become scientific divers.  Your supervising professor must authorize your participation. BU and BUMP do not provide equipment or pay costs associated with becoming qualified. 

 Anyone interested in becoming a BU scientific diver is encouraged to meet with Prof. Phillip Lobel prior to initiating the steps outlined below. This will provide an opportunity to discuss AAUS certification protocols and answer any questions you may have about the process. Prof. Lobel is the DSO (Diving Safety Officer) for Boston University and the BUMP dive program. BUMP students and faculty should contact Prof. Lobel initially regarding the dive program. 

Dive Plans

After an individual is authorized as a BU Scientific Diver, the other major component of the Dive Safety Program is to submit detailed Dive Plans for proposed dives, which must be approved by the Dive Safety Officer in advance. Dive Plans & Dive Logs should be submitted to and copies maintained on the BU intranet site: Dive & Boat Committee SharePoint.