Scientific Diver - AAUS

Anthropology Students,

If you are interested in participating in any underwater fieldwork with Florida State University, you will need to become an AAUS (American Academy of Underwater Sciences) scientific diver. This training can only be obtained through an accredited institution, of which FSU is one.

There are two routes at FSU to obtain the training, one through main campus, which requires you to gain open water certification on your own (which generally costs in the neighborhood of $500), and requires you to apply to be accepted into the spring Science Diving Workshop that is run by the Coastal and Marine lab (which is not an academic class, but takes place during Wednesdays and most Saturdays during the spring semester and costs $410/student ) . To learn more, contact me ( or, better, contact the program instructor and FSU’s diving safety officer, Chris Peters ( Enrollment in this course is very limited.

The other option is to take all diving courses through FSU Panama City, which is a full round of for-credit courses (4 hours each) and which offer training on our main campus and on Panama City campus. Course fees are mostly covered by your normal registration and the spring science diving course fulfills your natural sciences liberal studies requirements. Below is the information received from course instructor Mark Feulner, who may be contacted with any further questions (; the Panama City dive program information may also be found at

The fall course is Intro to Underwater Investigations (ISC5060) and it is offered online with lectures and learning materials provided through Canvas.  This is a corequisite for the associated lab (ISC5060L), which has a lab fee of $90.  That fee covers 14 days (over the course of the semester) use of a BCD, regulators, weights, tanks, air fills, and at least one boat trip for the entire semester, which I always emphasize is a steal compared to what that would cost at a dive shop.  Students only need to provide a mask, snorkel, fins, and a wetsuit.  The last is recommended because there are a limited number of wetsuits available in the locker and they usually fit rather poorly (NOTE: it may be possible to check out one of the wetsuits from our main campus dive locker, if you ask Chris Peters nicely).

Certifications are a separate fee, collected through the required lab materials. This includes CPR, AED, Basic First Aid, Oxygen Administrator, Open Water Diver, and Advanced Open Water Diver.  We have gone digital with the dive certifications and have bundled the other certifications to cut costs to the students.  We have cut the costs for certifications to largely the administrative fees of the certifying agencies, so again it is a bargain for the students.

There are two sections available for the lab.  Section 0001 meets on Thursdays in Tallahassee at the Leach Center Pool, 10am-2pm EST. Section 0002 meets on Fridays in Panama City at the FSUPC Dive Locker in the Barron Building, 8am-12pm.  Tallahassee students may take either lab to better accommodate their schedules. I do ask students to keep their schedules open before and after the posted lab times, in that half of the labs are in the field and will require travel time to participate.  And failure to participate in the field labs will result in not earning dive certifications and not being able to move into the next class.

In the spring, you will enroll in the science diving course and lab, CJE5767 and CJE5767L (see link above for more details) to become a fully-fledged Science diver. For that course, generally, you will spend all of Friday doing training in Panama City. Contact Dr. Feulner for more information about fees and scheduling.


Jessi Halligan