Scientific Diving

The University of Michigan (U-M) Scientific Dive Safety Program monitors the health and safety of divers operating under U-M sanctioned programs or research to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.  The U-M Scientific Dive Safety Program is managed by the Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Diving Safety Coordinator who:

  • Authorizes individuals wanting to dive in conjunction with employment, research, or educational activities at U-M
  • Reviews health and safety aspects of research projects and instructional activities which involve skin, scuba, or surface-supplied diving
  • Consults with divers and their supervisors about personnel selection and training
  • Evaluates work sites and identifies job-related hazards
  • Reviews equipment requirements, diving protocol, and operational safety
  • Evaluates the condition of the applicant’s diving equipment or U-M owned diving equipment to be used and specifies technical inspection and maintenance requirements by a qualified technician
  • Informs divers of the potential risk of working underwater and what to do to protect themselves

Supplemental Information

Divers must apply for authorization, undergo evaluations, complete training courses, and receive authorization before engaging in scientific dives.  To become authorized to engage in scientific diving at U-M, divers must meet with the Diving Safety Coordinator, who will evaluate them for proficiency and competency.  The following document is in a downloadable “Word” format.  When you click the link it will automatically go to the download file.”

The U-M Diver Authorization document requires the following information about the diver:

  • Current Medical approval from a U-M health professional
  • Current CPR/first aid certification
  • Current DAN oxygen administration certification
  • Diving depth and environment(s)
  • Training and certification
  • Special equipment and breathing gas endorsements, if any
  • Restrictions
  • Date of expiration
  • In-water skill evaluation (pool or open water) depending on nature of authorization

Applying for Authorization

Individuals wanting to dive in conjunction with employment, research, or educational activity must submit the following documents to the Diving Safety Coordinator.  NOTE: “The following documents may be in a downloadable “Word” format.  When you click the link it will automatically go to the download file.

Undergoing Evaluations

Divers must,

  • Complete an interview with the Diving Safety Coordinator
  • Submit all information required on the Checklist for Scuba Diving Authorization
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skill of diving appropriate for the anticipated mission.   This may include swimming, diving skill, and knowledge evaluation.

Renewing Authorization

Divers must renew their authorizations to dive annually from the date of medical examination.  Divers are required to:

  • Submit documentation of diving activity for prior 12 months
  • Complete an annual Divers Medical Examination
  • Maintain current first aid, CPR, and DAN oxygen first aid certifications

Training programs available through EHS include the:

  • Periodic diver update
  • Oxygen provider
  • Diving injury management
  • Scientific diver
  • Oxygen enriched air
  • Dry Suits

Additional programs can be provided as needed.  Contact the Diving Safety Coordinator at

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