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MSCI 410 - Scientific Diving Course

Course Overview

As part of our new Marine Science curriculum, Cal Poly now offers MSCI 410, Scientific Diving.  MSCI 410 is a 3 unit elective, taught through the Biology Department.  Training and certification in scientific diving is necessary for conducting research underwater at Cal Poly and is often a much sought after qualification for jobs in marine science.

Over a few weeks of intensive training, students learn both theoretical and practical aspects of diving.  The class is roughly 100 hours, including 13 dives for a total of 6 hours of bottom time.  In the classroom, students study diving physics & physiology, decompression theory,  the history of the AAUS, and underwater data collection techniques.  In the field, students make multiple dives, applying techniques in low visibility navigation, search & salvage, deep & night diving, and techniques for sampling & identifying local fish, invertebrates and algae.

MSCI 410 is offered during Cal Poly's 10 week Summer term.  However, due to the condensed format of the class, it does not meet until the 2nd half of August.  Summer classes at Cal Poly are administered through Extended Education and thus open to anyone that meets the prerequisite qualifications. 

As there are a number of prerequistes, instructor consent by permission code is required to enroll.  Priority is based on diving experience and student need.  If you are interested, start by reviewing the required documentation and submit a Scientific Diver Application.

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Diver of the Month

December, 2020
Hannah Rempel

4 dives made in December.

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Program Stats

2021 Totals


Program Totals