Drawing for Corals of the World (vol 1-3)

AAUS Foundation has dedicated the month of April to remembering our friend Kevin by raising funds to support the student travel scholarship bearing his name with a chance to win with every $10 donation!

Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Scientific Diving Lifetime Achievement Award. 

2015 AAUS Symposium-Call for Abstracts

The 2015 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium will be hosted by Florida Keys Community College and held September 28-October 03, 2015 in Key West, FL.  Abstracts now being accepted!

New DSO Orientation

There will be a new DSO oreintation held April 27th at Northeastern University's Marine Science Center in Nahant, MA.  Register today!

AAUS Certification Program

It is time for your annual AAUS-ITI Instructor Renewal.  More information here.

Current E-Slate

Current E-Slate is available on the first of every month.  You can access older editions in the resource library under "publications".


Event Calendar View All

New DSO Orientation

New DSO Orientation

This program is designed to provide an orientation for new Diving Safety Officers and for existing DSOs who would like more information and an update on particulars of running an AAUS Diving Safety Program at their respective institutions or organizations.   Also open to non AAUS organizations who would like more information about AAUS.  This one day workshop will be held at in Boston on April 27, 2015.  The cost is $100.Registration is now open at www.aaus.org/2015_spring_new_dso_orientation.  

AAUS Student Scholarship Applications Due

AAUS Student Scholarships 

The AAUS Foundation awards scholarships to graduate students engaged in, or planning to begin, research projects in which diving is used as an important research tool or studying diving science. The Kevin Gurr Scholarship awards $3000 to a Master program student. The Kathy Johnston Scholarship awards $3000 to a Doctoral student. AAUS may also award additional $1500 scholarships to the second ranked proposals in each category.  The Foundation also grants the Kevin Flanagan Travel Award providing up to $800 for undergraduate/graduate students to attend an AAUS scientific meeting and the Hollis Gear Award that provides up to two recipients with an award valued at $1250, good towards Hollis dive gear and travel monies.  Applications are submitted electronically and all proposals are due June 30. For more information and application instructions, visit www.aausfoundation.org,or send questions to the Scholarship Committee Chair at aaus@disl.org

2015 UW-FHL Ecology Course
    07/20/15 - 08/21/15

2015 UW-FHL Ecology Course

A course entitled Ecology Between and Below Pacific Tides will be offered July 20-August 21, 2015 at Friday Harbor Laboratories.  The 5 week, 9 academic credit hour course is an upper-level Ecology course with tracks available for both diving and non-diving students. This course will allow students, who are qualified, to simultaneously become AAUS-certified as scientific divers, carry out subtidal research projects and earn academic credit. Please see http://depts.washington.edu/fhl/studentSummer2015.html#SumB-4  or contact Pema Kitaeff (pema@uw.edu) for more information.  Applications are due February 01, 2015. 

Latest News View All

Update on Pressed Steel Tanks (PST)

Update on Pressed Steel Tanks (PST)

DEMA has received numerous calls regarding the impending expiration of the Special Permit from the US Department of transportation (DOT) under which Pressed Steel Tanks were produced.  The Special Permit was issued in 2011 and expired on January 31, 2015. DEMA has been in contact with the DOT and, working with Professional Scuba Inspectors (www.psicylinders.com), has obtained a copy of the NEW Special Permit which expires in 2018.  This means that all PST tanks with the neck stamped with SP9791 or E9791 which are visually inspected and within hydrostatic test date are valid and may be filled (or hydrostatically tested as needed).  For more information, see this Special Permiton DEMA's website.

AAUS Strategic Planning Meeting

The AAUS Strategic Planning Committee* recently met at the Boone Conference Center on Catalina Island for a facilitated three-day workshop and planning session to reaffirm, refine, and refocus the Academy’s vision, mission, and goals, and to direct the Board’s activities for the next five years.   This meeting followed a year-long process of soliciting and analyzing input from membership and stakeholders (results of surveys can be seen here).  Based on this input and the outcomes of the strategic planning session, the current Board does not anticipate a major shift in its purposes and goals within the next five years; the strategic planning process identified many of the same issues as previous Boards, and the current plan is built upon and strengthened by these earlier efforts.  

The primary pillars or goals identified by the planning committee are as follows.  The current order does not imply prioritization.

Ensure Scientific Diving Program Quality Control, through continued vetting and implementation of the Organizational Member Scientific Diving Accreditation Program, improving understanding and communication of AAUS diving standards, and development of improved program management tools. 

Improve Collaboration between the AAUS and Stakeholders, through expanding member services and increasing communication. 

Promote Scientific Diving Education, through enhanced certification of divers, development of a certification process for DSOs, adding value to the Symposium, utilizing a wide range of media, and maintaining the AAUS scholarship program.

Ensure AAUS Revenue Stream and Resources through a variety of means, including facilitating the function and presence of the AAUS Foundation, securing external funding, reviewing Organizational Member and Individual Member dues, and increasing individual memberships.

Ensure Efficient Operations of the AAUS, through establishing a full-time benefitted position for the Office Manager. 

Advocating for the Scientific Diving Community, by maintaining and distributing statistics and representing the interests of scientific diving in the legal/regulatory community.

The committee also identified strategies, timelines, and individuals who will spearhead these efforts.  The full Strategic Plan will be vetted through the Board of Directors, who will cost out and prioritize the different initiatives.  The plan will be finalized at the April meeting of the Board in Boston in April 2015.  Following the meeting, the plan will be put out to membership for a 60-day comment period, after which the Board will make any necessary additions or changes.  Throughout this process the Board will continue working to refine and revise the plan based on member input, and we will have a full five-year plan in place for presentation to the membership at the AAUS Symposium in Key West in September 2015.

*present at the Catalina planning meeting:  Mike Dardeau, Rick Gomez, Heather Fletcher, Jim Hayward, Elliott Jessup, Liz Kintzig, Pema Kitaeff, Amy Moran, Narineh Nazarian, Lora Pride, Chris Rigaud, Steve Sellers, Thom Skalko, Tim White. On the planning committee but not able to attend Catalina meeting:  George Peterson, Jen Smith, Diana Steller


Rebreathers and Scientific Diving Training Workshop Update

Rebreathers and Scientific Diving Training Workshop

Steve Sellers, National Park Service

From my perspective, the Rebreathers and Scientific Diving Training Workshop conducted February 16-20, 2015 at Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island was an overwhelming success. The topics covered and the input from the 50 participants exceeded expectations and continued to strengthen the foundation for the use of this technology within the scientific diving community. The guidance information generated from the meeting will include recommendations for future initiatives to address a number of clearly important topics that could not be resolved in this forum.

While I have been given the credit for initiating this most recent effort regarding rebreathers in scientific diving, I want to acknowledge there were others on the organizing team who, in my opinion, did much more than me to make this program a success. I wish to personally thank: the National Park Service for allowing me to pursue the concept of bringing this group together. Dave Conlin and Brett Seymour, your support and input really helped sharpen the focus leading up to the training workshop. Greg McFall and NOAA, without you involved this would not have happened, or if it had the results would have been greatly diminished. Amy Moran and the AAUS Board of Directors, thank you for providing funding to help address issues that fall beyond the pale for the support available from agencies like NPS and NOAA, and thank you, thank you, thank you for the loan of the immense talents of AAUS Office Manager Heather Fletcher. There is no possible way we would have met the aggressive time line we set for this effort without her help, guidance and input. Divers Alert Network provided both funding and support that continue to demonstrate DAN’s commitment to diving and diving safety, and was a lynchpin in the success of this workshop.

To the other presenters (Simon Mitchel, Neal Pollock, Richard Pyle, Phil Short, Liz Kintzing, Jeff Bozanic, Doug Kesling, Jeff Godfrey, and Brett Seymour), thank you for the fantastic slate of presentations, your time and effort leading up to the program, and thank you in advance for your continued work to submit your manuscripts for the timely release of the proceedings. Thank you also to the attending participants for your questions and insights during the training, your willingness to engage during the straw-man session, and for your quick and timely feedback when the draft straw-man results are circulated for review and comment.

Kim Farkas, thank you for your talents as stenographer and your willingness to work us into your busy schedule. Next time around we will see about the installation of rheostats for some of the participants to enable you to slow down their rapid fire delivery and reduce the risk of hand cramps.

A special thanks to our hosts, Wrigley Marine Science Center. Director Marinelli, whatever you are paying your folks for their efforts on behalf of the Center, I can assure you they earn it and more. I can think of no better venue for this workshop and would highly recommend others to contact the Center for similar efforts. Eric Castillo, Gordon Boivin, Karen Erickson, Karl Huggins, Juan Aguilar, Mark Van Liew, Jose Platas, Sean Conner, thank you and any other staff members I have unintentionally left out for the care and feeding of our group, and your willing flexibility with logistics in all phases of the process leading up to, during, and after our time there. The title of world class cat herders only begins to describe your talents.

Neal Pollock and Jeff Godfrey, I am not sure I possess the words to properly thank you for your efforts regarding this workshop. I am honored to have worked with you on this and would gladly do so again on anything you would have me at the table on.

To the greater community, things are coming out of this effort that rebreather divers and non-rebreather divers will find useful and informative. Plans are shaping up for follow-up efforts and related presentations at the AAUS symposium this fall. I would encourage you to watch for these, place them on your calendar and participate if you can.

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