The Ocean Studies Institute (OSI) AAUS Scientific Diving Certification Program

The Ocean Studies Institute (OSI) AAUS Scientific Diving Certification Program is a 14 day course focused on technical, academic and scientific diving skills. During the course divers will complete a total of 14 dives which include boat dives, deep water dive, night dive, and beach dives. The course concludes with an overnight trip to Catalina Island to conduct various advanced dives including a blue water dive and the culmination of rescue training.

The OSI dive program is open to all members of the consortium that are required to engage in technical, academic or scientific diving. Anyone who is engaged in diving as part of their research must be an active member of an academic scientific diving program or be subject to US Federal OSHA standard for diving. The OSI Diving Program exists for this reason.

Course Dates and Fees

Summer 2017 Scientific Diving Courses: June 12th-28th & July 24th-August 8th, 2017 

Application Deadline for First Summer AAUS Course: May 12th, 2017

*Class is limited to 12 students

Application Deadline for Second Summer AAUS Course: June 23rd, 2017

*Class is limited to 8 students

Cost: $500 for OSI Member Institutions

          $600 for SCMI Consortium Institutions

          $1,200 for Non-Member Institutions




All students enrolling in the OSI AAUS Scientific Diving course must have the following:

  1. Certification as an Advanced Open Water scuba diver, issued by a nationally recognized certification agency (NAUI, PADI, YMCA, SSI, etc.)
  2. A minimum of 4 logged dives within the past year, 2 of which are within the last six months.
  3. Proof of regulator, BC, gauge and computer testing/service within the last 12 months this includes new equipment  (form included in application Package). A visual inspection of all dive equipment will be conducted on the first day. Equipment deemed “unsafe” or NOT in good working order, will not be allowed for use in the course.
  4. Current Medical Examination for Scuba Diving; must be within one year (form included in application Package).
  5. Proof of Dive Insurance – you are responsible for your medical coverage and most health insurance policies do not cover scuba diving. We require that you obtain dive insurance such as that provided by Divers Alert Network (DAN) A list of providers can be found at
  6. First Aid, O2 Administration, and Field Neurological training will be offered as part of the course. It is highly recommended that you participate in this section of the course, however if you can provide proof of current CPR, First Aid, and O2 training you may elect to waive this section.

Swim Test Requirements

There will be a swim evaluation at the beginning of this course. This evaluation will include:

  1. 400 meter swim, within 12 minutes
  2. Tread water continuously for 10 minutes, or 2 minutes without the use of hands.
  3.  Underwater swim for a distance of 25 meters, without surfacing
  4. Surface dive to 10’ to recover a swimmer on the bottom, and transport on the surface 25 meters.

Please Note: Anyone who does not successfully complete all components of the swim test will not be permitted to participate in Scientific Diving beyond the Diver in Training level.

OSI Dive Safety Officer

DM Website Photo

Darrell Montague, Dive and Boat Safety Officer for the Ocean Studies Institute, has been working in the dive industry for 17 years as a Divemaster and Instructor. Prior to his current position, he was Dive Safety Officer for the California Science Center Foundation, overseeing exhibit, youth education, and open water diving, as well as boat operations. He has also trained divers for the California Institute of Technology, and acted as Dive Safety Officer and expedition medic on remote dive operations for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, National Geographic, and several film and television productions.

Jim Cvitanovich, the DSO for the Ocean Studies Institute, has been free and scuba diving along the So. Cal. Coast since 1963. Starting out at 12 with mask, snorkel, fins and sweatshirt along the Palos Verdes coast near home in San Pedro, getting scuba certified in 1971, and becoming a PADI instructor in 1981. Jim has worked as a commercial diver in the area doing light salvage, survey, and repair, and as second captain and crew on a number of commercial dive boats in San Pedro. Acting as the assistant DSO since 1981, Jim took over the position as DSO in 1999.

Questions should be directed to Darrell Montague, OSI Dive and Boat Safety Officer
820 South Seaside Avenue, Terminal Island, CA 90731
Cell: (626) 399-3308; SCMI: (310) 519-3172 x 976