Scientific Diver

Why Take This Course?

Project diving is a cornerstone of GUE activities and a reason why many decide to pursue scuba diving. GUE cooperates with many scientific research centers globally where archaeologists, biologists, hydrologists, and geologists benefit from the competence of GUE trained divers while conducting underwater research.

GUE’s Scientific Diver course prepares divers to act as members of scientific diving teams using proper equipment and techniques, and to understand legal aspects and responsibilities relevant to scientific diving.

Who Is It For?

This course is for anyone who is interested in being able to contribute in an efficient manner to any underwater scientific project such as basic data collecting, surveying, lifting of artifacts, excavating, and sampling.

This course is best taken after the Navigation Primer, as it requires basic competence in navigational skills.


Course outcomes include, but are not limited to: basic training in search and survey methods, surface and subsurface, locating and marking both objects and sites; basic use of airbags and airlifts to be used in controlled lifts, excavations and sampling; rigging and line work, including a review of basic knots, and the construction and deployment of transacts and search grids; recording techniques; performing the duty of a surface tender for a roped diver; and using appropriate sampling techniques to the scientific discipline being pursued.

Applicants for a GUE Scientific Diver program must:

  • Be a minimum of 16 years of age.
  • Be physically and mentally fit.
  • Be a non-smoker.
  • Be able to swim.
  • Obtain a physician’s prior written authorization for use of prescription drugs, except for birth control, or for any medical condition that may pose a risk while diving.
  • Have passed the GUE Recreational Diver Level 1 course or the GUE Fundamentals course.
  • Have a minimum of 25 logged dives beyond GUE certification.
  • For a full list of course prerequisites, click here.
The Scientific Diver course is normally conducted over five days. It requires a minimum of 40 hours of instruction, encompassing six theory classes, land drills, and six dive sessions.



One of GUE’s goals is to document the underwater environment and make the public aware of its beauty, variety, uniqueness, and the need to protect it. Divers are natural ambassadors of the underwater world, and GUE’s Documentation Diver course is designed to introduce divers to the basics of documentation techniques, project organization, and logistics that are useful in general project-based diving.


Modern technology combined with skilled and competent divers is a great mix to achieve unprecedented outcomes from underwater imaging. Meticulous and proper documentation of a dive site or submerged artifacts can be rewarded by a stunning 3D modelling.

GUE’s Photogrammetry Diver course is designed to introduce divers to the skills and procedures for using underwater photogrammetry to create digital 3D models.