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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Earth and Mineral Sciences (EM SC)

EM SC 440 Science Diving (4) Advanced scuba diving skills applied to underwater research.

EM SC 440 Science Diving (4)

EM SC 440 is a four credit intermediate science diving course for students already holding a basic open water scuba diving certification from an internationally recognized certification agency (e.g. PADI, NAUI, CMAS, YMCA, SSI etc.).

Scientific diving is concerned with the observation of underwater phenomena and the acquisition of scientific data. This course introduces students to advanced scuba diving skills following the standards established by the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) -- with a significant emphasis on diver safety.

The course covers theoretical aspects of the physics of diving, dive physiology, and underwater environments. There is a strong emphasis on diver safety with theoretical and practical training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, diving-related first aid, accident management and dive rescue. The course will cover advanced recreational diving techniques, including deep diving and enriched air (nitrox) diving. A significant component of the course will involve scuba diving accident analysis, the focus of the course textbook. The course will also include an introduction of advanced underwater sign language.

The course will include classroom sessions, pool sessions, and open water dives focusing on underwater skills development for eventual application in research settings.

Each government or university underwater research program certifies its own divers based on standards that, at a minimum, conform to those of the AAUS. Successful completion of the course will allow the student diver in training to enroll in EM SC 441, Advanced Science Diving. Successful completion of EM SC 441 will allow the student diver in training to apply for science diver certification from the Penn State Science Diving Program. Certification is also dependant on a medical examination and is at the discretion of the University Dive Safety Officer; it is not automatically offered on completion of the course. The course is usually offered once a year in the spring semester and will involve several day trips (usually at weekends) to various river, lake, and quarry locations within the state. There will be an additional fee charged to cover the costs of the open water dives and administrative charges for recreational dive certifications.


General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Spring 2012
Prerequisite: basic open water SCUBA certification and approval of program

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.

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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.



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