Diving

The Smithsonian Institution Scientific Diving Program is a research support program from the Office of the Under Secretary for Science. The program promotes and supports the underwater research activities and diving safety of Smithsonian scientific divers. Smithsonian policy regarding diving activities conducted under its auspices is published by the Scientific Diving Control Board in SI Directive 120 -  Download Acrobat DocumentScientific Diving Safety Manual (Adobe Acrobat file - 230Kb).

Smithsonian scientific diving authorization procedure for:

Scientific diver

Smithsonian Employee

If you are a Smithsonian employee and scientific diving is included as an element of your job description and performance plan, you can initiate the diving certification process by completing the on-line form at DECOSTOP.

Diving forms and procedures at DECOSTOP

Smithsonian Directive 120 and in the Scientific Diving Safety Manual.

Download Acrobat Document

Adobe Acrobat file - 230Kb

Visiting scientist with diving reciprocity

The Smithsonian may, at its discretion, grant diving privileges to scientific staff from other research organizations. If the scientific diver is currently EMPLOYED by an AAUS organizational member institution, you can initiate the diving certification process by completing the on-line form at DECOSTOP.

If you were previously certified by an AAUS scientific diving program but are no longer employed at that organization, please refer to the temporary diving authorization instructions.

Please contact the  e-mail addressScientific Diving Office well in advance regarding submission of information and completing the on-line form at DECOSTOP.

Please note:

  1. You must use the Smithsonian Scienfic Diver Reciprocity Form.
  2. Dive computers, versus dive tables, are to be used as the primary means of determining decompression status.
  3. CPR and oxygen administration training MUST have been completed within 12 months.
  4. Third party diving reciprocity (i.e., a diver authorized by your program who is not "employed" by your organization) requires special consideration by the Smithsonian Scientific Diving Officer.
  5. University students: Some state statutes do not provide Workman's Compensation/Disability Benefits for students. It is the home institution diving officer's responsibility to ascertain whether or not these individuals are covered by these provisions.
  6. Divers-in-training are not eligible for scientific diving reciprocity at the Smithsonian.
  7. A copy of all dives logged at the Smithsonian must be submitted to the unit diving officer upon completion of diving activities.

Temporary diving authorization

The Smithsonian may authorize diving activities on a temporary basis for scientists visiting Smithsonian facilities or projects. Temporary diving authorization is the mechanism used to authorize scientists who are not employed by AAUS organizational member institutions. If you were previously certified by an AAUS organizational member program, please have that diving officer contact the Smithsonian. To initiate the diving authorization process, you must complete the  on-line form at DECOSTOP.

Once the Scientific Diving Office has reviewed your diver training and experience, you will be requested to complete the items listed on the Temporary Diving Authorization.

Please contact the Scientific Diving Office well in advance regarding submission of a dive plan and allow at least 4 weeks to complete the requirements for the Smithsonian Scientific Diving Authorization as listed in SD 120 - Scientific Diving Manual. Temporary divers must meet the same standards as Smithsonian employees.

Please note:

  1. You must complete the on-line form at DECOSTOP.
  2. Dive computers, versus dive tables, are to be used as the primary means of determining decompression status.
  3. The Smithsonian diver medical certification form must be submitted by your physician.
  4. This temporary scientific diver authorization is only valid while diving under the direct control and supervision of the Smithsonian.
  5. Coverage for workman's compensation/disability is not provided by the Smithsonian Institution.
  6. Smithsonian  dive logs must be submitted at DECOSTOP at the completion of diving activites.

Contact

Raul De Leon
Diving Safety Officer
 Phone numberPhone: +507 212-8726
 Phone numberFAX: +507 212-8790 / +507 212-8791
 e-mail addresse-mail: deleonr2@si.edu