Dive Program

The Occidental College dive program is a certified scientific diving program that follows all AAUS scientific diver standards.

All divers must be a certified scientific diver by the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) before they can participate in Occidental's dive program. The Ocean Studies Institute (OSI) AAUS Scientific Diving Certification Program is an intensive 14-day course focused on teaching research diving techniques. During the course divers will learn about diving theory, physics, physiology, dive planning and emergency accident management. In-water training will include numerous dives to practice essential data-gathering methodologies, and further develop general diving skills such as beach, navigation, deep, night, and rescue. The course also includes the DAN Diving First Aid for Professional Divers certification training, suitable for First Responders working in remote locations.

Scientific Diving Courses

Session 1: June 17-29, 2024

Application Deadline: May 17, 2024

Session 2: August 5-17, 2024

Application Deadline: July 5, 2024

Oxy-affiliated Students/Volunteers: $600

This course is limited to 8 participants - applicants will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Information for Student and Volunteer Divers

All Occidental dive program participants are expected to provide and maintain their own dive gear. Divers are also expected to log all program dives in Occidental's Bloop program. 

In order to start diving for the Vantuna Research Group, you must:

  • submit a letter of reciprocity or verification of training to our Assistant Dive Safety Officer Brynn O'Hara.
  • create a profile in Bloop (Oxy’s AAUS Dive Logging System) and upload the following:
    • proof of annual regulator, BC, SPG, and computer service. ALL SECTIONS of the Service Form must be filled out, detailed instructions are available here. We recommend providing these instructions to the shop directly.
    • proof of active DAN dive insurance
    • current certification cards for first aid, CPR, and DAN oxygen administration
    • current dive medical form
  • submit a signed copy of the Volunteer Diver Waiver to vrg@oxy.edu


Diving with Sam Soule ’18

Go on a dive with Sam Soule, undergraduate scientific diver, and the Vantuna Research Group Dive Team in our newest 360° video! 

Sam is collecting invertebrate species that have been identified as targets of emerging fisheries (giant keyhole limpets, red urchins, Kellet's whelks, wavy turban snails) to measure for size frequency esitmates of the populations at Palos Verdes.

Contact Vantuna Research Group
Anderson Center for Environmental Sciences

1600 Campus Road 
Los Angeles, CA 90041