Dr. Lee H. Somers Scientific Diving Internship


The Dr. Lee H. Somers AAUS Scientific Diving Internship is provided to a young diver who seeks training and experience as an AAUS Scientific Diver.  Training as an AAUS Scientific Diver is a primary goal of the internship, and is not required as a prerequisite. The internship is also intended to provide practical scientific diving and research experience; past interns have benefited most from multifaceted opportunities in AAUS scientific diver training courses and involvement with scientific research, and diving and boating safety programs.

More Information

The fundamental goals of interns should include desires to:
1. Receive professional training and experience;
2. Acquire a diver-in-training level or scientific dive certification;
3. Participate in scientific research and data collection using diving as a tool;
4. Learn about AAUS scientific diving standards and procedures; and
5. Assist with scientific diving program management and field operations.

A three-month internship during the summer will be organized into the following sections:
• Dive Training (late May, early June). Training may include any of the following topics diving physiology, physics, research methodology, history, regulations, dive planning (table and computer), enriched air diving, decompression profiling, accident management emergency procedures, diving under special conditions, and procedures for scientific dives. In addition, interns can receive training in CPR, First Aid, Oxygen Administration and dive rescue.

• Scientific Diving and Scientific Diving Program Management (June – August). After receiving scientific diver-in-training certification level, interns will be placed with one or more AAUS-affiliated institutions. Interns may remain in residence for 1-3 months depending on the research project and location. Daily activities may include planning scientific dives, preparing dive equipment, participating on research projects, spending time on research boats, diving, interacting with divers, and logging dives. Advanced training will include Scientific Diving Program Management. This will provide greater insights into operational standards, proper dive planning and documentation, and operation and maintenance of equipment and facilities. The program has a great degree of flexibility. The opportunities open will depend on the aptitude and motivation of the intern and the fit with the host institution(s).

Location and Duration

Host locations vary each year. Please contact the AAUS for information on this year’s internship host institution. The internship will take place for about three months in the summer months. Exact dates and schedules will be coordinated between the intern and the sponsor.

1. Open water scuba certification.
2. Medical authorization established with an AAUS-compliant diving physical prior to the internship start-date.
3. Interest in marine biology, science, or other underwater-related discipline that uses scientific diving as a tool.
* CPR/First Aid and Oxygen Administration certifications are preferred but not required.

A stipend ($3000) is provided to help cover travel to/from internship site and internship related expenses