AAUS Scientific Diver Program

WalkerThe mission of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) is to facilitate the development of safe and productive scientific divers through education, research, advocacy, and the advancement of standards for scientific diving practices, certifications, and operations. The AAUS was officially chartered in California in 1983 by individuals and organizations involved in the effort to obtain the scientific diving exemption from OSHA commercial diving standards. In the years since, the AAUS has expanded from the original six organizational members to more than 130 organizational members and over 1100 individual members. Organizational membership includes colleges and universities, government agencies, museums and aquaria, environmental and archaeological consulting firms, and community science groups sharing a common thread of the use of diving as a research tool and a commitment to the health and safety of scientific divers. AAUS produces consensual standards for the training and certification of scientific divers and the operation of scientific diving programs, maintains statistics detailing scientific diving activities and incident rates, conducts annual symposia and topical workshops, and directly supports student research.

RenegarThe AAUS is responsible for the promulgation of the AAUS Standards for Scientific Diving Certification and Operation of Scientific Diving Programs.[1][2][3] These are the consensual guidelines for scientific diving programs in the US, and are recognized by Occupational Safety and Health Administration as the "Standard" for scientific diving. These standards are followed by all AAUS Organizational Members allowing for reciprocity between institutions. Each institution is responsible for upholding the standards within its program and among its divers. The AAUS peer reviews the standards on a regular basis, so they represent the consensus of the scientific diving community and state-of-the-art technologies.