SCUBA in pool

UC Berkeley - Scientific Diving

Class Descriptions

PE 47A (Introduction to Scuba Diving) - 2 units

PE 47B (Intermediate Scuba Diving) - 2 units

C 407 (Introduction to Scientific Diving) - 3 units

Time and Expenses




PE 47A (Introduction to Scuba Diving) - 2 units

Prerequisites: Ability to pass a swim test, and diving medical exam.

Class Description

Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.

An Introduction to SCUBA Diving, is a two unit course intended for the non-diver. The objective of the course is to make you a comfortable and qualified diver, capable of conducting recreational dives to shallow depths in our local waters. Upon completion of any SCUBA diving course you should be able to correctly evaluate the diving environment, your diving equipment, your diving skills, and your personal diving preparedness in order to develop an acceptable dive plan and dive accordingly.

To accomplish this goal we will spend two hours each week covering diving theory in lectures. For most lab sessions we will have approximately two hours of pool time to practice the essentials skills of diving. Finally, in the last half of the semester we will make two weekend trips to the Monterey and Carmel area for ocean dives to apply the skills you've learned and familiarize new divers with the unique coastal conditions that make California diving both challenging and rewarding.

Lecture topics will include diving physics and physiology, the diving environment and equipment, as well as safe diving practices and rescue procedures. Two sessions will be used to certify students in CPR and Oxygen Administration for Diving Emergencies. There is a midterm and a final exam, as well as quizzes along the way.

Diving skills include gear assembly and inspection, water entries and exits, skin diving skills, regulator handling, mask clears, buoyancy control, emergency ascent training, as well as equipment familiarization drills and rescue practice. In the ocean we will incorporate surf entries, diving in the kelp forest environment, dive planning, and navigation.

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PE 47B (Intermediate Scuba Diving) - 2 units

Prerequisites: Basic SCUBA certification, swim test, medical exam.

Class Description

Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week.

Intermediate SCUBA Diving, is a two unit course intended for the certified diver. The objective of the course is to expand your skill set, introduce warm water divers to the challenges and rewards of cold water diving, and introduce the benefits of diving with oxygen enriched air (NITROX). Upon completion of any SCUBA diving course you should be able to correctly evaluate the diving environment, your diving equipment, your diving skills, and your personal diving preparedness in order to develop an acceptable dive plan and dive accordingly.

To accomplish this goal we will spend two hours each week covering diving theory in lectures. For most lab sessions we will have approximately two hours of pool time to review the essentials skills of diving and introduce new techniques. Finally, we will make two weekend trips to the Monterey and Carmel area for ocean dives to apply the skills you've learned and familiarize new divers with the unique coastal conditions that make California diving both challenging and rewarding.

Lecture topics will include a review of diving physics and physiology, the diving environment and equipment, as well as safe diving practices, and rescue procedures. Additional topics will include night diving, deeper diving, search & light salvage, and nitrox. Two sessions will be used to certify students in First Aid and First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries. There is a midterm and a final exam, as well as quizzes along the way.

Diving skills include gear assembly and inspection, water entries and exits, skin diving skills, a review of basic skills, distance measurement underwater and lift bag use, as well as equipment familiarization drills and rescue practice. In the ocean we will incorporate surf entries, diving in the kelp forest environment, dive planning, and navigation plus such specialties as night diving, search and recovery dives and marine life identification. Students will make two dives using nitrox in order to earn their certification.

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C 407 (Introduction to Scientific Diving) - 3 units

Prerequisites: Advanced scuba certification, swim test, medical exam, and consent of instructor.

Class Description

The course is designed to teach certified divers how to work underwater. It is a required course for all students who plan to use SCUBA diving as a tool for research. The course will cover diving topics related to working in the marine environment, including: diving physics, physiology, medicine, rescue, decompression, theory, navigation, environment, marine life, research methods, equipment, and University and National Scientific diving standards. Successful completion of the course leads to University certification to use underwater life support apparatus for study or research under University auspices. Also listed as Integrative Biology C407. (SP).

For more information, contact the Diving Safety Office:
Jim Hayward
208 Hearst Gym
510-642-1298
ucbdiver@berkeley.edu

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Time and Expenses

Expenses

SCUBA diving is an equipment intensive sport and requires an initial investment for a minimum set of personal dive gear. A diver's equipment must be in good working order and must fit well in order to do its job. At a minimum each diver is expected to purchase their own mask, snorkel, fins, booties, gloves, and wetsuit with hood. Additionally, all divers are encouraged to purchase all life support equipment including a regulator with an alternate air source and appropriate gauges, buoyancy compensator. Familiarity with their own set of diving gear makes a diver better prepared to handle anything from minor events like getting tangled in kelp to a major emergency such as running out of air. Any student wishing to use gear more than one year old is required to provide proof that the equipment has been inspected and serviced by an authorized repair facility (forms available on the forms page of this website.) Additional items such as dive lights, spare parts, equipment bags and other items are also recommended, but in some cases may be rented or borrowed. For a complete of diving equipment, click here Equipment.

Additional expenses include the Course Material Fee, text book(s), the physical exam (which is not covered by student health insurance) and the costs associated with weekend travel to ocean dives.

Time

Along with the financial obligations to the course, divers are also committing another precious commodity, their time. While most students are able to budget time during the week without putting too much strain on their already tight schedules, the weekend dives in the last half of the semester sometimes prove to be too much. In order to obtain both an Advanced Scuba Diver and Nitrox Scuba Diver certifications, divers are required to attend all ocean training sessions and complete a minimum of 8 dives. And while we are only diving for a few hours each day, the logistics of briefings, debriefings, refilling cylinders, and travel between dive sites makes for a long day. Early starts, hours in the cold Pacific waters, and the excitement of exploring a new environment often lead to abandoned study plans in the evenings after diving. Students are strongly encouraged to consider their other educational obligations prior to enrolling in PE 47B.

California offers world class diving. It also requires a higher level of commitment than most other locations. If you want to learn to dive in this remarkable environment, be prepared to make an investment of your time, money, and effort in order to be able to do so in a manner that will give you the most enjoyment. If you have further questions about diving in Northern California or PE 47B, please contact the Diving Safety Officer at ucbdiver@berkeley.edu. (F, SP)

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