Students in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientific diving course make their way down chain ladders from Scripps Pier to small boats in late June. Photo by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications.
Scripps' scientific diving program trains and supports the university's scientists, students, and technicians in the use of techniques and technology necessary to safely conduct their research in underwater environments. The scientific diving course is a rigorous 100-hour advanced course of both classroom instruction and open-water diving. Participants must already have at least an entry-level diving certification and be approved to do diving-related work on behalf of Scripps and UC San Diego.
Scripps's first scientific diver was C.K. Tseng, a biologist from China and graduate student at Scripps during World War II who in 1944 used Japanese surface-supplied equipment to collect algae off San Diego’s coast. Scripps researchers began using scuba equipment in 1950 and the University of California system soon set up a diving safety program at Scripps under Conrad Limbaugh.
Scripps' current scientific diving safety officer, Christian McDonald, can be seen above in a blue-and-black jacket driving the small boat John P. Scripps.
A diver in the water off Scripps Beach. Photo by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications.
Students get classroom instruction from assistant diving safety officer Rich Walsh (right). Photo by Erik Jepsen, UC San Diego Publications.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for global science research and education in the world. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution has grown to include biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs covering a wide range of scientific areas are under way today on every continent and in every ocean. The institution has a staff of more than 1,400 and annual expenditures of approximately $195 million from federal, state, and private sources. Scripps operates oceanographic research vessels recognized worldwide for their outstanding capabilities. Equipped with innovative instruments for ocean exploration, these ships constitute mobile laboratories and observatories that serve students and researchers from institutions throughout the world. Birch Aquarium at Scripps serves as the interpretive center of the institution and showcases Scripps research and a diverse array of marine life through exhibits and programming for more than 430,000 visitors each year. Learn more at scripps.ucsd.edu and follow us at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
About UC San Diego
At the University of California San Diego, we embrace a culture of exploration and experimentation. Established in 1960, UC San Diego has been shaped by exceptional scholars who aren’t afraid to look deeper, challenge expectations and redefine conventional wisdom. As one of the top 15 research universities in the world, we are driving innovation and change to advance society, propel economic growth and make our world a better place. Learn more at www.ucsd.edu.