Diving Safety Officenathanschwarck

RM 213, Sundquist Marine Laboratory
Shannon Point Marine Center
(360) 293-2188 Ext: 229
Email: nathan.schwarck@wwu.edu

Diving activities under Western Washington University auspices conform to the university-wide dive policy. This policy follows the guidelines of OSHA and WISHA regulations. Academic diving by qualified persons conducting approved activities is encouraged. Shannon Point Marine Center is an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), and adheres to AAUS standards for the conduct of scientific diving operations and diver training, and fully supports diving reciprocity between AAUS member organizations. The Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC) Diving Control Board (DCB) manages all scientific diving activities. The Diving Safety Officer (DSO) is involved in all aspects of program operations including training, verification of training, evaluation, conduct, and program oversight. Please review the Authorization Procedure to request participation in University approved scientific diving activities.

The scientific dive team is available to support academic research. There is currently no fee for diving support, however applicable vessel, space, and consumable fees may be charged. If your research will require scientific diving activities, plan on financially supporting this work.

Shannon Point does not maintain a diving equipment inventory for loan. Scientific divers are encouraged to purchase and maintain all of their own equipment. The Marine Center does provide tanks, weight, and all diving affiliated safety equipment. Diving specific sampling gear is available as well as underwater photography and high definition underwater videography equipment. The Marine Center also participates in AAUS sponsored dive equipment factory direct discounts. Equipment is available from those manufactures who have generously agreed to assist in the promotion of safe scientific diving. Scientific divers with deficient or missing equipment items are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. Please note purchasing restrictions apply.

The DCB encourages active diving knowledge and skill development for all dive team members regardless of experience level. A variety of additional safety and skill specific courses and training modules are available. Team members are encouraged to consult with the Diving Safety Officer (DSO) to outline continued training objectives that best relate to the their skill level and specific area of scientific study.


Shannon Point Marine Center encourages its scientific dive team to develop and maintain proficiency through active recreational diving. The DCB recognizes that an individuals muscle memory and related kinesthetic skill set specific to diving activities is best developed through practice and repetition. Recreational proficiency dives conducted to AAUS standards may therefore be utilized to maintain AAUS depth certification and required minimum activity. The marine center's proximity to multiple shore and dive charter options affords abundant opportunity for skill development and proficiency.

The DCB recognizes the potential financial impact of pursuing scientific diving projects. Scientists are encouraged to seek project support for their diving research. The following organizations have previously awarded funding or training opportunities to Shannon Point scientists. The DCB would like to extend its appreciation to these groups for their support of scientific diving.


The Borman Family Foundation