Citizen Science Diver

This course is a continuing education certification course for certified divers. It is a program of continued experience designed to introduce divers to be able to conduct surveys for citizen science organizations. This program is to be taught primarily in an open water setting. Upon successful completion of this course, graduates are considered competent to engage in open water diving activities without supervision provided the diving activities and the areas dived approximate those of training.

Get Started

The NAUI Citizen Science Diver Scuba Diver is for certified divers who are are passionate about diving and would like to increase their knowledge and safety in diving. Divers must be a minimum of 15 years of age, in good health and must be previously certified as a NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver or equivalent.

What’s Next?

Continue your training by enrolling in a NAUI Rescue Scuba Diver or NAUI First Aid course. If you completed the aforementioned courses you may enroll in NAUI Divemaster course.


Academic: E-learning/Classroom

Practical Application:

Open Water Dives: 4 dives


  • Academics presented during the course orientation, dive briefings and debriefings are to be used to enhance the safety, knowledge and appreciation of the dives made.
  • Whenever possible a variety of sites shall be dived. Students are to prepare and present dive plans for each location and dive purpose. If a limited number of sites are available, the instructor can aid learning by creating varied meaningful dive tasks. Logbook entries shall reflect the specific activities of the dives.
  • Instructor led dive briefings and debriefings done in conjunction with the open water dives are required. The student divers shall fully participate in the dive planning process. Subjects and skills of importance for emphasis during briefings and dives include:
    • Fitness, stress, individual limitations, fatigue, exposure, and diving adaptations.
    • Rough water, limited visibility, and dive/abort decision making.
    • Weight use, suit compression compensation, breathing patterns as related to buoyancy control, and descent and ascent control.
    • Dive planning, equipment preparation and care, and buddy diving. Each diver is to assume a leadership role on at least one dive.
    • Communication, instrument use, sampling protocols, and navigation.
    • Environmental aspects and diving skills that minimally impact the environment and promote NAUI’s Green Diver Initiative.
    • Rescues and assists (self and buddy), emergency systems and actions are to be reviewed and practiced.
      • Observations and Data Collection.
      • Sampling protocol for survey method used for this course.
      • Data reporting to citizen science organizations.
      • Requirements for advancement and recognition within citizen science organizations.
      • Identification techniques for appropriate fish, invertebrate, and algae species.
      • Protocols for survey site layout, data entry, and quality assurance/quality control.
      • Coastal ecology to include currents, upwelling, ecosystems structures, rocky reef disturbances, and threats to the marine environment.
      • Scuba Diving (open water). Students are to demonstrate the ability to:
        • Perform selected basic scuba skills.
        • Perform selected rescue or assist skills.
        • Navigate underwater.
        • Use appropriate equipment for survey, datasheets, deployment of a transect tape, quadrats, and counts of marine organisms. Skills may be introduced in confined water.
      • Activities
        • The recommended dive topic areas / activities include:
          Identify local species, deploy a metric measure tape, demonstrate use of fish measuring tape, conduct transects and compare counts with instructor for local species as identified.


  • Age. Minimum is 15 years by the water phase of the course.
  • Certification/Experience/Knowledge.
    • Certification as a NAUI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver or the equivalent
    • Certification as NAUI Rescue Diver or the equivalent.
    • Current certification as NAUI Nitrox Diver or equivalent is highly recommended
      The instructor is to ensure adequate student knowledge and capability before any open water training and shall use skill or other evaluations to do so. One open water dive (which does not count toward the minimum number of dives required for the course) may be used as a screening and evaluation dive. This is not required when the student’s diving proficiencies are well known to the instructor.
  • Equipment. Students shall furnish and be responsible for the care and maintenance of their own equipment. The instructor shall initially assist the student in checking all student gear to ensure it is adequate and in proper working order.