Scientific Diving

scuba divers

The University of Maine is a member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), adheres to AAUS standards for the conduct of scientific diving operations and diver training, and fully supports diving reciprocity between AAUS member organizations.

The UMaine Diving Safety Officer (DSO) maintains oversight and operational control of all scientific diving operations and reports to both the UMaine Diving Control Board and the Department of Safety and Environmental Management. Stationed at the Darling Marine Center, the DSO conducts diver training, dive support, and operational supervision for all UMaine scientific diving operations. The DSO is available to assist with diving related questions; contact information is listed below. Additional information regarding scientific diving, including the UMaine diving manual, and diver application materials can be found at the UMaine Scientific Diving website.

For more information about our Scientific Diving Program contact Christopher Rigaud, DSO, by email at, or by phone at 207.563.8273.

Diving Support and Equipment
The Darling Marine Center is an ideal location from which to conduct scientific diving operations. Our shore side location allows for dive training, equipment testing, and other associated activities to be conducted within a few yards of the laboratory. A heated Dive and Field Staging building is available to prepare, store, and clean scuba gear and other field equipment. Personal storage spaces and warm water showers are also available. Other available equipment is listed below:

  • Air compressor with 4500psi air storage system
  • Scuba cylinders (x40)
  • Scuba weights
  • Field First Aid and Oxygen Kits (x4)
  • Small and large vessels suitable for scuba research (see Vessel Operations)

Rental rates apply; see DMC Fees page for more details. 

Diving Related Training

The primary source of diver related training is UMaine’s academic Scientific Diver Training course, SMS324- Introduction to Research Diving.  See UMaine Scientific Diving website for more details. Other training opportunities include: CPR/ First Aid, Oxygen Administration, Dive Rescue, Dry Suit, Enriched Air (NITROX), and others.  Contact the DSO for details.

Recreational Diving
The Darling Marine Center has a recreational scuba club that operates under guidelines set forth by the UMaine Department of Campus Recreation. This club is affiliated with the recreational scuba club at the University of Maine’s Orono campus, but maintains independence with its own bylaws, officers, and operating procedures. Club activity is directly dependent on member involvement.