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MB5005 - Scientific Diving and Diving Physiology

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 4
Administered by: School of Marine & Tropical Biology

Available ONLY to students enrolled in Graduate Certificate of Science, Graduate Diploma of Science, Graduate Diploma of Research Methods, Master of Applied Science, Graduate Certificate of Development Practice, Graduate Diploma of Development Practice, Master of Science and Master of Development Practice. Students must be able to pass a 200m swim test, hold Rescue diver certification (or equivalent), show proof of >30 hours of diving, hold a current dive medical (AS2299 standard), and have current First Aid and Oxygen certificates.

A two-week intensive subject on diving physiology of marine mammals and practical training in the skills required for certification as a scientific diver. Topics discussed will include diving physics, diving physiology (eg seals, penguins, whales), use of dive tables, boat handling, underwater navigation and dive-related first aid. Practical skills developed will include rescue skills, safe deep and multi-level diving procedures, boat handling, radio procedures, knot tying, compressor operation and maintenance and SCUBA equipment maintenance. Students successfully completing the subject will be certified as scientific divers with endorsements depending on past experience.

Learning Outcomes

  • to gain certification as a scientific diver;
  • to gain practical skills in boat handling, radio procedures, compressor operation and maintenance, SCUBA equipment maintenance, knot tying;
  • to gain practical skills in rescue operations, first aid;
  • to understand how SCUBA diving impacts human physiological processes and how to avert the types of health problems that can arise;
  • to understand how to plan deep and multi-level dive profiles for designing safe research diving programs;
  • to understand physiological mechanisms and specialisations used by marine mammals to accomplish deep and prolonged diving.
Students enrolling in this subject should have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline (eg biology or environmental science) or have acquired equivalent knowledge through other study. They should have an excellent understanding of science subjects, particularly physiology, ecology and biostatistics. Students must have Rescue diving certification, at least 30 hours of logged dives (post open-water training),current First Aid and Oxygen certificates and a current AS2299 dive medical (or equivalent). Students should be confident swimmers and are expected to take a 200m swim test during the subject.


Townsville, Study Period 10, Block
Census Date 13-Dec-2012
Face to face teaching (To be advised)
Coordinator: Mr Phil Osmond, Dr Naomi Gardiner
Lecturers: Mr Phil Osmond, Mr Glen Ewels, Dr Denise Blake.
Workload expectations:
  • 56 hours lectures
  • 24 hours fieldwork
Assessment: quizzes or tests (20%); presentations (20%); practical pool and open water diving tests (30%); (30%); essays (30%).
Restrictions: An enrolment quota applies to this offering.

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.