American Academy of Underwater Sciences

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American Academy of Underwater Sciences
Founded atCalifornia
HeadquartersMobile, AL 36691-9067
Region served
United States
ServicesDevelopment of scientific diving standards and procedures, funding of research and internships.
FieldsScientific diving, underwater science.
Membership (2022)
149 organizational members
Jim Hayward

The American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) is a group of scientific organizations and individual members who conduct scientific and educational activities underwater. It was organized in 1977 and incorporated in the State of California in 1983.

Purpose and activities[edit]

The mission of the AAUS is to facilitate the development of safe and productive scientific divers through education, research, advocacy, and the advancement of standards for scientific diving practices, certifications, & operations.

The AAUS administrates the AAUS Foundation, which is a 501c3 charity to provide internships and scholarships to students who study scientific diving or use scientific diving as a research tool.[1]

Scientific diving standards[edit]

The AAUS is responsible for the promulgation of the AAUS Standards for Scientific Diving Certification and Operation of Scientific Diving Programs.[2][3][4] These are the consensual guidelines for scientific diving programs in the US, and are recognized by Occupational Safety and Health Administration as the "Standard" for scientific diving. These standards are followed by all AAUS Organizational Members allowing for reciprocity between institutions. Each institution is responsible for upholding the standards within its program and among its divers. The AAUS peer reviews the standards on a regular basis, so they represent the consensus of the scientific diving community and state-of-the-art technologies.

Exemption from commercial diving regulations[edit]

In 1975 the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America petitioned for an emergency temporary standard be issued with respect to occupational diving operations. The ETS issued on June 15, 1976 was to be effective from July 15, 1976 but was challenged in the US Court of Appeals by several diving contractors, and was withdrawn in November 1976. A permanent standard for commercial diving became effective on 20 October 1977, but it did not consider the needs of scientific diving. The scientific diving community was unable to operate as previously, and in 1977 united to form the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS)[5]



Many of the AAUS publications have been scanned and were available online at the Rubicon Research Repository.[6]


  1. ^ "American Academy of Underwater Sciences - Home". Retrieved 14 May 2022.
  2. ^ AAUS. "The AAUS Standards for Scientific Diving Certification and Operation of Scientific Diving Programs". Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  3. ^ AAUS. "A brief history of the AAUS exemption". Archived from the original on 2008-05-18. Retrieved 2008-07-13.
  4. ^ Sharkey, P.; Austin, L. (1983). "Federal Regulation Of Scientific Diving: Two Scientific Divers' Perspective". Proceedings OCEANS '83. pp. 460–463. doi:10.1109/OCEANS.1983.1152066.
  5. ^ Schwarck, Nathan T. "Scientific Diving History and the American Academy of Underwater Sciences" (PDF). Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  6. ^ Rubicon Foundation. "American Academy of Underwater Sciences Collection". Retrieved 2008-07-13.

External links[edit]