Research Diving Protocol

URI’s Diving Safety Program provides a support center for faculty, staff and students to facilitate fieldwork using scuba diving or other diving technologies. All operations follow standards per the American Academy of Underwater Sciences and URI Dive Safety Manual. Program personnel are well networked with local and regional experts in the field and can facilitate program development efforts for more technical or specialized projects. Please contact the URI Diving Safety Officer (DSO) if further dive training or consultation is required for a project.

When planning a project:

  • Please refer to the URI Dive Safety Manual v2019 (link here) for specific information regarding URI and AAUS standards and regulations. All standards must be followed to fulfill the requirements of the OSHA Scientific Diving Exemption
  • Lead divers should submit a dive plan. (Please refer to the URI Dive Safety Manual for the roles and responsibilities of the lead diver.) Local dive plans may be submitted using URI Diving. (If this is your first time accessing this system, a new profile must be generated and approved beforehand at If travel is required, please use the dive plan template and email the completed version to the DSO. Tips for a successful dive plan can be seen here.
  • Dive plans are reviewed by the URI Diving Control Board. Diving operations may not be conducted until the Diving Control Board has granted authorization. Failure to comply may result in suspended diving status or operations. Any dive plans including travel should be submitted to the Diving Safety Officer for review at least 3 weeks in advance. Local dive plans should be submitted at least 1 week in advance.
  • All divers will be given a URI dive computer prior to departure. Approved dive plans should be printed and on-site during diving operations along with emergency equipment (e.g. medical-grade oxygen, first aid kit). Lead divers are expected to ensure all divers are fully briefed on diving objectives and protocols.
  • If any issues arise with equipment, medical concerns, or other, please contact the DSO immediately.

All scuba divers participating in underwater instruction and/or research at the University of Rhode Island must adhere to covid-19 policies. In the event of a positive covid-19 diagnosis, please review the policy on resuming diving activities HERE.