Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), in partnership with Oregon Coast Aquarium and Oregon State University, is building a team of volunteer AAUS divers to be trained in PISCO subtidal monitoring protocols to survey the marine reserves off Oregon’s Coast.  ODFW will be hosting a free 2-day training every year in February at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport and if you’re interested and meet the qualifications, you can be part of their scientific dive team!

Volunteer divers who pass the PISCO methods training will have the opportunity to participate in local and multi-day trips to marine reserve sites in Oregon. Divers have the opportunity to gain research experience and diving experience in Oregon offshore sights accessible to divers. Diving off the Oregon coast isn’t like that SCUBA certification trip you took to the Bahamas. The environment is cold, often with low visibility, heavy surge activity and requires strong diving skills, knowledge of the ocean environment and physical endurance. If you think you’ve got the skills and know-how and are comfortable in Oregon’s marine environment, here’s more information and the minimum qualifications:

· Be a Current AAUS scientific diver
· Own your own annually-inspected scuba gear including a dry suit
· Be available for all 2 days of the training period in late February (date TBA)
· Comfortable boat diving in Oregon coastal conditions (low vis, cold water, surge, etc.)

-If you are interested in joining the training for February 2016, please send an email to doug.batson@aquarium.org ASAP, tentative deadline of next week!