SSI Science of Diving Specialty Course

SSI_LOGO_Horizontal_207_50Every diving course passes knowledge to students at a level appropriate to their interests and previous training. Some courses are progressive. For example, most agencies require nitrox training before allowing a student to enroll in a course that teaches decompression diving. Other courses are more fundamental and apply to divers of all levels.

Most divers want to be self-sufficient….and it is for these students that fundamental courses exist. The knowledge gained from a curriculum of dive theory allows a diver to make informed decisions in real-life situations to maximize their safety and enjoyment. In the long run, divers who take these courses get more out of diving.

The Science of Diving manual is available online for easy access from any computer
The Science of Diving manual is available online for easy access from any computer

SSI offers a Science of Diving Specialty Course that expands on topics from an open water course. The materials can be accessed entirely online, like all SSI specialties, which eliminates the need to buy textbooks (and the fees that come with them). Because Science of Diving provides a framework for further education, a diver will appreciate the ability to quickly access these resources.

The Science of Diving course is split into 5 sections. Each section expands on knowledge from an open water course. The sections are:

  • Diving Physics
  • Diving Physiology
  • Decompression Theory
  • Dive Equipment
  • Marine Environments

Diving Physics covers the principles underlying all physical interactions experienced by a diver. This will teach you why air spaces behave as they do, and the steps you can take to control them under pressure. Gasses are discussed in detail, including situations where it is best to use each in diving. Energy transfer, buoyancy, and gas consumption are also discussed and applied to real-life scenarios to increase a diver’s understanding of the underwater environment.

Diving Physiology outlines the respiratory and circulatory systems as well as thermal properties of the body. With an understanding of these systems, a diver can explain how they are affected underwater and how to recognize and prevent injury from excessive stress.

Decompression Theory discusses inert gas absorption and elimination. It lays a foundation for all decompression diving – a major part of most technical dives – and explains why divers must carefully monitor their time at depth, rate of ascent, and dive profile. Real life scenarios are applied to this information so divers can make informed decompression decisions. The ultimate goal, of course, is to minimize the risk of decompression injury.

The Dive Equipment section expands on basic equipment and introduces components of technical gear. A diver will learn about the available options, including advantages and disadvantages, of each part of a diver’s equipment. Advanced topics include types of first stage regulators, gauges, and full face masks. You will learn how to maintain and handle your equipment for years of optimal use.

The Marine Environment section covers ocean movements and aquatic ecosystems. These ecosystems consist of fragile interconnected components and disturbing them can have lasting consequences. The steps divers can take

The Marine Environments section covers aquatic life and ecosystems
The Marine Environments section covers aquatic life and ecosystems

to respect the environment are discussed as well as how to ensure personal safety among underwater hazards. This section is perfect for a diver who can handle themselves in the water and wants to know more about the surrounding environment. Dive guides will also benefit from a knowledge of how currents affect dive logistics as well as marine life.

The SSI Science of Diving Specialty is a prerequisite for the SSI Divemaster certification. With the completion of this course, the diver needs only the Dive Guide certification to become a full Divemaster.

You will finish this course with a greater understanding of diving that will provide the perfect knowledge-base for the next step in your dive instruction. Whether you are interested in technical diving, equipment servicing, marine conservation or underwater photography, you will benefit from all sections of SSI Science of Diving.