Learn about the world below with PADI’s Underwater Naturalist course. This course is an introduction to the underwater aquatic environment, and will help you develop safe and responsible aquatic life interaction techniques.
This is a 2-dive specialty course. In the classroom session, you will learn about what marine life is found in your local environment, how to identify species, and how they interact with their environment. Proper buoyancy techniques and equipment considerations are also discussed. You will also learn about using a slate to note observed aquatic animals and plants.
At The Edge Diving Centre in British Columbia, a whole weekend is planned around the Vancouver Aquarium’s Annual Divers Show. Students and their instructor visit the Aquarium during this show to view the various displays and exhibits with a “dive plan” handout. They are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge from the classroom session, and identify 10 marine invertebrates and 10 vertebrates that they may find on their 2 dives the following day.
Immediately following their visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, a beach cleanup is completed. During this cleanup, students collect as much garbage as they can with a clean up kit provided by their instructor. A charter goes out the next day with the Underwater Naturalist course to put student’s skills to practice.
After this course, you will no longer just see a bunch of fish, but individual species. There are marine identification slates and books to keep in your dive kit so that you are able to identify aquatic animals and plants during or following your dives.
Contact your local dive shop to inquire about their Underwater Naturalist course dates and availability.
PADI Open Water Diver or Junior Open Water Diver certification (or qualifying certification from another organization)
Minimum age: 10 years old