Science & Technology

Diving Technology and Methods: a minor unique to Texas A&M University’s ocean oriented campus

By Andrew Mondragon, ‘19

Photo courtesy: Texas A&M University at Galveston
Tropical marine ecology, a diving technology and methods class, taught by marine biology professor Thomas Iliffe provides students the opportunity to cavern dive in Mexico.

Texas A&M University at Galveston offers many majors and minors for anyone looking for a career path that involves the ocean. TAMUG offers some of the same basic minors other universities offer such as oceanography, chemistry, history, English, economics, and marine biology. But one unique minor that our school offers is Diving Technology and Methods. The Dive minor on campus has only been acknowledged by TAMUG and TAMU since fall of 2014, yet it is gaining popularity each semester.

The Dive minor boasts many class options for a student to choose from. Some of the basic classes offered are Scuba I, Scuba II, Rescue Diving, Scientific Diving, Underwater photography, Alternate Diving Technology, Methods in Scientific Diving, Tropical Marine Ecology, Divemaster program, and an Instructor course. Most of the dive classes are taught by the dive instructors Joe Bosquez, Vianne Euresti, Sara Williams, Amie Hufton, and new faculty member Laura White. One of the most popular dive courses, Introduction to Scientific Diving, as well as Methods in Scientific diving and Tropical Marine ecology are taught by Marine Biology professor Thomas Iliffe.

One of the reasons the Dive minor is popular is that it is acknowledged by the university so financial aid and scholarships can pay for you to get your scuba certifications while gaining experience underwater.

The Dive classes can get expensive depending on what classes you take and if you are paying out-of-pocket. However, the school offers a wide range of scuba courses so someone can find one within their budget, and they keep adding to the existing courses.

The most popular course on campus is the Introduction to Scientific Diving, which is one of the special courses because it is a marine biology (MARB) class, so if the student taking the class is a MARB major they can get the credits for their major and minor. After completion of this course the student also gains the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Scientific Diver certification. After taking the scientific diving course, students can take Methods in Scientific Diving, which can give a student more experience and allows them to go on a dive trip to Florida.

Another fun and popular dive class is Tropical Marine Ecology. This course takes the student to Mexico to dive for two weeks. If the student has taken Scientific previous to Tropical Marine Ecology they are also able to make cavern dives during the trip as well. However, students are not required to have taken Scientific Diving before taking Tropical Marine Ecology, they just need to be Open Water certified. It’s still a unique class offered through TAMUG specifically.

TAMUG is offering a one of a kind minor, and if anyone has the opportunity to do it they should. Only one other college offers a diving minor, and it is located in California. College Station doesn’t even offer the minor as their dive program is very small compared to TAMUG. A dive minor is a good addition to a resume especially when applying for jobs like NOAA, NASA, and aquariums. With so many possibilities, why not take the dive?