The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Kasitsna Bay Laboratory near Seldovia, Alaska hosted 18 science divers during its spring 2013 class run in partnership with University of Alaska Fairbanks. Near-freezing water temperatures and fresh snow – normal spring conditions in south-central Alaska – provided the divers with great training in cold-water and dry suit diving.
Students obtained PADI Research Diver Specialty certifications while completing research projects that support NOAA’s coastal ecosystem science missions. NCCOS’s Alaska lab also worked with graduate students to establish 6 new underwater monitoring sites in the Kachemak Bay kelp forests in March and April. Diving is a key tool for near-shore marine research and Kasitsna Bay Laboratory courses and student research provides hands-on training in underwater research techniques and sub-arctic ecosystems.
Over 220 scientific divers have been trained at Kasitsna Bay since 2000, providing a scientific workforce for NOAA and other agencies, tribal organizations, universities and private industry.
For more information contact Kris.Holderied@noaa.gov.