The goal of this project is to create a new training program, DIVErsity in Diving Program (DDP), at the Marine Science Institute (MSI) at University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). This program is intentionally designed to create a broader onramp to Research SCUBA diving certification, and to train under-represented minority undergraduate students in a critical research tool in marine science.
UCSB is an R1 Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and is uniquely qualified to host such a program. As an R1 campus, UCSB can provide an extensive array of research experiences to undergraduates and train them in SCUBA for research. In addition to having the largest research dive program in the U.S., MSI as a research unit hosts numerous dive-focused marine research programs, including the U.S. National Science Foundation-funded Santa Barbara Coastal Long Term Ecological Research Program (LTER), and other major programs.
The funding requested here supports the training and access of four undergraduates to research SCUBA diving, and the support we request covers a range of areas in which students need support (e.g., swimming lessons, dive equipment, certification, and the dives required for certification) to allow them to use SCUBA as a research tool.
Our specific objectives are to:
- Recruit and train 4 DDP Fellows in research SCUBA diving, including to support them at all levels from swim lessons to certification in research diving.
- Provide each DDP Fellow with a research experience in an MSI-based research program
- To mentor the DDP Fellows in other areas such as networking and career exploration
- To institutionalize a training program where our direct mentors (e.g., graduate students) and DDP faculty are trained in best practices in inclusive mentoring