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BSAC introduces Underwater Surveyor course


Underwater Surveyor

The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) has partnered with conservation charity Seawilding to introduce the Underwater Surveyor course, designed to make surveying fun and accessible.

Surveying is great fun, gives participants a new appreciation of the underwater world and is the first vital step in implementing conservation measures. However, as with many citizen science projects, it can be challenging to get started, knowing how and what to survey and in particular, what to do with the data that is collected.

The all-new Underwater Surveyor course is the ideal first step towards getting involved in protecting the ocean and its habitats. It teaches the skills to use a variety of survey techniques while snorkelling or scuba diving, and empowers participants to play a valuable part in ocean science and conservation.

Underwater Surveyor
Collating details on an Underwater Surveyor course

About the Underwater Surveyor course

Underwater Surveyor comprises an eLearning module as well as practical in-the-water training, where students learn how to undertake their own marine surveys.

  • eLearning is available to everyone through the BSAC website
  • Practical training is delivered by BSAC clubs, regionally organised events, or commercial dive centres

To enrol on the course and complete the practical training, all students must hold a minimum of BSAC Ocean Diver or Snorkel Diver qualifications (or equivalent) and be current BSAC members.

There are two in-water sessions, with two surveys required. Survey dives will be conducted within the qualification and experience limits of the divers or snorkellers.

On completion of both the Underwater Surveyor eLearning theory and practical elements of the course, students will gain the BSAC Underwater Surveyor Skill Development Course (SDC) qualification, and can request a qualification card (QCard) recognising their achievement.

Underwater Surveyor
Using a quadrant in seagrass

Making marine science accessible to all

The knowledge and skills learned from Underwater Surveyor give everyone, young and old alike the ability to contribute to marine science every time they enter the water.

Underwater Surveyors can get involved in protecting the ocean and its habitats, using the skills and techniques taught on the course, as well having the confidence and opportunities to make a difference. Whether collected by snorkel or scuba diving, the data collected will help to make decisions that lead to the preservation and possibly restoration of crucially important ocean habitats.

What Underwater Surveyor teaches:

•        How you will be helping the oceans

•        How to survey safely and assess risks

•        Survey skills and techniques, ranging from easy to advanced

•        What equipment you’ll need

•        What to do with your survey data

You’ll learn how to collect rigorous data that can actually make a difference and be signposted to national data collection projects where you can put your skills to the test.

Underwater Surveyor
Happy divers on an Underwater Surveyor course

Mary Tetley, BSAC CEO, said: “The fantastic new Underwater Surveyor course is set to open up amazing new experiences for divers and snorkellers. As the ‘eyes under the sea’, our members will be given the skills, confidence and sense of purpose to make a positive contribution to marine conservation. We know members are keen to get involved in Operation Oyster or the Great Seagrass Survey, and Underwater Surveyor promises to make ocean science fun and accessible to all.”

Katherine Knight, Science and Survey Officer at Seawilding, said: “Our oceans are under threat as never before, and there are a whole army of divers and snorkellers out there with the skills and passion to do something about it. The best way for to get involved is to be the eyes beneath the waves and record what you see by surveying. So little is known about our oceans that any information gathered is immensely valuable, and qualified BSAC Underwater Surveyors are going to collect rigorous data that can actually make a real difference.”

Course prices and timings

Underwater Surveyor is available to purchase now through the BSAC website. The course costs £45 for members and £55 for non-members.

Photo credit: Simon Rogerson, Seawilding, Ian Hicks and Lisa Shafe

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Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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