Specific programs 2024

Registration for the Foundations on Scientific Diving and Occupational Scientific Diver course at Tvärminne Zoological Station in 2024 are open now! Also our Polar Scientific Diving Program is open for applications!

Foundations on Scientific Diving

Apr 22nd - May 3rd 2024, Application closed Feb15th                                                                                               

This program is at entry level for a non-diver to begin diving, covering the basic fundamentals of diving aimed for scientific work underwater. Successful completion of this program allows a diver to enter the Occupational Scientific Diver program directly. Selection is based on applications and in water tests.

Occupational Scientific Diver (AESD)

May 6th - Jun 19th 2024, Registration until March 1st      

This program is for people working in the field of scientific research or data collection that requires diving operations. Employment in the field of scientific diving requires a scientific background but also the training to manage dive operations in an occupational approach with planning, appropriate selection of teams and supervisory roles. This program introduces and develops skills in all the areas of running scientific diving projects, the management of dive teams, emergency plans and diving skills. The result will be individuals trained for participation in research projects with foundations in scientific diving skills, experience with an array of equipment and the ability to plan efficient diving operations. At the end of the program training in specialist fields and experience in supervision can be continued to develop expertise in specific disciplines or project leader roles.

Course Prerequisites:

18 years old, Advanced Open Water/ CMAS 2* or equivalent, 20 Logged Dives, Drysuit/ Cold Water Experience, Bachelor Degree (or enrolled) in a relevant field or involvement in scientific organisation

Core modules and content

The course covers the following modules

  • Core Diving Skills
  • Rescue Management
  • Underwater Navigation
  • Physiology, Physics and decompression Theory
  • Diving Laws and Regulations
  • Equipment
  • Standards Scientific Diving Skills
  • Core Biological Techniques
  • Core Archeological Techniques
  • Dive Project Planning and Supervision
  • Small boat handling and navigation
  • Full Face Masks, Communications Systems and Tethers
  • Site Locations Survey and Setup
  • Lift Bags and Air Lifts
  • Photography and Videography


Final examination consists of two parts.

Part 1: Dive Project and Report, Part 2: Diving Skills and Theory Evaluation


The program is run in one block. Courses runs Monday to Saturday Full Time

May 6th - Jun 15th 2024, Exam Jun 16th - Jun 19th 2024


Edd Stockdale, Finnish Scientific Diving Academy Coordinator

Dr Anne Räisänen-Sokolowski, Hyperbaric and Diving Medicine Physician.


The cost for the program (3000 € plus VAT) covers all training, certificates issued during program, diving activities and specialist equipment used on program, and examination. Participants will need to cover accommodation and food while at the Tvärminne Zoological Station. Participants will need their own basic diving equipment. Special packages have been arranged to assist participant in the correct equipment options if required.


After successful completion of course and examination participants will be issued with a Professional Diploma in Scientific Diving. Application can be made to Suomen Tutkimussukelluksen Ohjausyhdistys (STOY) after to attain recognition of competency for the European scientific diving levels. Certificates issued during the course also include: DAN O2 and First Aid Provider The Human Diver Level 0 Certificate ‘The Essentials of Human Factors in Diving’

Polar Scientific Diving Program

March 9th - 17th 2024, Kilpisjärvi Biological Station

This program is designed to introduce the challenges and skills required to carry out diving operations in polar regions addressing survival in surface conditions, logistics of moving across snow and ice, snow mobile use, planning, risk mitigation of under-ice diving operations and carrying out diving under ice for research itself. Days during the program will consist of theoretical components related to polar operations, combined with hands on practical experience under the guidance of the expert instructor team.

The program will be based at Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Arctic Northern Finland with diving carried out in the ice-covered lake directly in front.

Course prerequisites:

18 years old, Advanced Open Water / CMAS 2* or equivalent, 30 Logged Dives, Drysuit/ Cold Water Experience

One of the following: Scientific Dive qualification / Bachelor Degree (or enrolled) in a relevant field  / Involvement in scientific organisation

Core modules and content:

The course covers the following areas:

  • Polar environment exposure management
  • Snow and ice logistics
  • Snow mobile use (driving, towing sleds and basic care/maintenance)
  • Establishment of dive site, ice holes, shelter, ladders and other equipment
  • Risk management for under ice diving
  • Under ice and cold water diving protocols
  • Twin cylinder equipment, protocols and practical use
  • Scientific techniques for under ice environment research
  • Supervision and planning of under ice operations


Edd Stockdale, Finnish Scientific Diving Academy Coordinator

Rod Budd, NIWA Antarctic Dive Safety Officer, New Zealand

Patrik ‘Pata’ Degerman, Arctic expedition leader, guide and explorer


The cost for the program (1100€) covers all training, diving activities, twin cylinders and setups and specialist equipment used on program. Storage boxes and ice transport equipment will also be supplied.

Accommodation Package

As the Kilpisjärvi station is in a remote area, accommodation and food will be organised in a package on site. Full package includes: Twin shared accommodation 9th-17th March, 9th Dinner, March 10th-16th Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, March 17th Breakfast.

Price is 521.50 € for participants of the program. This will be paid directly to the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station at end of program Students from University of Helsinki and other universities have special pricing options for this package. There are buses from Tromsø and Rovaniemi direct to the research station. Car pooling can also be arranged between participants.

CCR Scientific Diver


This program is aimed to train divers qualified on rebreathers in their application to scientific diving based projects. Training includes underwater scientific techniques, project safety and risk management, applications of rebreathers to advance research and planning diving operations.

Course meets the standards of competency at the European Scientific Diver level.

Basic/ Citizen Science Diver

On request. Please contact!

This program is aimed to introduce both students and divers interested in scientific diving to basic skills commonly used in by research scientists underwater. Participants will gain the knowledge and skills to assist in conservation, monitoring and other citizen science based projects.

Full Face Mask                 

On request. Please contact!

This program covers the basic use of FFM and underwater communications for applications to scientific diving activities underwater. Training includes full face masks use, communication and applications and tether lines in conjunction with operations.

For registration and information please contact: FSDA coordinator Edd Stockdale.

The FSDA offers education for both professional scientists

looking for specialist or more advanced training, student level courses and citizen scientists interested in developing their dive training in that area. 

Training can be obtained by both Finnish and overseas individuals or groups with collaborative connections for European levels of certification.

More specialist courses in polar research diving, underwater propulsion vehicles and other advanced technologies can be offered by arrangement with the Academy.

Customised training programs can be established on request with the Coordinator for specific research projects in addition to consultancy services in expedition logistics, field work and equipment design.