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Dive Semester 2021 Postponed!

Factoring for travel, housing, transportation, and dive training all while striving to offer a unique student experience, we don't feel we can pull off the Alaska Dive Semester in the spring while maintaining the same level of quality, safety, and the engaging atmosphere our students deserve. We want our students to experience diving as a community, and spend quality time in our beautiful coastal rain forest town, our current situation does not allow for this.

We can’t wait to welcome a new cohort of students and to dive from the shores of our small Alaskan town next year (January 2022). We are excited to take some additional time developing our program, resources, and partnerships in order to deliver our very best research, rescue, and scientific experience to you!

The Alaska Dive Semester Team at the University of Alaska Southeast in Sitka

Diving in Sitka

If you are a student interested in fisheries, diving, and marine biology, and would like to round out your studies with a field-based program in Alaska, please join us for a semester of diving in the Spring of 2022 (January 10 – May 2).

You will have the opportunity to work with UAS faculty and become accomplished research divers. Over the semester, you will learn everything from basic dive skills, to underwater rescue procedures, to underwater data collection techniques and you will become familiar with local fish and invertebrate species, and participate in new and ongoing marine-related research projects. Additionally, you will develop skills in basic skiff handling and small engine maintenance techniques, critical to underwater field work.

This program offers you the opportunity to earn certifications as Open Water Divers, Dry Suit Divers, Advanced Open Water Divers, Research Divers, AAUS Scientific Divers, and DAN 1st Aid/ CPR and O2 Providers along with gaining experience in cold-water research and fieldwork*.

* Scuba Educators International (SEI), American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), Divers Alert Network (DAN)

Hands-On Learning

Alaska Dive Semester offers students from around the country the opportunity for an academic hands-on learning experience studying biological sciences with easy access to cold-water marine habitats.

Cold-water Diver in AlaskaPhoto credit: Shawn Harper

Sitka Sound

Open to the Pacific Ocean, Sitka Sound features a raw coastline, abundant with wildlife — including fish, invertebrates, whales, sea lions, otters, and seabirds.

Divers in Sitka Sound Alaska

Develop Scientific Diving Skills

Students study with diving professionals to develop diving techniques, safety skills, and research expertise.

Dive boat operators in Alaska

Small Boat Handling

Basic familiarity with boats and engines proves indispensable working in underwater systems. Students learn how to prevent issues from arising, and to troubleshoot problems while out in the field.

Divers watch Alaskan sunset

Interdisciplinary Study

In addition to gaining experience in field techniques and diving, students also get to be a part of the larger Sitka community, through miles of hiking trails, frequent potlucks, and a vibrant arts scene.

For more details, contact Joel Markis at 907-747-7760 or by email at