Scientific diving is defined as diving that is necessary to and part of a scientific research or educational activity. Unlike recreational diving, scientific diving is task-oriented, conducted to achieve specific research goals, and strictly follows nationally recognized standards of practice, supervision, and organization. Scientific diving differs from commercial diving in that its sole goal is to support research for the advancement of science, as opposed to the generation of profits through underwater engineering or construction efforts. Diving to accomplish research goals involves more risk than diving simply for fun, which is why a system of organizational oversight, dive supervision, and safety standards must be adhered to. Since the advent of organizations such as the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS), however, science diving has proven to have an excellent record of safety.
All diving activities conducted under the auspices of LAMP must follow LAMP's Standards for Scientific Diving, and are overseen by the LAMP Diving Safety Officer (Chuck Meide) and the LAMP Diving Control Board.
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