Welcome to Marine Diving – Santa Barbara City College

About Our Program

Our world increasingly relies upon the resources and knowledge gained from the ocean
and marine environment, our last frontier. This reality requires the Marine Diving
Technologies Program to continue to provide the highest quality divers and marine
technicians worldwide. The program serves the needs of entry-level students as well
as employees currently in the workforce. Graduates can pursue multiple marine career
paths in marine and underwater technology, working above and below the water with
many types of sophisticated marine data collection instruments, diving and life-supporting

Santa Barbara City College’s Marine Diving Technologies Program is recognized worldwide
for its vocational excellence. It is the only community college degree program in
the nation which is accredited by the International Diving Schools Association (IDSA),
the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), and has been audited by
the Association of Commercial Diving Contractors International (ADCI). Santa Barbara
City College pioneered formalized diver and technician education with the A.S. Degree
curriculum in 1968. It was the recipient of the Exemplary Program Award in 1998 from
the State of California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Students who enroll in the Marine Diving Technologies Program have options to obtain
an Associate in Science Degree or Certificate in marine technology. Industry-based
certifications meeting the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) “Commercial
Diver Training—Minimum Standard ANSI/ACDE-01-2009” and the International Diving Schools
Association (IDSA) standards are also available for the field of commercial diving.
The training is designed to meet the needs of the marine construction, research and
tourism industries. These multi-billion dollar marine technology industries are dynamic
and require personnel who have a broad training base involving technical skills above
and below the water.

The Associate in Science Degree curriculum includes instruction in all phases of commercial
diving, hyperbarics, bell/saturation diving, emergency medicine, boating and marine
science, to name but a few. Teamwork and safety are the prime emphasis of the training.

There are virtually unlimited opportunities and challenges for the individual who
desires an exciting and rewarding future researching the world’s needs for resources,
medicine, transportation, recreation, national defense and the extension of man’s
ability to work on and under the sea.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Meet the qualifications of an entry-level commercial diver established by the United
    States Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the United States Coast Guard,
    the American National Standards Institute and the Association of Diving Contractors

  2. Comprehend physical laws governing hyperbaric and industrial operations in a marine

  3. Conduct hyperbaric and industrial-related activities safely and in accordance with
    recognized agency and industry standards

  4. Apply knowledge of diving techniques and associated capabilities to determine proper
    operational procedures for diverse marine-related construction, inspection, maintenance,
    repair and decommissioning projects

  5. Perform the assigned duties of an entry-level diver as an individual or member of
    a support team in a safe, effective and efficient manner


The MDT Program offers a most unique training environment. The college’s state-of-the-art
diving and welding facility provides students with a safe and comfortable training
environment. SBCC is ideally situated on California’s south-central coast, which facilitates
open sea training in the Pacific Ocean.

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities and announcements are channeled directly through the Marine Diving
Technologies Department, via an extensive contact system. Many employers solicit graduates
during campus visits. The department also sponsors a seminar module each semester
entitled “Careers in Diving” for group information exchange and recruiting. The faculty
are available directly for career counseling, and advice may also be obtained from
the campus Career Center for job preparation and planning purposes.

Honors & Awards

The department is fortunate to be able to award several scholarships each year. The
Ramsey Parks Memorial Scholarship was established to recognize an outstanding student
majoring in Marine Diving Technologies. It is named in memory of Ramsey Parks, founder
and Director of the MDT Program,1968-1980. The Tom Devine Memorial Scholarship, sponsored
by the Association of Diving Contractors (ADC), and the Nejat Ezal Memorial Scholarship
are available for students who qualify. The Dr. Hugh Greer Memorial Scholarship Foundation
was established in 2002 in memory of SBCC’s long-time medical review officer. Financial
aid is also available through the Financial Aid Office at 965-0581, ext. 2716.

Alumni Association

The Marine Diving Technologies Alumni Association was established by the department
in 1995 to provide a communication and human resource link between graduates and the
MDT Program. The Association was established to disseminate information about graduates,
jobs, equipment and training issues related to diving technology. All students and
graduates are eligible to join.

Department Office

Marine Technology Building Judy Lough, Administrative Assistant (ext. 2426)

Faculty & Office

Geoff Thielst, Chair and Program Director (MDT, ext. 2718)

Dan Vasey (MDT, ext. 2992)

Alan Price, Dean (A-218, ext 3044)

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