Welcome to Marine Diving
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. Students attend full-time or may take non-diving marine-related classes part time on a space available basis. 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 equipment.
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 Association of Commercial Diving Educators (ACDE), the International Diving Schools Association (IDSA) and the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). 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
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
Comprehend physical laws governing hyperbaric and industrial operations in a marine environment
Conduct hyperbaric and industrial-related activities safely and in accordance with recognized agency and industry standards
Apply knowledge of diving techniques and associated capabilities to determine proper operational procedures for diverse marine-related construction, inspection, maintenance, repair and decommissioning projects
- 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 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.
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.
Marine Technology Building
Judy Lough, Administrative Assistant (ext. 2426)
Faculty & Office
Geoff Thielst, Chair and Program Director (MDT, ext. 2718)
Don Barthelmess (MDT, ext. 2427)
Dan Vasey (MDT, ext. 2992)
Douglas Hersh, Dean (ext. 3625)