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Scientific Diving

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Diving Projects & News

UMaine & AAUS News

Aug. 2017-  UMaine DSO at Stellwagen Bank NMS

UMaine Diving Safety Officer Chris Rigaud recently joined NOAA Unit Diving Supervisor Matt Lawrence and other NOAA staff on a research mission to document and investigate critical hard-bottom habitat at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.






July 2017-  UMaine Divers Win Awards

Recent UMaine graduate Chase Brunton has been selected as the recipient of the Dr. Arthur J. Bachrach Bonnier Dive Group publishing internship, sponsored by the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society (OWUSS).  Chase will help produce content and participate in the publishing cycle of Sport Diver and Scuba Diving magazines and their respective web sites, and  Read more about Chase and other OWUSS internships at:

The American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) has awarded UMaine graduate student Elisabeth Maxwell the 2017 Kevin Flanagan Student Travel Award.  This award will assist Elisabeth in traveling to the 2017 AAUS Diving for Science Symposium hosted by Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  Read more about this and other AAUS scholarships at:,

Chase was certified as an Open Water Diver at UMaine in 2013 and continued diving recreationally while completing his degree.  Lis earned her Scientific Diving Certification from UMaine in 2016, and is currently assisting the Scientific Diving Program as a Dive Leader/ DiveMaster.  Congratulations to both Chase and Lis!

May 2017-  Maine Day!





UMaine Scientific Divers in the 2017 MaineDay parade!

Jan. 2016-  UMaine Scientific Divers in Alaska

Two UMaine scientific diving students, Elise Hartill and Ashley Rossin, recently accompanied UMaine researcher Dr. Rhian Waller on a scientific expedition to the fjords of Alaska.  Read more about this adventure here.  Watch the YouTube video here.

Oct. 2015- UMaine Scientific Divers Win Awards
Congratulations to Marissa McMahan and Amalia Harrington who both received awards at the recent AAUS Symposium!

Currently a PhD candidate at Northeastern U, Marissa is a former UMaine student and Assistant Instructor for SMS324 Introduction to Research Diving. Marissa was the recipient of the 2014 AAUS Kathy Johnston PhD scholarship, 2015 AAUS Kevin Flanagan travel award,  and recently won Best Student Presentation at the 2015 AAUS Symposium.  Amalia Harrington is currently a PhD candidate with Dr. Rick Wahle, and was selected as the 2015 AAUS Kathy Johnston PhD scholarship winner.

Aug. 2015- UMaine Scientific Divers Win Travel Awards

Two UMaine Scientific Divers have been awarded the 2015 AAUS Kevin Flanagan travel award! Former UMaine scientific diver and student, Marissa McMahan, and current UMaine Scientific Diving AAUS-OWUSS intern, Catherine Mitchell, were selected to receive this scholarship which will help them to attend the upcoming AAUS Symposium in Key West. Congratulations Catie and Marissa!

Feb. 2015–  UMaine was once again selected as the site/host for the AAUS/OWUSS Scientific Diving Intern; Ms. Catherine Mitchell.  More information about this internship can be found at:

Mar. 2014– UMaine served as the site/host for the AAUS/OWUSS Scientific Diving Intern;  Ms. Katy Newcomer.

Nov. 2013-  UMaine Diving Safety Officer featured in DiveTraining magazine article; Ocean Careers-Part II

Oct. 2013– At the 2013 AAUS Symposium, the UMaine Scientific Diving Program was awarded an additional $5000 to support the John Dearborn Scientific Diving Scholarship.  Thanks to J.F. White Contracting Company for this generous donation!

2012-The UMaine Scientific Diving Program was awarded 2nd Place for our entry at the 2012 AAUS Organizational Member Poster night in Monterey, CA.  See a .pdf of the poster here!  In support of the Kevin Flanagan Student Travel Award, the $100 certificate was donated back to AAUS.    Highlights of the program and the poster were recently featured in the November edition of the AAUS e-slate:  E-Slate AAUS 2012 6 11.

Scientific Exploration & Research

“New Fish on the Block”– former UMaine student Marissa McMahan is investigating the expansion of Black Sea Bass into the Gulf of Maine. (

Alaska Corals 2013-

Deep Sea Corals 2012-

Deeper Into Diving 2012–  Dr. Rhian Waller and DSO Chris Rigaud train to extend their effective scientific diving range to 150fsw.   These techniques will allow Dr. Waller to search for deep sea coral species in coastal Maine and other locales.

Alaska Corals 2012-


Using Technology to Assess the Impacts of the Invasive Sea Squirt Didemnum Vexillum, on Fisheries and Ecosystems- 2010/2011


Training, Education, & Outreach

UMaine Today- “What a Dive!”  article highlights scientific diver training program

Dive In Discover Scuba–  In cooperation with the Darling Marine Center and School of Marine Sciences Dive In to Marine Science Program, UMaine scientific divers offered a first-time scuba experience for high school students.


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Contact Information

Scientific Diving
193 Clarks Cove Road
Walpole, ME 04573
Phone: 207-563-8273E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469