Greensboro Science Center

Dive Team Volunteer

About the Program

A volunteer diver assists the GSC husbandry staff with in-tank algal removal in salt and fresh water exhibits. Divers interact with aquarium visitors during dive show presentations and act as safety divers while diving. Husbandry, the dive program team, and the volunteer office staff of the GSC will supervise the volunteer dive program. Volunteer divers are to adhere to all animal interaction protocols and guidelines provided by the husbandry staff. 

In addition, a diver must learn to observe animal behavior, report any irregularities to the Dive Safety Officer or the exhibit keeper, maintain accurate records, and appropriately clean/maintain gear and work areas. Occasionally, a diver may be requested to assist Aquarium staff in other areas or exhibits as needed.

While volunteering, safety must always be a top priority. The volunteer diver must be familiar with all safety procedures as specified by GSC. The GSC reserves the right to remove any volunteer from the program if his or her actions do not represent the Aquarium in a safe, professional, courteous, and knowledgeable manner, or if they do not adhere to husbandry guidelines.  Diving safety and rescue training will be provided to all volunteer divers.

Upcoming Information Session March 30th, 2024!

Please read the information below and if interested click here to add your name to the sign-up for an information session. Session starts at 8:15AM and space is limited. This opportunity is first come first served. 

Who Can Apply?

  • Applicants must be age 18 by the date of the submitted application. 
  • Applicants must pass a background check after application acceptance.
  • Each dive candidate must be certified as an open water diver from a nationally accredited diving organization (PADI, NAUI, SSI, etc.), and present his/her dive credentials to the dive safety office.  Divers must also be an active diver, having documentation of diving within the past 12 months.

What are the steps to becoming a dive team volunteer?

  1. Submit an application. Our staff will review all applications and will contact selected candidates to schedule interviews. We will likely be unable to interview every candidate, so please provide thoughtful responses to your application questions.
  2. Schedule and successfully complete an interview.
  3. All candidates who were interviewed for the program will be notified to let them know if they have been chosen for the program.
  4. Successfully pass a background check.
  5. Swim Tests – Candidates must successfully complete a watermanship evaluation that includes:
    • Swim 400 yards continuously without the use of swim aids
    • Tread water for 10 minutes
    • Swim underwater 25 yards without surfacing on a single breath
    • Using a mask and snorkel, retrieve a 10lb weight from the bottom of the pool (approximately 10’ deep), clearing the snorkel upon ascent.
    • Tow a diver of equal size 25 yards without the use of swim aids.
  6. Liability Release Forms – Each diver must sign liability and release forms before engaging in any volunteer activities at the GSC.
  7. Medical History Form and Physical – Each diver must pass a dive physical and be declared fit to engage in diving activities as noted on the medical evaluation report.  All costs for the physical examination are the responsibility of the diver.
  8. Classroom Session – Divers must participate in a knowledge development classroom session that covers diving policies, protocols, procedures, and dive exhibit walk-through.
  9. Successfully Complete CPR, First Aid, and AED Certification – All divers must hold current CPR, first aid, and AED certifications.  If the diver is not current, the GSC will provide these certifications to volunteer divers at no cost. 
  10. Successfully Complete Emergency Oxygen Provider Certification – All divers must hold current emergency oxygen administration for diving accidents certification.  If the diver is not current, the GSC will provide DAN O2 Provider certification to volunteer divers at no cost. 
  11. Scuba Skill Assessment – Each volunteer diver must complete the scuba skill assessment with the Dive Safety Officer (DSO) for an initial evaluation of diving ability and skill.
  12. Checkout and Orientation Dive – Each volunteer must complete a checkout dive with the DSO in the Shark Reef Exhibit.  This dive will serve as an initial checkout to ensure divers are comfortable in the exhibit and with all equipment.  The DSO will provide an orientation to the exhibit and divers will familiarize themselves with general tasks, such as scrubbing décor and cleaning acrylic.
  13. Emergency Procedures and Protocols – Each volunteer must participate in dive emergency training following their checkout and orientation dive.  This training will cover all GSC medical emergency procedures and protocols, as well as specific diver safety and rescue training for aquarium exhibits.  Volunteers must participate in a least one full diver medical emergency drill per year.

Final acceptance into the GSC Volunteer Dive Program will be made at the end of this evaluation process by the Dive Safety Officer.


General duties include: algal removal from acrylic panels, artificial rockwork and corals, dive show demonstrations and keeping current on the exhibits and collection information.  Volunteer divers may also participate in special event activities that further the GSC’s mission. 

Yes, but not in the way you might think.  Our divers enter a number of tanks with animals, however, we do not encourage our divers to touch or reach out to our animals as it may scare them and cause them to injure themselves, another animal, or a diver.

Volunteer divers are expected to commit to a minimum of two dive shifts per month in either an in-water diver role, or standby diver role.  Volunteers must have at least 12 in-water dives per year to maintain active diver status.

In addition to the cost of the dive physical, the fee for our dive program is $10.00. This includes the cost of your name tag and your volunteer t-shirt as well as your background check. That fee is due when you come for your first shift. NOT when you submit your application. This is a one-time docent fee.

Once you complete the form, click the continue button at the bottom. You will receive a confirmation email immediately letting you know that we have received your application. Within 48 hours, we will review your application and email you to set up an interview. We communicate with applicants solely via the email address you provide on your application. Please make sure to check your SPAM folder since our emails occasionally go to SPAM.

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