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New National Aquarium Volunteer Diver Testing

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic States' started by Hoyden, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. Hoyden

    Hoyden Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Rockville, MD
    926
    96
    28
    [FONT=Arial,Arial][FONT=Arial,Arial]I am sure that many of you are aware that the National Aquarium in Baltimore has an active volunteer dive program. We are just starting our fall recruitment for new divers. We have two groups of volunteer divers: Dolphin Discovery and Blue Wonders.

    · Our Dolphin Discovery divers do one 4-hour shift every other week (7:30am-11:30am). Duties include use of underwater scrubbers for the care and maintenance of the dolphin pools.

    · Our Blue Wonders divers do one 8-hour shift every other week (8:30am-4:30pm). Duties include the food preparation and feeding of the animals in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit, as well as its maintenance.

    Recruitment for Aquarium volunteer divers include a written test, an interview, and an in-water skills test that includes basic swimming and retrieval skills, equipment handling, neutral buoyancy, and a short underwater obstacle course. Upon successful completion, applicants are ranked depending on their test scores and assigned to one of fourteen Blue Wonders dive teams (7 days per week) or one of four Dolphin Discovery dive teams on (Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday). Assigning a diver has a lot to do with an applicant’s availability and the number of vacancies on each team. A diver with weekday availability is always much easier to place than someone with only weekend availability.

    Before you take the first step in the recruitment process, the written test, there are three very important pre-requisites that all applicants must have:
    · an Advanced Open Water SCUBA certification;
    · at least 30 logged dives
    · the ability to commit to least one year of volunteering at the National Aquarium.

    Once you are selected, before you are able to dive at the Aquarium, you will need to complete and submit a doctor-approved, medical physical examination.

    If you meet the above requirements, you may start the recruitment process by joining us on either Sunday afternoon, August 16th, 2015 at 5:00pm OR Wednesday evening, August 26th, 2015 at 7:00pm for the written test. It’s a fifty question, multiple-choice test that will cover the following areas: SCUBA diving skills, basic diving physiology, dive table usage, first aid, and basic marine mammal and coral reef biology. There isn't any single text we recommend to prepare for this test. We trust that you will draw from your experience, knowledge, resourcefulness, and common sense.
    So we may have an idea of how many people to expect at the written test, please give the Volunteer Services Office a call at (410) 576-3886 if you plan to attend and specify the date you’ll be attending.

    If you have any questions, you may contact me directly at jcooper@aqua.org.

    Thanks,

    Jackie Cooper
    Sr. ADSO/Aquarist/Volunteer Dive Coordinator


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  2. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    8,038
    5,729
    113
    I'm one of the volunteer divers in the National Aquarium, been doing it over 7 years. It is a terrific activity! You feel like you are actually doing something with your scuba skills, and learning all the time about the critters. The camaraderie on the dive teams is wonderful...it is just plain fun to go every other week. Besides, you get to be wet every two weeks all winter! Highly recommended.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2015
    Hoyden likes this.
  3. ppatin

    ppatin Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    151
    41
    28
    I started as a volunteer diver last year, I've also enjoyed it quite a bit so far. When I first heard about the program I didn't think I had much of a chance of getting in, but the selection process is pretty reasonable. I'd strongly urge anyone who's interested to give it a try.
     
    Hoyden likes this.
  4. novasquid

    novasquid Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: manassas, va
    306
    32
    28
    this is probably the only time i wished i lived closer to baltimore. :) i'd be totally up for this except the commute from northern va would be horrible.
     
  5. tursiops

    tursiops Marine Scientist and Master Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: U.S. East Coast
    8,038
    5,729
    113
    It is not that bad. I commute from Alexandria for my biweekly session. Because I leave in the morning around 6:45-7:00a, the traffic is not horrible. It actually takes longer to get home, unless I can get out of Baltimore by 3:30p, which isn't very often! People on my team come from Springfield VA (farther than me!), York PA, Annapolis MD, and some closer-in places.
     
  6. covediver

    covediver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Alaska
    1,245
    262
    83
    I volunteer to maintain habitats at the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward. I live in Anchorage. It is about a 140 mile drive one way across the mountains on a two lane highway (not a bad drive, especially in summer). Volunteering is worth the commute. I lived in Falls Church many years ago and understand your reluctance, but if there is any way to do it...Besides, mileage may be deductible.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
  7. ppatin

    ppatin Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    151
    41
    28
    Getting to dive every other week (or more if you want to pick up extra shifts) is great for your diving skills and might be worth the time in the car. Manassas is a pretty long haul from Baltimore though.
     

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