PADI Underwater Naturalist Course

Course Introduction

If you have ever been interested in Marine biology, then this might be the course for you. You will hone your buoyancy skills while conducting underwater research on a variety of marine life. You will locate and identify at least two aquatic plants, locate observe and identify at least for the quarter in vertebrate animals and locate and identify at least five vertebrate animals.
This course is designed to be an introduction to the underwater aquatic environment and to help the student diver develop safe and responsible interaction with aquatic life.

Course Overview

This course is an introduction to aquatic life including an overview of responsible human interactions with aquatic life. The minimum number of recommended hours is 12, with time being equally divided between knowledge development and actual water-training sessions.  The Underwater
Naturalist course includes:
1. The planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards of diving in different aquatic environments.
2. A basic overview of major aquatic life groupings (kingdoms and phyla).
3. Factual information that dispels myths of potentially dangerous aquatic life.
4. An overview of basic aquatic life interactions and associations.
5. Responsible human interactions with aquatic life.
6. Diving technique used to help preserve bottom dwelling aquatic life and minimize aquatic life disturbance.


The PADI Underwater Naturalist Course begins with independent study and knowledge development. Students will begin by watching the Protect the Living Reef video.

Then Students will read and complete all knowledge reviews provided by your instructor. Your instructor will review your knowledge reviews during your classroom session.


Open Water Training Dives

Overview of open-water dives
1. Open-water Dive One–Dive goals:
a. Preservation of the aquatic environment by avoiding potentially destructive contact with aquatic organisms and the bottom.
b. Field identification of local, common aquatic organisms.
2. Open-water Dive Two–Dive goals:
a. Preservation of the aquatic environment by avoiding potentially destructive contact with aquatic organisms and the bottom.
b. Field observation of symbiotic and predator/prey interactions between aquatic organisms.
c. Locate indications of impact by man on the local dive site and suggest possible causes.


    course duration

    The total course duration is approximately 12 hours typically conducted over 2 to 3 classes. For more information on specific scheduling for this course please click on the calendar below.


    Recommended Additional Training (optional)

    We suggest that all divers enrolling in PADI Specialty Course take the PADI Enriched Air Scuba Diver Course first in order to increase bottom time during your training dives.

    Click here for more information on PADI Eriched Diver Course.

Course Prerequisites

    prerequisite training

    Be certified as a PADI Open Water Diver, Junior Open Water Diver or have a qualifying certification from another training organization.


    Age requirements

    PADI Minimum Age Requirement is 10 years old.

    depth restrictions

    The maximum depth is 30 meters/100 feet and for Junior Divers (12-14 years old) the maximum depth is 21 meters/70 feet.


    required Books

    The PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty Manual.



    required equipment

    Standard SCUBA Gear: Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Compass, Dive Computer or Dive Watch, Knife, Safety Sausage, Communication Slate, Safety Whistle, Dive Lights, BCD, Regulators with Submersible Pressure Gauge, Tanks, Weights, Gloves and Wetsuit if required(during winter classes).

    Rental equipment is not included in this class. If you need to rent equipment please do not forget to select the rental equipment you will need when you book your course.


    All Students Are Required to Have a Dive Computer or Dive Watch for all courses.


    waivers and liability releases

    All participants must sign the following PADI release prior to any in water training. Parent or guardian signature is requiredfor participants younger than legal age for all PADI programs.


    Certification means that you will be qualified to:

    • Plan, conduct and log underwater naturalist dives in conditions generally comparable to or better than those you were trained in.

    • Apply for the rating of Master Scuba Diver if you are a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver (or have a qualifying certification from another training organization) and a PADI Rescue Diver (or have a qualifying certification from another training organization) with certification in four other PADI Specialty ratings.

PADI Course Cost, Location and Schedule

    Sign-up Today Start Diving Tomorrow

    We offer private lessons seven days a week. Sign up today and start diving tomorrow. We offer group lessons twice a month. Check the course schedule for more details.

    Click Here for More Details on Course Schedules


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Youth Diving Responsibility and Risk

Parents and Junior Divers Must Watch This Video Together