Here is some information if you want to be a volunteer diver for the
Aquarist & Dive Safety Officer
One Wild Place,
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(t) 412-365-2618 (f) 412-665-3661
Here are the application documents with the overview of basic
requirements and job description. Please review these items.
Application, complete and sign
2. AAUS Dive Physical Packet, Please complete the Initial Exam with
your doctor in order to be considered for the program. All the tests
must be completed and checked off by your doctor. We follow AAUS
diving standards (http://www.aaus.org): American Academy of
Underwater Sciences, a branch of OSHA. (In order to possibly
alleviate cost associated with this physical, I suggest contacting
your benefits carrier to establish a pre-authorization prior to the
PPG Aquarium Volunteer Diver Program Waiver, complete and sign
Volunteer Diver Manual, thoroughly familiarize yourself with this
and complete the form.
Volunteer Diver Manual Quiz & Acknowledgement of receipt form.
They also require copies of:
* Certification Card (C-Card) from a reputable dive certification
* (if applicable)Full face mask or Dry suit certification if
intending to use in aquarium
* Current (<12months) DAN Insurance Card
* Current (<12month) equipment servicing reciept from a reputable
* Current First Aid, CPR&AED from a reputable certification agency.
Please make sure that the DAN Insurance is not expired and is not
just a membership to the DAN society. This insurance plan expires 12
months from purchase and must be renewed to remain covered and able
to participate in our volunteer diver program.
Volunteer diver candidates must fulfill and maintain the
requirements in order to participate in the volunteer diver program
and remain in active status:
Step 1: Before entering in to the dive program (one time process)
o Be at least 18 years of age.
o Complete the Application form
o Hold an Open Water SCUBA certification by a recognized agency (PADI,
o If applicable: Dry suit and Full Face Mask Certifications are
o Complete and sign the PPG Aquarium volunteer diver waiver form.
o Complete and sign the Acknowledgement of receipt of the Volunteer
o Complete quiz based on material set forth in this Volunteer Diver
Once paperwork complete: Complete an in-water dive skills
o Complete all volunteer diver orientation requirements.
Step 2: Before entering & upheld during participation in the
volunteer dive program
o Agree to participate at minimum once a month with the dive
o Hold a valid DAN Insurance card (must be updated every 12 months).
o Supply all required equipment (except tanks & weights)
o Submit annual equipment maintenance receipts on BCDs & Regulators
o Submit AAUS Medical Packet to completed by yourself & physician.
o Have a current First Aid & CPR Training, or within 3 months of
Step 3: Throughout participation in the volunteer dive program
o Attend mandatory Volunteer Diver Meetings, remain up to date with
A volunteer diver assists Aquarium husbandry staff with in-tank
maintenance of warm and cold water exhibits, primarily: Ocean,
Flooded Forest, Sea Otter, Penguin and Sand Tiger Shark exhibits.
Volunteer divers also participate in special event activities that
further the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium's mission. Duties
include cleaning acrylic panels, cleaning and maintenance of
artificial rockwork and corals, assisting with in-tank maintenance,
dive show demonstrations and keeping current on the exhibits and
collection. In addition, a diver must learn to interpret the
collections behavior, to keep accurate records, and maintain clean
work areas. Occasionally, a diver may be requested to assist
Aquarium staff in other areas or exhibits as eeded. While
volunteering, all activity must have safety as its main concern. The
volunteer diver must be familiar with all safety procedures as
specified by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The
Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium 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
When not in the water, all volunteer divers must present themselves
accordingly. Appearances should be neat and conservative. At all
times, remember that you are representing the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG
Newly admitted divers are strongly encouraged to sign up for a dive
once the in-water evaluation is completed. All new divers will be
signed up to the Volunteer Diver Yahoo Groups, where volunteers can
co-ordinate with buddies, set dive schedules and contribute to our
online members forum.
Here are some of the few creatures inside
the PPG aquariums one will be with as a volunteer diver (they have
saltwater and freshwater environments):
0. Beautiful corals
1. Piranhas (hehehe)
2. Shark species
-Sand tiger sharks
-Horn sharks (with venomousus dorsal spine- very dangerous)
3. Giant Pacific octopus
4. Very fragile pot-bellied Seahorses
6. Penguins, Sea otters