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Professional Diving

NYHS Professional Diving is the only program of its kind in the United States, training high school students as effective divers and putting them to work underwater on real environmental restoration efforts like the Billion Oyster Project.

The Professional Diving program prepares students for work in the commercial and recreational diving industries, as well as providing a scientific diving foundation for students hoping to pursue marine science studies in college. NYHS is the only public high school to be a member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS).


Lenny Speregen, NYHS Faculty

Joseph Jimenez, NYHS Faculty 


Zoë Greenberg, Billion Oyster Project


Open Water Diver

Advanced Open Water Diver

Rescue Diver & Lifeguard

Scientific Diver

Specialty Diving Classes including Full Face Mask Diver, Dry Suit Diver, Equipment Specialist

First Aid/CPR, Oxygen Administration, and more

Industry Recognized Summative Assessments

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)

entry level through professional level certifications

Divers Alert Network (DAN)

full first-aid medical diving suite

American Academy of Underwater Sciences

(AAUS) Scientific Diver Final Exam


Sophomore Year: Students are certified as entry-level Open Water Divers and improve their skills and knowledge as Advanced Open Water Divers. Over the winter students learn terrestrial rescue skills including CPR and first aid, emergency oxygen treatment, neurological assessments, and care for hazardous marine life injuries. In the spring they study and practice Rescue Diving techniques, in which they learn to prevent problems before they occur and aid and assist in the event of an emergency.


Junior Year: Dive students work towards certification as NYHS Scientific Divers. NYHS is the only public high school in the country to offer this college-level certification, which enjoys full reciprocity at major universities and research stations. During scientific diver studies, students learn about diving physics and physiology, decompression theory and procedures, and how to assemble and supervise a safe and effective research diving team. Students learn to use photography and video equipment, dry suits, full face masks, underwater communications, harnesses and tethers, all of which are put to use as we assist the other five Harbor School CTE programs in installing and monitoring BOP oyster restoration sites in the challenging, low-viz, strong current, cold water conditions of New York Harbor.


Senior Year: Divers learn the basics of commercial diving, including search and recovery, surface supply air, piling/dock assessment and repair, non-destructive testing (NDT), and dive tendering. Seniors also learn the basics of equipment maintenance and repair.  During the spring, some students purse their Divemaster certification, allowing them to work in the recreational dive industry immediately upon graduation. Others begin work as interns in the professional diving industry, including cleaning tanks and educating the public at the New York Aquarium, and organizing and supervising Billion Oyster Project dives. Career and Financial Management training is incorporated throughout the year.

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