Underwater Naturalist

The PADI Underwater Naturalist course is a Project AWARE supportive course which teaches about why some creatures behave the way they do and what their role is in the aquatic ecosystem.


In order to enroll in the Underwater Naturalist course, you need to be at least 15 years old and a certified PADI Open Water Diver (or equivalent).

Course Structure

During your Underwater Naturalist course, you will learn about the major aquatic life groupings, interactions and factual information that dispels negative myths, the role of aquatic plants, food chains and predator prey relationships, responsible interactions with aquatic life, the underwater naturalist’s view of organisms and their roles in the environment, and more. During your open water dives, you will use what you have learned to observe the aquatic life.

Once you have you completed the Underwater Naturalist course, you will receive a temporary Underwater Naturalist certification card, which you can start using right away! You will receive your permanent card about 30-45 days after you have been certified.

Required Equipment

You will be required to have your own mask, fins, snorkel and underwater slate for the duration of the course. We would also recommend that you have a suitable exposure suit – a wetsuit during the winter months to protect your body from the cold and a lycra, or skin suit for the summer months to protect your body from jellyfish stings and scrapes.

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