Culture Shock: Take a dive

Scuba club certifies students

 by Tara Brite
 published on Thursday, September 28, 2006

Deep sea diving in the middle of the desert?
You bet your splash there is.
The Instructional SCUBA Club at the Tempe campus offers free scuba lessons to students, faculty, staff and family members. Instruction comes in three parts: knowledge development classes where scuba students learn the basics of the sport, confined water dives in the pool at the Student Recreation Complex, and four open-water dives at any location.
Mike Thomas, a Ph.D. geology student and open-water scuba instructor, says some students choose to do their open-water dives in one of Arizona's lakes.
"But they're murky," he says. "If they do that dive, then they're mostly prepared to dive anywhere under any condition."
But others, like all the students in his class that began last year, choose to go places like Rocky Point for their dives, says Thomas, who began scuba diving 14 years ago.
Students can also choose to take the classes and confined-water dives with Thomas, then finish their certification elsewhere, he says. Some people choose to get the basics out of the way so they can dive in open waters for spring break or summer vacation.
"Even though we're in the desert, we have the opportunity to get that going," he says.
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