Marine Ecology & Management
Versar marine scientists specialize in marine ecology and management and regularly conduct underwater missions via our scientific diving services. We provide these services to our clients under the auspices of the Versar Scientific Diving Program.
Scientific Diving Program
Versar developed the Scientific Diving Program in 2002 to enhance our marine capabilities and provide scientific diving services to our clients. Through this program, we are committed to high safety standards via open communication, state-of-the-art training, planning, preparation, and effective execution. In July 2011, Versar became an organizational member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS). The mission of the AAUS is to facilitate the development of safe and productive scientific divers through education, research, advocacy, and the advancement of standards for scientific diving practices, certifications, and operations. All Versar dive operations are performed within the rigorous safety and training standards of the AAUS Standards for Scientific Diving Certification and Operation of Scientific Diving Programs.
Versar divers receive biannual training in first aid and annual training in CPR/AED, and undergo annual swim and medical evaluations. Divers hold the following certifications: Oxygen Provider; Open Water; Advance Open Water; Enriched Air (Nitrox); and Rescue. Our team uses state-of-the-art underwater quantitative assessment techniques and is skilled in underwater photography, videography, and survey methods, including belt transects, repetitive quadrats, repetitive video transects, random transects, and trap and net surveys.
Versar has provided scientific diving services in support of natural resources documentation, restoration, and monitoring throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Examples of our diverse scientific diving services are as follows:
- Seagrass and coral reef restoration and monitoring
- Essential fish habitat (EFH) assessments
- Reef fish censuses; fish biomass, and abundance
- Oyster biomass and abundance surveys
- Ecological monitoring of coral reefs, EFH, benthic resources, hard bottoms, artificial substrates
- Baseline assessments prior to dredging and other underwater activities
- Installation of monitoring stations, mooring buoys, water quality instrumentation
- Ecological surveys in support of ship wreckage investigations
- Threatened and endangered species assessments
- Mapping munitions constituents and debris