Here is some information if you want to be a volunteer diver for the Pittsburgh Aquarium.

Contact Information

Ashley Kidd
Aquarist & Dive Safety Officer
One Wild Place,
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(t) 412-365-2618 (f) 412-665-3661
akidd@pittsburghzoo.org

Documents

Here are the application documents with the overview of basic requirements and job description. Please review these items.

1. 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 physical).
3. PPG Aquarium Volunteer Diver Program Waiver, complete and sign
4. Volunteer Diver Manual, thoroughly familiarize yourself with this and complete the form.
5. Volunteer Diver Manual Quiz & Acknowledgement of receipt form.

They also require copies of:
* Certification Card (C-Card) from a reputable dive certification agency
* (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 technician
* 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.

Basic requirements:

Volunteer diver candidates must fulfill and maintain the following
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, NAUI, etc).
o If applicable: Dry suit and Full Face Mask Certifications are required
o Complete and sign the PPG Aquarium volunteer diver waiver form.
o Complete and sign the Acknowledgement of receipt of the Volunteer Diver Manual.
o Complete quiz based on material set forth in this Volunteer Diver Manual.
Once paperwork complete: Complete an in-water dive skills evaluation.
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 program.
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 volunteering.

Step 3: Throughout participation in the volunteer dive program
o Attend mandatory Volunteer Diver Meetings, remain up to date with Aquarium policies.

Job Description:

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 manner.

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 Aquarium.

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)
-Pajama sharks

3. Giant Pacific octopus

4. Very fragile pot-bellied Seahorses

5. Eels

6. Penguins, Sea otters