Dive In: scuba club offers certifications and much more

With its close proximity to the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the University of West Florida is home to a robust diving community. The UWF Scuba Club provides a variety of opportunities for the campus community to get involved with the sport of Scuba Diving as well as snorkeling. The club hosts weekly meetings, guest speakers, dive certification courses and various activities, including group dives. Students, faculty and staff are all welcome to become a member, regardless of their skill level.

“The UWF Scuba Club is an exciting way to explore the hidden treasures of Northwest Florida,” said Jon Almond, a UWF senior who received his certification last May. “It’s also a great way to meet a diverse group of people from across campus.”

Almond is one of the 92 club members. Member dues are $30 per year or $20 per semester. There are additional costs associated with certification courses. The club will present a nitrox course for $75 March 25 at 6:30 in Building 10, Room 102. Participants will become nitrox certified after taking the two-hour course and a brief test. Next month, the club will offer an open water diver certification class April 3, 4, 10 and 11. The cost is $180.

“We have issued several certifications in the past year, including 46 open water, 12 mixed gas (known as nitrox), four advanced rescue, two advanced and one dive master,” said UWF sophomore Nathan Woods, president of the Scuba Club.

The Scuba Club offers more than just dive certifications, though. It has: worked with the Reef Fish Restoration Association (before it was closed); participated in Relay for Life and other campus activities; supplied volunteers for gear cleanings, Mardi Gras and the Pensacola Oriskany Reunion; and hosted spear fishing and public safety diver seminars on campus.

“Scuba Club has been a great experience,” said Tiffany Pickett, a UWF staff member in the Anthropology Department. “The club not only offers certification courses, but it schedules fun dives to get members to use their certification to experience the underwater world. I’ve met a lot of new friends and encourage anyone interested in Scuba diving to join!”

For more information about the UWF SCUBA Club, visit or contact Woods at (850) 418-3780 or e-mail

By Lauren Smith, University Marketing Communications