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Attention: Dive Authorization Courses (DAC) are now being offered!  Contact Taylor Heard for more information.

Diving for Science

Spring Lake Dive Authorization Course (DAC)

(Formerly the Diving for Science Authorization Course)

Are you tired of scuba diving in murky water? Spring Lake offers some of the finest freshwater scuba diving in Texas. Spring-fed water from the Edwards Aquifer provides excellent visibility and keeps the temperature at approximately 72 degrees year-round. The aquatic plants and animals are also very compelling.
The DAC class is divided into two components. The first component involves classroom lecture, where divers will learn about the Edwards Aquifer, endangered species, archaeology and state/federal regulations pertaining to Spring Lake. During the second component of the DAC, divers will don their scuba gear and learn to work in our liquid laboratory (Spring Lake). The focus is on diving techniques to ensure protection of Spring Lake and its related ecosystem. After completing the one day DAC course, volunteers and researchers will be authorized to work in Spring Lake. The program provides countless opportunities year-round for volunteers and researchers to scuba dive in Spring Lake in support of program objectives.
When you return to The Meadows Center as a DAC volunteer, you will be involved in one of the largest habitat restoration projects in the country. 
Price: $230 per student (50% discount for current Texas State University faculty, staff and students)
  • Sunday October 19th
  • Sunday October 26th
  • Thursday October 30th
  • Thursday November 6th
  • Sunday November 9th
  • Sunday November 16th
  • Saturday December 13th
  • Sunday December 14th
  • Saturday December 20th
  • Sunday December 21st
  • Sunday January 11th 2015
  • Thursday January 22nd 2015
  • Sunday January 25th 2015 - Cancelled
  • (More dates coming soon)
Prerequisites: Open water scuba certification (junior certifications not accepted) and 20 logged dives
Register: Contact Taylor Heard to register for the DAC.

Underwater plants

Underwater Naturalist

Want to learn more about the flora and fauna in Spring Lake? The San Marcos Springs and Spring Lake provide a critical habitat for many plants and animals. Home to eight federally listed endangered species; Spring Lake’s ecosystem is very unique.
Mary Wicksten, Texas A&M University Biology Professor, educates divers on the different native and nonnative plants and animals found in Spring Lake. After taking the Underwater Naturalist class, you will be able to identify and make sense of the different aquatic species found in Spring Lake. 
Price: TBA
Schedule: TBA
Diving for Science level 1
Contact Taylor Heard for information

Underwater Archaeology

Underwater Archaeology

If you are interested in archaeology and scuba diving, Underwater Archaeology may be the class for you. Registered as an archaeological site, Spring Lake is governed by the Antiquities Code of Texas. The focus of this class is on underwater archaeology as it pertains to Spring Lake. Fritz Hanselmann, Underwater Archaeologist, teaches divers lift bag techniques, how to survey an area and how to identify an artifact. During this class you will also get a chance to work on Shiner’s dig site.
After taking the Underwater Archaeology class, you will have a greater understanding of the history of the San Marcos Springs and gain hands on experience in underwater archaeology.
Price: TBA
Schedule: TBA
Prerequisites: Diving for Science level 1
Register: Contact Taylor Heard for information

Understanding Photography & Videography

Are you interested in capturing the underwater world through a camera lens? Digital media provides a way to capture, share and remember breathtaking moments underwater. The Meadows Center is the perfect place to bridge the gap between land-based photography and underwater photography. Diving conditions in Spring Lake are ideal for underwater photographers and videographers looking to hone their skills. Spring-fed water from the Edwards Aquifer provides excellent visibility and keeps the temperature at approximately 72 degrees year-round. And an abundance of flora and fauna provide endless opportunities for photographers and videographers. 

This class will focus on the basics of photography and videography. Classroom lecture topics include: underwater housings, composition, blocking shots, framing shots correctly and extensive buoyancy control exercises. Divers will also learn about underwater light immersion and magnification, which will make all the difference in capturing photos and videos. In the second part of the class divers will don their scuba gear and practice recently acquired photography and videography skills underwater. 
After taking Understanding Photography and Videography, you will be able to produce powerful images and a final product that is more professional. 
Price: TBA
Schedule: TBA
Prerequisites: Diving for Science level 1
Register: Contact Taylor Heard for information

Documentary Film Making

Are you interested in making an underwater documentary film? Underwater videography is exciting to shoot and amazing to watch.
The Documentary Film Making class at The Meadows Center will teach you how to capture exciting footage and create professional quality documentary productions. Students will learn about audio and video equipment, blocking shots, lighting color spectrum, filters, composition and digital non-linear editing. Students will also become very familiar with the elements of Electronic Field Production. While the class encompasses all the technical production elements, the focus is on planning, filming and editing documentaries of real events or subjects. After students learn in the classroom, they will don their scuba gear and apply newly acquired skills underwater. 
This class provides the students a powerful means of communication and persuasion with digital video as the medium. You can make a difference and help everyone around you see the underwater world with a finely tuned sense of awareness and joy.
Price: TBA
Schedule: TBA
Prerequisites: Diving for Science level 1
Register: Contact Taylor Heard for information

Adaptive Scuba Instructor Training Course

Learn to teach, train and dive with people with physical disabilities. You must be a certified open water scuba instructor with an RSTC agency to attend this training. Stacey Minton and Dive Pirates will train instructors how to teach adaptive divers. This may be the most rewarding way to give back to your community.
Price: TBA
Schedule: TBA
Prerequisites: Diving for Science level 1 and open water scuba instructor
Register: Contact Taylor Heard

Public Safety Diver

Dive Rescue 1

This program is a must for all public safety dive team members. From scene evaluation to incident debriefing this program covers it all. Diving and surface support personnel will learn to apply the latest techniques in underwater rescue and recovery to prepare them to respond effectively and safely to water incidents. Get started on your way to our more advanced and trainer level programs with Dive Rescue 1. This program is presented in the classroom, pool and open water to allow students to become familiar with the techniques prior to field scenarios. Dives will take place in the training area in Spring Lake and Canyon Lake. 
Price: TBA
Schedule: TBA
Prerequisites: Open water scuba certification, Fire & Law Enforcement only
Register: Contact Taylor Heard

Light Salvage & Recovery

Light Salvage and Recovery takes your dive team to a more advanced level of service.  Dive team members offering the capability of salvage operations add an environmentally conscious service to their community. The focus of the program is conduction of salvage operations as they apply to underwater crime scenes and investigations. Participants learn how to apply salvage technologies and concepts, use specialized lifting equipment to recover automobiles, aircraft and boats; and practice a variety of lifting techniques during practical, hands-on exercises at an open water site. The program is conducted in a classroom, pool and open-water site to allow students to practice their new skills in a controlled environment before the field scenarios. Topics include scene evaluation, operational organization, selecting specialized lifting equipment, underwater rigging techniques and lifting.
Price: TBA
Schedule: TBA
Prerequisites: Dive Rescue 1, Fire & Law Enforcement only
Register: Contact Taylor Heard