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Spring Lake revives dive authorization course for fall 2014 return

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 17, 2014

After a four year hiatus, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is reintroducing its volunteer diver education course this fall under a new name and with new scientific components specific to Spring Lake.

The Spring Lake Dive Authorization Course, formerly known as Diving for Science, will serve as the gateway requirement for those interested in becoming volunteer divers at Spring Lake.  The Spring Lake Dive Authorization Course will integrate new requirements set forth in the recently finalized Spring Lake Management and Habitat Conservation Plans.

“Part of the plans include the introduction of a bio-monitoring system here at Spring Lake,” Chief Underwater Archaeologist and Diving Program Director Fritz Hanselmann said.  “This system will entail studies of the spring flows, vegetation growth, as well as fish and species counts.  We will rely heavily on our volunteer divers to acquire this data and contribute to the body of knowledge that we’re creating here.”

Any diver who has an open water certification and a minimum of 20 logged dives is welcome to take the Spring Lake Dive Authorization Course.  The course will consist of an online lecture component prior to arrival, a full day of dive training, and a day of practice volunteer dives.  Those who participate can expect to spend a weekend to complete the course, and those who pass will become members of the newly formed Meadows Center Aqua Corps.  Current volunteer divers who have already taken the course will automatically become members of the Corps.

“We’re just excited to share the thrill of diving and we want to get people here to learn more about the springs,” Diving Safety Officer Sam Meacham said. “Spring Lake is widely regarded as one of the top places to dive in Texas, but we also want divers to better understand the unique habitat we have here, along with biological and cultural resources we have at The Meadows Center.”

The Spring Lake Dive Authorization Course is scheduled to return this fall and the specific date of the first course will be announced in the near future.  For the latest updates on when the course will be offered, please “like” The Meadows Center on Facebook or follow on Twitter (@MC4Water).

About The Meadows Center

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment was named following a generous gift from The Meadows Foundation in August 2012. The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment is dedicated to environmental research, stewardship, education and service. It is run by renowned conservationist Andrew Sansom.