Quantitative Underwater Ecological Surveying Techniques

Two Scuba divers under waterQUEST is a two-week course aimed at training students for marine resource management surveys and near-shore habitat conservation. QUEST is offered every summer for credit through UH Hilo. For more information about QUEST see the Kalakaua Marine Education Center website.

Charting a Course to QUEST

For students interested in participating in QUEST, the following requirements must be met:

1.  Recreational SCUBA certification (NAUI, PADI, YMCA, etc.)

2.  University of Hawaiʻi Scientific Diver Authorization.  Follow the flow chart provided by the Diving Safety Office, which states:

  • Fill out Scientific Diver application
  • Schedule a diving physical at Straub Clinic, print and take medical form with you and have them send results to the UH Diving Safety Program
  • Schedule a swim test, pool checkout dive, and ocean checkout dive with Assistant Diving Safety Officer (Liv Wheeler) at (808) 956-6617 or email
  • First Aid/CPR/O2, Rescue Training, plus twelve (12) logged dives

3.  QUEST ID Classes

  • Take Limu, Fish, and Invertebrate Identification classes
  • Score 80% or better (spelling included)
  • Resources include:
    • QUEST website: Includes Powerpoint presentations with target species.
    • Books:  John Hoover (Hawaiʻi’s FishesHawaiʻi’s Sea Creatures); John E. Randall (Shore Fishes of Hawaiʻi); and Huisman, Abbott and Smith (Hawaiʻi Reef Plants).
    • Online photos: By Keoki and Yuko Stender (Marine Life Photography).

4.  Apply to QUEST by early February

5.  Costs:

  • Three (3) credits
  • Lab fee (~$730)
  • Round trip airfare (~$150)
  • SCUBA gear
  • Miscellaneous camping and school items

PDF File IconCharting a Course to QUEST