From the Mountains to the Sea

Outdoor Adventure Leadership skills are essential for being an effective leader, including in careers of experiential education, outdoor recreation, and in-the-field research.

Do you want to gain the skills for exploring aquatic systems—lakes, rivers, bays, and ocean?

Choose from one or more of these trainings. Depending on your level of achievement, you can earn professional level certifications in your area of focus.

Adventure Leadership

Develop the skills to be technically competent and and effective leader in experiential education and outdoor recreation.

  • LEAD 430/530 (3) Foundations of Adventure Leadership. Examines leadership concepts utilized in adventure education and provides a foundation for leadership opportunities.
  • Adventure Leadership Institute’s Certificate Program is one of the most comprehensive leadership programs available.


Want to learn to swim? Or even just get in a good workout? OSU offers a multitude of swimming classes for all levels. 

  • PAC 248 (1) Non-Swim (prereq to Swim 1)
  • PAC 250 (1) Swim I (required if students unable to Swim 200 yards (or 300 yards in mask, fins and snorkel) and Float and tread water for 10 minutes.



Looking to learn a new skill? Head outside and learn to surf!

  • PAC 247 (1) Surfing. Knowledge and fundamental skills of this aquatic sport including history, terminology, safety precautions, the ocean environment, and equipment. Additional fee.

Recreational and Scientific SCUBA

  • PAC 245 (3) Three PADI Specialty Certifications (e.g. Night, Drift, Deep, Nitrox, Altitude, etc.)
  • PAC 245 (3) PADI Reactivate for divers not having dived in last 12 to 24 months (includes open water checkout dives) and 2 additional specialty certification, or, 3 PADI specialty certifications.
  • PAC 242 (2) Open Water Diver
  • PAC 243 (1) Advanced Open Water Diver
  • PAC 244 (1) Rescue Diver
  • PAC 308 (1) Canoeing
  • PAC (1) 324 White Water Rescue 
  • PAC 299 (1) Dive Master I
  • PAC 299 (2) Dive Master II (required) and a combination of:
  • Grad 430 (4) Introduction to Scientific Diving


Ocean Beach Safety Basics

Top Tips: 
  • Learn to swim.

  • Never swim alone.

  • Supervise children closely.

Common Hazards:
  • Beware of sneaker waves- Never turn your back on the ocean
  • Watch the logs- If you see a log in the surf or on wet sand, stay off it. 
  • Look out for deep water and strong currents- Stay in shallow water. 
  • Know the tides- Stay off rocks and small, enclosed beaches. Know when the tide is coming in by visiting the tidetable website at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
  • Assume high waves can reach you- Assume nothing is “high enough” and avoid exposed rocks, jetties and headlands during strong wave action periods (like during and after storms).
  • Take care around high, steep cliffs- Make sure you wear proper footwear, and stick to the trails. Stay behind guard fences and railings, and don’t get too close to the edge.
  • Keep your head up- Beware of falling rocks, and don’t climb on bluffs and eroding hillsides. Don’t walk along the base of cliffs unless absolutely necessary.
  • Beware of coastal jetties- With multiple dangers, don't walk on coastal jetties. 

More Safety Resources