Curriculum for Volunteers

The following curriculum list gives you an overview what kind of SCUBA diving certifications and specialty courses Dolphin Dreams Images offers and the costs involved.

We are PADI Instructors (PADI = Professional Association of Dive Instructors).

All of the Specialty Courses require, as a prerequisite, Open Water Scuba Certification. Volunteers are not required to take any of these courses, but are encouraged to do so. To see a course description, please click on the course.

Lab Fee Schedule for SCUBA Diving Certifications:
Certification Course Lab Fee
Scuba Diver $ 400*
Open Water Diver $ 800*


Lab Fee Schedule for Advanced/Professional Level Certifications:
Certification Course Lab Fee
Advanced OpenWater Diver $ 530*
Rescue Diver $ 600*
Divemaster $ 1200

* = additional $ 150 PADI e-learning fee


Lab Fee Schedule for SCUBA Diving Specialty Courses:
Specialty Certification Course Lab Fee
Enriched Air Diver/Nitrox Diver $ 275
Fish Identification $ 225
Underwater Naturalist $ 275
Underwater Photographer $ 350
Underwater Videographer $ 425
Night Diver $ 275
Deep Diver $ 275
Peak Performance Buoyancy $ 250
Underwater Navigator $ 350
Manta Ray Diver $ 250
Diver Propulsion Vehicle $ 450
Rebreather Diver $ 2500


Lab Fee Schedule for Non-Diving Certifications:
Non-diving Specialty Lab Fee
Project Aware $ 80
Emergency First Response $ 95



Course Descriptions
Scuba Diver

Agency: PADI

As a subprogram of the PADI Open Water Diver program, the PADI Scuba Diver rating allows you to get certified quickly and easily by minimizing time constraints. With the PADI Scuba Diver certification you can dive under the direct supervision of a PADI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor or Instructor on your next vacation or dive trip. This program is a wonderful opportunity to explore the underwater world with the comfort and safety of having an experienced guide with you at all times. The knowledge and skills you learn in this program are just the beginning of an exciting array of courses and programs that await. With a PADI Scuba Diver certification card, you will be able to obtain air fills, scuba equipment and other services for diving under supervision. After completing the program, you'll likely want to continue your dive education and the PADI Open Water Diver certification to explore more dive opportunities. This course is usually taken by interns, but is also open to volunteers depending on the length of their program.


Open Water Diver

Agency: PADI

Throughout the course, you'll learn fundamentals of SCUBA diving, including dive equipment and techniques. You will also earn an Open Water Diver certification that is recognized worldwide. You earn this rating by completing five pool dives and knowledge development sessions and by making four open water (ocean) dives.As a certified Open Water Diver you have the freedom to dive with a buddy independent of a professional, obtain air fills and rent scuba gear.


Advanced Open Water Diver

Agency: PADI

This certification includes five dives. A Deep dive and an Underwater Navigation dive are required. The other three dives are elective. Interns typically choose Naturalist, Fish ID and Underwater Photography as electives, but can also choose any number of specialty combinations that best suit their interests. This is typically a “transitional certification” because upon completion, interns report that after the five dives, they are more experienced, feel more comfortable in the water and simply enjoy diving more because they better understand the underwater environment.


Rescue Diver

Agency: PADI

Rescue Diver training will prepare you to prevent problems and, if necessary, manage dive emergencies. During the five open water sessions, you'll cover:

  • self-rescue and diver stress
  • dive first aid
  • emergency management and equipment
  • swimming and non-swimming assists
  • panicked diver response
  • underwater problems
  • missing diver procedures
  • surfacing the unconscious diver
  • in-water artificial respiration
  • egress (exits)
  • first aid procedures for pressure related accidents
  • dive accident scenarios






Agency: PADI

This course is primarily for interns who are already certified divers or who plan to intern with us for a minimum of 8 weeks; preferably 12. This is a professional level certification. Divemaster certification will allow you to:

  • Work at local dive centers, on live-aboard dive boats, yachts and at exotic resort locations
  • Assist PADI Instructors with students
  • Lead PADI Scuba Divers on guided dive tours
  • Teach and certify PADI Skin Divers
  • Teach PADI Discover Snorkeling programs
  • Conduct PADI Scuba Review programs for certified divers
  • Lead certified divers on Discover Local Diving experiences
  • Teach Emergency First Response programs after successful completion of an Emergency First Response Instructor course


Enriched Air Diver/Nitrox Diver (up to 40 % Oxygen)

Agency: PADI

The Enriched Air Diver/Nitrox Diver program emphasizes the theoretical and operational considerations involved with enriched air diving. Additionally, you'll get to go on two training dives during the program. We will cover topics like:

The advantages and disadvantages of diving with Enriched Air (EA); Equipment for EA Diving; using the RDP with EA; managing oxygen exposure; using Dive Planners specific to EA; special applications in EA Diving; Diving Emergencies and EA; EA fills; the EA Diving formula; the O2 pp. formula; the MD formula. There is also a practical application section wherein we teach you how to use an oxygen analyzer.


Fish Identification

Agency: PADI

This course will introduce you to the most common fish families and species found in temperate and tropical waters. You'll also learn basic fish identification and scientific survey techniques as well as how important personal involvement is in aquatic conservation.

During your AWARE - Fish Identification Diver Specialty course, you'll practice basic fish identification techniques then collect fish identification data for submission to the REEF Fish Survey Project . The course includes all the background you'll need to identify fish in the Hawaiian Islands, including:

  • Information on Project AWARE and aquatic protection worldwide
  • Characteristics of local fish families and species
  • Fish survey techniques and strategies
  • Fish identification dive planning, organization and procedures


Underwater Naturalist

Agency: PADI

The Underwater Naturalist program will include two open water dives, which may be conducted in one day, which will introduce you to different aquatic life and include an overview of responsible human interactions with aquatic life. Some of the topics covered are:





  • The planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards of diving in different aquatic environments.
  • A basic overview of major aquatic life groupings (kingdoms and phyla).
  • Factual information that dispels myths of potentially dangerous aquatic life.
  • An overview of basic aquatic life interactions and associations.
  • Responsible human interactions with aquatic life.
  • Diving technique used to help preserve bottom dwelling aquatic life and minimize aquatic life disturbance.


Underwater Photographer

Agency: PADI

The purpose of the PADI Underwater Photographer specialty course is to familiarize divers with the skills, knowledge, planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, hazards and enjoyment of underwater still photography. The Underwater Photographer specialty course is intended to serve as a safe and supervised introduction to underwater still photography techniques used in the underwater environment. Training will emphasize fun and safety. The goals of PADI Underwater Photographer training are:


a. To develop the student's practical knowledge of photographic principles, composition, film types, strobe and available light photography and camera-handling techniques.

b. To develop the student's practical knowledge of the preparation, care and maintenance of photographic equipment.

c. To enable the student to take underwater photographs that are properly composed, focused and exposed.


Underwater Videographer

Agency: PADI

The purpose of the PADI Underwater Videographer Specialty Course is to familiarize the student with basic underwater video hardware, use, maintenance and diving techniques. The course has four primary goals:Upon completing this program, the student will be able:



  • to select an underwater video system based on personal preferences, budget and quality requirements.
  • to demonstrate safe diving practices while engaged in underwater videography.
  • to properly set up, maintain and disassemble a video camera, housing and lights.
  • to edit and produce underwater video that tells a story and demonstrates appropriate basic Videography techniques and avoids basic videography errors.


Night Diver

Agency: PADI

During your program you'll go on three open water dives. You'll learn to prepare for night dive activities and develop your knowledge and techniques for night diving.Some of the topics covered in PADI Night Diver Manual are:

  • Planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems and hazards of night diving
  • Proper procedures for buoyancy control, navigation and communication
  • Use of dive lights and buddy-system techniques
  • Disorientation and emergency procedures
  • Orientation to nocturnal aquatic life.





Deep Diver

Agency: PADI

You'll learn deep dive planning, organization, procedures, techniques and hazards. You'll also put this knowledge to the test as you go on four open water dives that range from 18-30 metres/60-100 feet.








Peak Performance Buoyancy

Agency: PADI

This course is for interns who wish to fine-tune their buoyancy and “soar” over reefs, extend bottom time by reducing air consumption and prolong the life of dive equipment, the Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course is a highly recommended course for those interns who desire to dive with a camera.

During your Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course, you'll use PADI's Basic Weighting Guidelines to determine the correct amount of weight. Then you'll practice the fundamentals of peak performance buoyancy during two open water dives, including the buoyancy check, fine-tuning buoyancy underwater, weight positioning for trim, streamlining and visualization.


Underwater Navigator

Agency: PADI

During your PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course, you'll learn underwater navigation dive procedures, techniques, planning, organization and potential problems. You'll also be introduced to natural navigation, underwater patterns, distance estimation and further your compass navigation skills. You'll put these into practice during your three open water dives.

When you're underwater, knowing where you are and where you're going comes in handy, especially if you're looking for that beautiful reef that you've heard all about. The PADI Underwater Navigator Specialty course will help you become proficient at finding your way underwater.


Manta Ray Diver (Distinctive Specialty)

Agency: PADI

The purpose of the Manta Ray Diver Distinctive Specialty Course is to familiarize the student with basic Manta Ray anatomy, behavior, and the methodology used to safely and passively interact with these creatures. The course requires two dives; one of which is at night with the manta rays. This is one of the most popular courses with interns. The Manta Ray Night Dive is considered to be one of the Top Ten Best Dives in the world. We authored this certification and it was approved by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Hawaii is the only place in the world where this certification can be earned.


Diver Propulsion Vehicle

Agency: PADI

Your PADI Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) program will include two open water dives, which may be conducted in one day. The first dive allows you to practice basic vehicle handling skills and the second dive prompts you to plan and execute a typical DPV dive. During the program, you'll cover the knowledge and techniques used when diving with an underwater propulsion vehicle. The following will be included in your PADI DPV Diver program:

  • The planning, organization, procedures, techniques, problems, and hazards of diving with a DPV
  • Equipment considerations including but not limited to battery care, maintenance and precautions
  • Proper procedures for:

    1. Determining a turnaround point
    2. Vehicle failure
    3. Runaway motor
    4. Descents and ascents
    5. Avoiding propeller entanglements

  • Techniques to avoid harming fragile aquatic life
  • Techniques for entering and exiting the water with a DPV from shore and boat.


Rebreather Diver
Agency: TDI

This program reviews the planning, organization, procedures, potential problems and hazards associated with semi-closed rebreather diving. It specifically focuses on the features, accessories, maintenance and proper use of the Drager Dolphin/Atlantis semi-closed rebreather. To complete this certification, you are required to make at least one confined water dive and three open water training dives.


Project Aware (non- diving specialty)

Agency: PADI

You'll learn about aquatic ecosystem degradation and the conservation measures protecting aquatic resources. This includes:



  • The Project AWARE philosophy
  • The importance and interdependence of worldwide aquatic ecosystems
  • Current issues regarding fisheries, coastal zone management and marine pollution
  • The status of several critically degraded marine environments

Emergency First Response (non- diving specialty)

Agency: PADI

Emergency First Response gives you the tools you need to perform CPR and First Aid. Whether you're a diver or a non-diver, Emergency First Response prepares you to properly handle potentially life-threatening situations.

This comprehensive program is composed of two core modules that can be taught in tandem or as stand-alone courses:

  • Emergency First Response
  • Primary Care and Emergency First Response
  • Secondary Care.

Together, these courses provide extensive instruction in CPR and First Aid, as well as providing optional (yet recommended) Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and Emergency Oxygen sections.