Learn to scuba dive. Become a marine scientist. Explore the world.

What is TIDES?

TIDES (Teaching Interdisciplinary and Experiential Sciences) was launched in Boulder, CO in 2011 to connect students to our ocean, regardless of where they live. TIDES is a multi-year experiential program that combines marine science, field research, and confidence-building scuba to unlock students’ natural curiosity and passion for rich, meaningful experiences.


What do students learn?

As part of TIDES, students study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and receive real-life experiences in marine research and scientific diving. These place-based learning opportunities provide a window into the careers of marine scientists, technicians, and field researchers. Students will practice critical thinking and data analysis, which together introduce them to the process of asking questions, defining problems, and carrying out investigations into real-world settings.

In the classroom, students begin by investigating the seven principles of Ocean Literacy through courses developed by Ocean First Education. These fundamental concepts will provide the backbone to understanding how we are connected to the ocean and why it’s so important. Students will then learn about coral reefs and their amazing inhabitants and start to understand the many factors that affect their health. By the time they graduate from the TIDES program, students will have a developed and refined understanding of the marine environment and be well positioned to pursue a career in a number of related fields.


A Rising Tide Documentary Series

A Rising Tide is a documentary web-series that follows Colorado students through the TIDES marine science and scuba diving adventure. Starting March 2018, watch landlocked students in Colorado as they break down classroom walls, discover the wonders of the underwater world, and venture out on an experience of a lifetime.A Rising Tide awarded scholarships to three deserving Colorado students who are passionate about marine science, adventure and exploration, and learning how to address today’s challenges.Visit www.arisingtide.tv for more information.

TIDES is growing to classrooms across the United States. Interested in bringing TIDES to your school or dive shop? Contact us today.



"Our students enjoyed one of the most impactful experiences of their young lives. The TIDES program frames diving in terms of understanding the marine realm and using dive skills to move beyond recreational diving. Our year two students are collecting fish survey data and using their newfound underwater photography skills to document reef health."         - Steve Newman, Science Teacher, Kent Denver

"Science, a lot of times, is a class kids struggle with and most of that is they haven’t ever really had a chance to engage in the subject areas. Ocean First allows us to open doors for students that they didn’t even know were closed."      - James Long, Principal, York International



Four and Six Year Programs:

The versatile TIDES program permits students to enter at any grade and even the most ambitious will find themselves challenged throughout our four and six-year programs. Divided into three components, TIDES includes scuba training, classroom science, and fieldwork.

Four-Year Program:


Six-Year Program:


Current TIDES Partners:    

In addition to the Ocean First TIDES program, students at the following schools and dive shops are expanding their knowledge of marine science, getting certified, and traveling the world:


  • Kent Denver School, Denver, CO
  • Alexander Dawson School, Boulder, CO
  • Aspen Ridge Preparatory School, Erie, CO
  • Graland Country Day School, Denver, CO

Dive Centers:

  • Black Swamp Scuba (Perrysburg, OH)
  • 72 Aquatics (Tucson, AZ)

Check out the video from 72 Aquatic's innagural TIDES trip to San Carlos, Mexico! 

Contact us if you are interested in bringing TIDES to your school or dive center.