Statement of Purpose

SCUBA is responsible for serving as ombudspeople for the undergraduate courses offered by Caltech’s Biology division. It is responsible for obtaining student commentary, and providing immediate feedback to the faculty. SCUBA also has the capacity to propose new ideas and new courses to the division faculty.

The reason that SCUBA is necessary is to address increasing student concerns about the quality of a biology education at Caltech.



  • Serve as a liaison between students and faculty in the biology division

  • Conduct an annual survey of biology undergraduates to determine the level of satisfaction with Caltech biology classes and curriculum

  • Meet with the faculty Biology Curriculum Committee at least once a year to provide feedback about our findings

  • Conduct annual elections to replace graduating or departing members of SCUBA with new representatives from within the biology undergraduate community

  • Conduct an annual survey for the purpose of giving teaching awards to deserving professors and TAs


Scope and Boundaries

SCUBA is concerned only with the biology portion of the Caltech undergraduate curriculum, and with problems therewith.


Team Members

SCUBA shall be composed of the following positions annually:

  • Board Members

    • Conduct meetings

    • Represent SCUBA before and groups, committees, or individuals

    • Prepare a course commentary for the term to be passed on to the next term's secretary

    • Compile, with the help of the other members, the three term's commentaries into a complete report for the year, and publishes it to be distributed to all biology majors and prospective biology majors

  • Secretary

    • Takes minutes of each meeting.

  • Social Chair

    • Manages this website, as well as any other social media.  ​

  • SCUBA representatives

    • Obtain, through survey of current students, opinions and suggestions about Caltech undergraduate biology

    • Report to both the Biology Curriculum Committee and any relevant or concerned faculty and and all grievances brought to SCUBA's attention which may warrant such action

    • Present teaching awards annually to professors and teaching assistants based upon the votes of current biology students

  • Membership

    • In addition to the basic positional objectives, SCUBA Board will be made up of 5 members consisting of only juniors and seniors.

    • SCUBA representatives will consist of a minimum of two students from each class to ensure a broad representation.



Many of the classes in the Biology division will be covered (i.e. currently taken) by the members of SCUBA themselves in a given term. In the case that a class is offered and not taken by a member of the SCUBA, a student in that class who is not on the committee will be asked to act as an ombuds.



The SCUBA will meet at least three times per term. All members of SCUBA and the faculty advisors will be present at all of these.



The SCUBA has obtained an account for funding through the Biology Department.



All major actions and reports by SCUBA are to be finished by the end of the third term of the relevant school year, unless extenuating circumstances arise.


Teaching Awards

Two awards will be given annually to a TA and a faculty member at the end of the academic year to recognize outstanding commitment to instilling a passion for biology in their students. These awards are for people who have gone above and beyond as mentors.