Back in February of 2005, the Cambrian Foundation was invited to attend a strategic planning workshop led by Anne Glasspool, Ph.D., of the Bermuda Zoological Society in an effort to create a team of researchers and educators who were committed to developing a blueprint for cave conservation on the Island. With over 150 known caves on the island, Bermuda supports a diverse assemblage of aquatic cave species that make these ecosystems exceptional.
After learning about the unique way that the Cambrian Foundation integrates people of all ages into our expeditions, and our emphasis on experiential interdisciplinary education, we were invited to lead an expedition focusing on two major objectives as part of the conservation efforts there.
First, using our human-ROV (Ã‚Â© 2003 The Cambrian Foundation), we will take the citizens of Bermuda on a virtual tour of some of their submerged cave passages, teaching them about the biology, ecology, geology, and hydrology of the underwater cave systems. This unparalleled experience will provide a firsthand view of the world beneath their feet. With the help of a local television station, the interactive virtual tour will be broadcast to school and community groups so that people of all ages can share in the adventure. A big thank you to Mr. Carl Saieva of Sartek Industries and Mr. John Chluski of DigitalFusionHouse Productions for helping make this experience possible!
Second, our technical research dive team will be surveying passages in several cave systems, and providing the data needed to accurately document the karst features found in this terrain. Understanding the patterns and pathways of water flow will enable conservation goals to be more easily met.
Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Joe Smetana and the Bridge Charitable Trust of Bermuda, Cambrian Foundation team members (Jen Cate, Rima Franklin, Amy Giannotti, Bob Giguere, Betsy Hackley, Tom Iliffe, George McCulley, Gil Nolan, Renee Power, and Karl Shreeves) will spend two weeks in Bermuda as part of the ongoing Bermuda Biodiversity Project. Please join us from October 21-November 4 as we explore the wonders under Bermuda!!
Jen Cate, Graduate Student, Texas A&M University
Rima Franklin, Ph.D., Scientific Supervisor, NASA Space Life
Sciences Center and Cambrian Foundation
Amy Giannotti, M.S., Project Director, Cambrian Foundation
Bob Giguere, Cambrian Foundation and bGenesis Productions
Betsy Hackley, Student, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and
Tom Iliffe, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
George McCulley, Project Survey Officer, Cambrian Foundation
Gil Nolan, Bermuda Liaison Officer, Cambrian Foundation
Renee Power, Project Diving Safety Officer, Cambrian Foundation
Karl Shreeves, Cambrian Foundation