Welcome Berkeley Institute

Amy talks to students from Berkeley

Mrs. Tucker, the landowner at Cliff Pool

Rima discusses cave slime with Roger

Our blue suede shirts??

The human ROV setup (see Karl on TV!!)

Renee dives in the Green Bay System

Today was another early day for the team….Amy and Bob went for a run on the old railway line that used to surround the island. The scenery was amazing! After a quick breakfast, we loaded all the Human ROV gear into Annie’s truck. When the tanks and dive gear were all accounted for we headed to Cliff Pool one last time. Set up for the day’s events went fairly smoothly, and at noon we were able to take a quick lunch break.

At 1400, about 25 students from Berkeley Institute joined us at the dive site for the Human ROV experience. We had several other guests today as well, including Mr. and Mrs. Smetana, Mr. Jack Ward, and Roger, the marketing director from BAMZ.

After a brief introduction to the education team, the students headed for the display area and the dive team began to descend into the cavern. It is quite a sight to see as four divers (Renee, Bob, Karl, and Gil) carefully moved about the cave underwater with camera, multiple high powered lights, and over 100 feet of video & audio cable…. four divers deftly floated in “zero gravity” without tangling any of the equipment or disturbing any of the silt in the cave. If not for the lack of music, you might think you’re watching a polished underwater ballet! The video tour highlighted the geological and biological characteristics of the marine cave world, including the fact that trash makes its way into the cave.

After 30 minutes in the cave, the divers surfaced to smiling faces and a grateful thanks from the students The students enjoyed the performance and had a seemingly endless stream of thoughtful questions for both the topside and underwater team members.

After the students left, the divers descended again for a private encore for our major sponsors, the Smetanas, and for a stray student whose scooter broke down on the way to the site and missed the original presentation. His disappointment quickly turned to delight as he and our sponsors viewed the Cliff Pool cave system.

The day ended with all equipment loaded and our return to the villas, with the evening spent cleaning, sorting, packing and debriefing. The team spent the later hours discussing the logistical and practical needs necessary for the upcoming survey expedition. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Bermuda Biodiversity Project in support of their cave conservation and recovery plan.

Team Members

  • Jen Cate
  • Rima Franklin, Ph.D.
  • Amy Giannotti
  • Bob Giguere
  • Anne Glasspool, Ph.D.
  • Betsy Hackley
  • Tom Iliffe, Ph.D.
  • Gil Nolan
  • Renee Power
  • Karl Shreeves
  • Bernie Szukalski
  • Terrence Tysall
  • Jack Ward


In the picture of the “Fantastic Cave” Jayme would like to know what the square in the middle of the picture is – she says it looks like a “lady in a blue dress”. She is enjoying all of the pictures!


Hi Marianne and Jayme – that square you are looking at in the picture is made up of several different types of cave formations. It is hard to tell how large this “wall” really is because we have nothing there to serve as a scale – sorry about that! Good to hear from you!

Hi guys!
Happy Halloween!!!! Does Bermuda celebrate Halloween in any way?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO RIMA!!!!! (You’re glad I”m not there to actually sing it). I would’ve liked to have shared in your bday pizza, though. 🙂 And a big congratulations to Terrence and Allison! Yea! I love having more cheeks to squeeze!

So, on a more science-related note. What are Rima and Aaron going to do with the samples? What are you looking for? This whole project is so great! Can’t wait till you guys get back!

Big hugs,
Jill Aller (Amy’s sister)

Hi Jill! Happy Halloween to you! Yes, Bermuda celebrates Halloween and I even saw Spiderman on the side of the road the other evening!! Rima and Aaron are analyzing water chemistry and looking for chemosynthetic bacteria that might be supporting other types of life in these systems. Very neat stuff!! I miss you bunches!


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