Global Heartbeat is a hands-on environmental science and educational program being developed by a number of partnering organizations. The program
began in 2001 with two year funding from NOAA's USC Sea Grant office. The scientific
sponsors are the Plymouth (U.K.) Environmental Research Centre at the University of Plymouth and the Center for Ocean and Human Health at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research (BBSR). The College of Exploration has responsibility for overall project management and K-12 program development, coordination and implementation.
Global Heartbeat brings together high school students, research scientists, and teachers to develop a program
that involves recording the heartbeats of crabs and other organisms. Monitoring a crab's heartbeat provides an indication of its health, in the same way that a doctor checks a human's pulse. This new technique is the scientific foundation of this monitoring and educational program. Global Heartbeat has the potential to serve as an early warning system of possible ecological degradation and of impacts on marine biological diversity.
Major funding is sought to further develop the program and to include more schools and institutions around the world and especially in the initial stages in
Bermuda, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Contact us now to send your tax-deductable donation or to find out how your school or organization can participate.
Global Heartbeat is envisioned as a program that will lead to increased awareness of marine health, biodiversity, and water toxin issues.
Ultimately, the program will serve as a basis for sound conservation practices, starting with the corps of students involved at the
various locations. Students in the program will collect crabs from their local waters and monitor the crabs' heartbeats in a controlled laboratory setting. Students in the program will also conduct research on local water quality through published statistics and information, share data over the World Wide Web, and participate in an international online discussion forum with scientists and the other student participants. They will be aided by supporting educational materials developed by partners and sponsors in the program.