NASA, University – Team Up To Study Barbados Coastal Ecology, Graeme Hall National Park Area and…Slavery


NASA Satellites To Be Used In US Government-Funded Study Of Barbados Coastal Ecological Health

Just two days before the big kick-off for the proposed Graeme Hall National Park in Barbados… the USA announces a federally-funded study of the ecological health of the Barbados coastal areas by Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland. The US$186,000 study will use NASA satellites to study the ecology of Barbados, Ghana and St. Kitts.

What’s the Slavery Connection?

Coppin State University was once called Douglass Colored School (as in Frederick Douglass, author of “Narrative of the Life of An American Slave as Written By Himself”), and the student population is still largely black from the inner city.

The students involved with the “Middle Passage Project” will be “using NASA satellites to study the ecological health of areas that played key roles in the slave trade.”

The Barbados coast is one of the areas up for study, and there is no doubt that the proposed Graeme Hall National Park will be a key focus as it is by far the largest remaining natural mangrove swamp on the island.

It wouldn’t surprise us at all if the folks doing the study contact those working to establish Graeme Hall National Park. Just seems like a natural fit to us.

NOTE: Don’t forget about the Public Meeting to Kickoff the Graeme Hall National Park Project.

Graeme Hall National Park Proposal – Public Meeting

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary
Complimentary refreshments with cash bar until 7pm.

More information: (Link Here)

Previous BFP Story: Graeme Hall National Park Public Meeting

Coppin, NASA Team Up For Study of Slave Routes

Baltimore Examiner, October 12, 2006 (link here)
U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings visited Coppin State University Wednesday to announce a federal grant using NASA satellites to study the ecological health of areas that played key roles in the slave trade.

Cummings lauded the program, called The Middle Passage Project, as an opportunity for students at the historically black college to explore their heritage.

“To set foot in Africa and explore the land of your ancestors is an incredible opportunity,” he told the assembly of students and faculty. “Take advantage of it.”

The $186,000 federal grant will allow six students in Coppin’s geography program to use satellite data provided by NASA to study the ecology of Ghana, St. Kitts and Barbados — key landfalls for slave traders. The students will use NASA satellite data to assess the ecological health of the coastlines and rain forest, as well as to assess carbon management policies. Participating students said the program was a good opportunity to improve their science skills while keeping important history alive.

“We’re using present technology to help us connect to the past,” said Micah Crump, a junior at Coppin and one of the program participants.

Douglass Reardon, project director, said that the program uses African American history as a guide to better understanding ecological systems. “We can use science to study how the environment influences human history,” he said. He also said that the data will be used to guide preservation efforts of key historical sites.

Stephen Janis
Story link here


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Environment

5 responses to “NASA, University – Team Up To Study Barbados Coastal Ecology, Graeme Hall National Park Area and…Slavery

  1. Stuart

    Excellent press catch – this information would be extraordinarily useful to the entire nation, and perhaps some of the latest QuickBird .62 metre and above satellite images will trickle down to the scientists and historians working here in Barbados. As a matter of cultural and professional courtesy I hope the Coppin Study and the its acquired high resolution images would be provided to the government of Barbados free of charge. A reference to how useful this information can be is profiled at

  2. Green!

    I fear all this high-minded scientific stuff is waaay above the heads of ordinary folk, and consequently of little interest to yardfowls more interested in cheap political village-gossip,
    re. My Tribe(political party)
    vs. Your Tribe(political party).

    Thanks for trying,anyway.

  3. Stuart

    I’m not so sure – we yardfowl get pretty excited when we see a satellite image of pollutants washing through our neighborhoods.

  4. Edgar

    Anybody saw Matthews Kerins ad in the Advocate today? Surely this is the original “ugly american” expecting to get his own way. I believe he is angry as according to him “he was told to come to Graeme Hall and build his water park” and now he is getting unexpected oppostion. Would be interesting to see a breakdown of his Bds$4,000,000.00 and how it was spent. Perhaps the same people who advised hime to come to graeme Hall should now move to plan B.

  5. Green!

    Kerins now discovering he get a big rock to hold,den?

    Didn’t I warn him yesterday
    that he’ll discover(if he hasn’t,already)
    that Barbados(like all these small islands!)
    is a can of worms?

    Kerins has been ‘led up the garden path’!

    If I had that kinda money and I was a Yankee,
    I wouldn’t be investing in a small Caribbean island:
    I’d go to Hawaii, Puerto Rico, The Fla. Keys,
    somewhere where I wun’t get no big rock to hold..