The clouds are back, but the air temperature is warm (mid- 60's); the seas are relatively calm.
1) Day 3 of the 5 day "Pressure Dive" with ROV Jason (dive J2-730) to collect pressure data on a circuit of 10 Benchmarks (green dots on map at right) - in progress!
One of the challenges of studying microbes and talking about your work with friends is that microorganisms (by their very nature) are really hard to see!
Dr. Jim Holden of University of Massachusetts at Amherst has a great way to share his research, or at least to show the activity of the microbes he's studying at Axial Seamount. Jim determines sites where he wants to collect vent fluids with the fluid sampler on ROV Jason (below left). The submersible's arm removes the sampler from its holster on the front payload basket (below center) and then the submersible's pilot works with Jim to get it positioned exactly where he wants to collect a sample. Fluid samples are collected in bottles on ROV Jason until it returns to the surface.
So not only has Jim been able to collect and at least partly characterize microbes at Axial Seamount, he also has an easy visualization to help demonstrate the activities of those organisms to those of us who can't actually see the microorganisms!