Chris Williams

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 June 28, 2019

Hey everyone, welcome back to my final blog! My last day on the ship has been bittersweet. I’ve really enjoyed getting to meet amazing people while having some great experiences, and I am sad that I have to say goodbye. Instead of highlighting what I did today, I have decided to go over what I learned and accomplished on the VISIONS’19 research cruise. Looking back about a week ago, I learned how to sample methane which is the first water sampling I’ve done that involves syringes with needles. I learned how to log for ROV Jasondives as well. I then proceeded to obtain five methane samples. Two from 770m and 220m off Jasonwhich was really exciting for me since I had this very expensive and intricate machine collect water for me. I also got one methane sample from within a bubble plume at 770m and another two from the CTD which concluded my methane sampling for my project. I learned a lot of skills involved with deck work including deploying and retrieving a CTD. My favorite part of the cruise was leading my own multibeam survey of the Southern Hydrate Ridge. I learned a lot about the process of data collection by going through all the steps of taking this survey. I got to request to conduct the survey, submit a navigation plan to the chief scientist and the bridge, oversee the survey, clean the data, and produce a mapping product. Experiences like these have turned VISIONS’19 into a highly influential moment in my scientific career. I have a lot of questions to answer as I prepare to move forward into my senior thesis and graduation, but VISIONS’19 has given me a vast amount of exposure that I otherwise wouldn’t have. If you’ve followed along this far through my journey I appreciate your interest in my scientific development, and hope that you enjoy this final map of the day.

Until next year?

Chris Williams

June 27, 2019

Hello again!

Southern Hydrate Ridge 3D Image. Chris William, University of Washington V19

My VISIONS’19 cruise is winding down, so I’ve been trying to make the most of the time I have left on the Atlantis. I’ve enjoyed becoming good friends with all the new undergraduates I’ve met and have received a lot of good advice from the scientists and engineers on this leg. Today we spent some time talking with Yvan, Jenny, and Mike just learning about their scientific journeys. I also talked with Romina Centurion about her journey as a scientist and how she ended up living her dreams on VISIONS’19. It gives me more hope as a first-generation college student/scientist to hear about other people’s struggles and how they overcame them. I haven’t always known my path, but I’m glad that the path I’m currently taking placed me on this ship. All the scientists around me have been through interesting life experiences and changes of country, lifestyle, and career. To see that they went through all these struggles and still ended up where they are now is pretty inspiring. I’ve learned a lot on this research cruise about what it means to be a scientist and how one becomes successful, but I’ve also learned the importance of surrounding oneself with a good community of invested and kindhearted people. As I move into the hardest year of my undergraduate I know that I will make it through it and hopefully one day end up on a cruise like this with my own research agenda.

On a less serious note, I got to see the engine room today which was fascinating. I understood about 10% of what was said, but it was still quite fascinating. I also spent some time post-processing my multibeam data which you can check out below. Tomorrow is my last full day so I’m hoping to complete my post-processing. The SSSG Emily has said she will print out a large version of a map I make of the Southern Hydrate Ridge Site, so I am trying to get an amazing map done for that. For now, here is a pretty 3D image of some data that needs an additional day of cleaning.

Until next time,

Chris Williams

June 26, 2019

Welcome back to my blog! Today has been a really exciting day for me with my multibeam survey finishing up early in the morning and getting the chance to be on watch during the National Science Foundation livestream. I also got to tour the exterior and interior of the ALVIN submarine which has me thinking about possible life paths I can take to end up in a submarine collecting samples from the seafloor. I’ve started to feel at home on this ship. I know all the members of the science party now and am meeting new crew members. I’m enjoying every moment I spend on the R/V Atlantis and don’t want it to end.

I got to live one of my dreams last night of leading/conducting a multibeam survey on a global-class research vessel. The map I put as the map of the day yesterday even showed up on the Daily Operations Plan for the 25-26 of June after our chief scientist Orest Kawka requested it. I also had a member of the science party (Yann Marcon) ask me for coordinates/areas to expect methane bubble plumes so they could place their underwater camera there. They didn’t end up needing my help because we found bubble plumes during my watch, but it still felt nice to be a possible source of information for an instrument placement. I’ve enjoyed being able to pursue my interest and my dreams while having a supportive group of scientists and engineers there to help me! For the coming days I will be processing my multibeam data, assisting members of the science party with their endeavors, and possibly conducting another multibeam survey during a transit.

Until tomorrow,

Chris Williams

Map of the Day (and an image)

The image seen here is from the water column data from the multibeam survey conducted last night. The image shows the seafloor as well as a methane bubble plume. The map below is an initial post-survey map of bathymetry. There will hopefully be a 3D post-processed image of the region in tomorrow’s blog!

June 25, 2019

Credit: C. Williams, University of Washington V19

Hello all, and welcome back! Today has been the most exciting of my days on VISIONS’19. I had my morning van shift from 6:30AM-12:00PM and got to see some amazing marine organisms at the Southern Hydrate Ridge. I spent the rest of my day planning a multibeam bathymetric survey which I am about to conduct. It is really exciting for me, being just a student, to have control of an entire survey with the R/V Atlantisand to be able to choose my own routes for that survey. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I’m appreciative of all the efforts the members of the science party and crew make to create a great experience for students like me. I’m going to keep this blog short since I’d rather have you look at the Map of the Day more than my words!

Until next time,

Chris Williams

June 24, 2019

Hey all, I’m going to shorten the rundown a little this time to make room for the highlights of my day. I had a watch shift again from 6:30AM-12:00PM and got to see the Southern Hydrate Ridge for the first time. It was exciting to see the methane plumes that I will be doing my student project on through live video, and that wasn’t even the most exciting thing that happened today. After my watch I helped do some Niskin bottle transfers for Yvan Alleau and Jenny Delaney in the science party. Yvan and Jenny have been super helpful in data collection for my project. They’re letting me borrow all the supplies needed to sample methane, teaching me how to sample methane, and offering to analyze my samples. Speaking of methane samples, I am finished with all my methane sampling as of today. It has been hectic and in the moment, but I’ve really enjoyed the experience of making decisions and having fellow members of the science party help me get results. Tonight, I will be helping to operate the multibeam system as we transit 1 km between sites. I’m excited to get this data so I can play around with it and have a map of the day that is relevant to this cruise.

My highlights of the day were all the opportunities I’ve been provided with. Every member of the crew and science party has been very understanding and enabling for almost everything I’ve wanted to do. I got to determine the depths I wanted for sampling, coordinate with dive leaders to take my samples, and make calls in the ROV control room for how/where I wanted my data to be sampled. I’ve been given the opportunity to experience new sampling techniques and sample water from Niskin bottles specifically taken for my project. I also just went and asked our SSSG Emily if she could show me how the multibeam on the Atlantisworks and she offered to run the system for a transit period with me. Overall, VISIONS has been great so far and I’m happy to be out here. Everyone here is encouraging of my personal growth as a scientist and it is really encouraging. Excited for another great day tomorrow!

Until tomorrow,

Chris Williams

Map of the Day

This map details a ratio of chlorophyll to oxygen at the large dots. The total mean for each Puget Sound Basin is then buffered across the region to show the total mean ratio for each basin of the Puget Sound

June 23, 2019

Hello all, welcome back to my blog! Today has been primarily about finalizing my project so I’ve been speed-walking (because we can’t run) all over the boat. As I did last time, I’ll give a quick rundown of my day and then my favorite part. I started off the morning with a 6:30-12:00 shift in theJasoncontrol lab where I logged the events taking place during the dive to the 600 m offshore zone. After that I had a quick lunch (the food has been amazing) and went to a student meeting where we discussed projects. I spent most of the afternoon thinking about my project and figured out the data I will need as well as what I want my product to be. I then went and ate dinner and prepared to do CTD cast. We got training in operating the software associated with this and got to go about deploying a CTD. An alarm bell went off about halfway through the CTD and all the power on the ship shut off momentarily, but there was just a problem with a generator, and everything was fine. We salvaged what we could from the CTD and I ended up going to bed at about 2:30 AM.

The highlight of today definitely was figuring out how to take data for my project. I started off by running my project idea by one of our chief scientists, Mike Vardaro, and he liked the idea but was curious how I would get my data. I needed water samples from the seafloor and 220m and originally the Jasoncrew said they would only do the seafloor sampling, so I planned to get my 220m sample from the CTD. The CTD got canceled a little after this because a profiler wasn’t operating correctly, so then the scientists managing the current Jasondive said they could get me a 220m water sample. This was shot down by the Jasoncrew since the sampling bottles weren’t even on the ROV which was underwater at the time. Then we found out the CTD was happening again, so I submitted my 2 bottle depths and got 2/4 of the samples I need for my project. It was really exciting to be interacting with all of these portions of data collection and I really appreciated the other science party members who helped me get my samples. I’ll have more information on my project later once I get all my data!

Until next time,

Chris Williams

Map of the Day

This was a map I made a couple weeks ago for one of my oceanography classes, but I wanted to show something that involved ocean mapping. The data for this map was taken by a sensor that was designed and built by me and my fellow team members. I really enjoy both collecting and mapping my data, and I’m hoping to engage with the SSSG’s on board to take part in the mapping of some areas near our study area.

This was a map I made a couple weeks ago for one of my oceanography classes, but I wanted to show something that involved ocean mapping. The data for this map was taken by a sensor that was designed and built by me and my fellow team members. I really enjoy both collecting and mapping my data, and I’m hoping to engage with the SSSG’s on board to take part in the mapping of some areas near our study area.

June 22, 2019

Chris Williams, undergraduate student at UW, dons his survival ‘gumby’ suit during the day 1 safety briefing for new Leg 3 personnel. Credit: M. Elend, University of Washington, V19

Welcome to my blog everyone! This is the first of the 8 blogs I will be doing while on the Research Vessel Atlantis. To start, I’ll talk about the main things that happened today. We left Newport Oregon at 12:00 PM heading towards the 80 m dive site at the Endurance Array Shelf which is about 10 miles off the coast of Oregon. While in transit the science party received a tour of the ROV (remotely operated vehicle) Jason which is the primary means for interaction with the underwater technologies that compose the Cabled Array. We also received a tour of the control van for the ROV where the pilot and other Jason team members sit. Soon after this, we arrived at the 80 m site where Jason was deployed. I spent a good portion of the afternoon in the control van seeing the operations of the Jason crew as well as the live video of the seafloor. The 4k video was super clear and seeing the marine organisms on the seafloor as if I were right there looking at them was exciting. Most of the underwater machinery was covered in sea anemones, fishes, and other sessile organisms. The underwater junction box (which provides power and data across the array) at this location was completely covered by white sea anemones and is accurately named “the sheep.” Around 5 PM the other students and I suited up in foul-weather gear and went out on the aft deck to clean the biofouling off the zooplankton sonar that had been retrieved at this site. This task was slightly gross, but it felt cleansing for my inner neat freak. To end the day I had dinner, cleaned the zooplankton sonar more, and went to bed for my 6:30 watch shift in the Jason control van.

My highlights of the day were interacting with the ROV Jason and meeting the members of the science party. It was really exciting to be able to interact with this technology which took an immense amount of thought, design expertise, and resources to build. This vehicle can do scientific sampling, retrieve underwater components, and interact (through machine-like arms) with the underwater cabled array. I also enjoyed meeting new science team members and learning about their skills. I currently sit at the far end of the main bench in the main lab and have met most of the people around me. All the scientists are working on exciting cutting-edge work and I have enjoyed learning about some of their research/technology. Overall, my first day of VISIONS’19 was exciting and filled with new and interesting information.

In my limited free time on the boat I am working on a mapping tutorial book, so I’ve decided to do a map each day in the hopes of improving my spatial analysis skills for the project I have planned on VISIONS’19. Below is the first and simplest map which details population size and age in U.S. states.

See Below for Map of the day