So far, this research cruise has been both educational and fun. It is interesting to see how operations are run on the Thompson, and how the engineers, scientists, and the crew of the Thompson all work together. It was especially cool to see how the operators of the ROV are able to control the vehicle so precisely. We just sailed into open ocean today, and the waves are fairly calm so I haven’t felt seasick at all (woohoo!). I will be starting my research as soon as we reach Hydrate Ridge. As of now, I will be taking water samples from the CTD casts, and analyzing them using a gas chromatograph to determine the concentration of methane and a microscope to determine how many and what kind of microbes are in the samples. I will also look at data given by the EM 302, which gives a general idea of the size and shape of a bubble plume. All this is to examine the relationship between methane in bubble plumes and the microbiology within the water column.