It’s not a sled that you might want with you on a snowy hillside. This is a piece of equipment almost like a small wire bookcase with sample collection equipment on its shelves. It has been sitting down at the bottom of the ocean at one of our study sites for a whole year. Yesterday, Jason helped to release it and sent it up to the ocean surface. Once it got there, we plucked it from the ocean and onto the deck of the ship, where all the microbiologists started scurrying around like crazy! They all wanted to collect their samples and start processing them as quickly as possible. During the next few days, we will re-load it with new sampling equipment and send it back down again.
We launched JASON again this morning to head down to another one of our sites and install a "flow meter," a piece of equipment that will measure the flow of water out of the hole. It was successfully installed, its blinking green light told us that it was working, and cheers erupted in the control van!