In January the team will be going on a research expedition on board the R/V Clifford Barnes (UW’s coastal research vessel) for a week, to see if we can find deepwater sea stars, collect sediment cores, and perform surveys of larvae for their microbiology. Ian’s been hard at work picking sampling sites, calculating distances between them, calculating cruise and station time – all fun stuff when you’re a microbial ecologist! We’re planning to hit 32 stations between Point Defiance and Sechelt (BC), all places where sea stars have been wasting. The cruise will go for 6 days (including transits into and out of ports) – we will also hopefully have folks on board from Vancouver Aquarium and Seattle Aquarium. This is Ian’s first cruise as chief scientist, so planning has to start in advance so we can also obtain clearance to sample in Canadian waters… Fun times!