This Research Opportunity (#20-10) is specifically aimed at deciphering the role of blue carbon associated with manganese nodules and host sediments, including determining the provenance of organic matter in these settings. This will enable differentiating bioavailable components of deposited organic matter, which are known to sustain diverse benthic communities, from recalcitrant components, which contribute to long-term carbon burial in the deep sea. Sediment samples will be collected as part of an ongoing systematic box core sampling program that will take advantage of ship time opportunities provided to USGS and BOEM by federal, industry, international, and academic partners.  Ultimately this research will contribute to answering questions regarding how much blue carbon is in critical marine mineral environments and what deep-water habitats contain the blue carbon, to evaluate potential impacts of sea-bed mining to blue carbon storage in critical marine mineral environments and what ecosystem management goals are needed to maintain blue carbon ecosystems. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Research Advisors early in the application process to discuss project ideas. Closing date: January 6, 2022.