My name is Kai Ziervogel and I am a research associate in the Department of Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am studying metabolic rates of bacteria in the ocean, focusing on bacterial activities associated with macroscopic particles of organic and inorganic matter in the water column. Marine bacteria are one of the major players in processing and transforming biologically fixed atmospheric carbon, and most of this carbon is associated with sinking particles in the ocean. On this cruise, I will measure bacterial degradation rates of carbohydrates, bacterial abundances and dynamics of particulate and dissolved organic matter in the water column. My goal is to describe the effects of coastal organic matter runoff on bacterial carbon processing along our onshore-offshore transect.