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The Expedition 309/312 shipboard scientists thank all the members of the JOIDES Resolution crew for making our adventure to Site 1256 a formidable engineering accomplishment, a great scientific achievement, and a most enjoyable experience. We thank Captain Alex Simpson and the officers and crew for twice taking us safely to and from Site 1256 and for holding the ship above 6°44.163′N, 91°56.061′W for over 12 weeks. Rui Felix and the Catermar staff kept us very well fed and freshly washed and folded. The barbeques and the sumptuous Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts are treasured highlights.

It has been a great pleasure to work with the IODP-TAMU technicians, and Assistant Laboratory Officiers Lisa Crowder and Chieh Peng did an exemplary job of keeping the core and samples ticking through the lab stack. Instruments ran smoothly; thousands of samples were photographed, cut and curated, ground, dissolved, and analyzed. Many thanks to Yeopeople Debbie Partain (Expedition 309) and Ginny Lowe (Expedition 312) for keeping us organized, collated, and artistically arranged. The scientists greatly appreciate their patience with our tardy submissions of the expedition chapters. Special thanks to Paula Weiss for her curatorial efforts, all accomplished with serene calmness despite the complete coverage of some critical core pieces by plagues of sample request spots.

Ted Gustafson made countless beautiful, polished sections—many of them large and complex. His perseverance with the capricious water-sampling temperature probe, together with Jurie Kotze and Pieter Pretorius, allowed us to take excellent samples of the Hole 1256D borehole fluid. Marine Computer Specialists Mike Hodge, Paula Clark, and Mike Petersen kept the network running smoothly. John Eastlund (Expedition 309) and Dwight Hornbacher (Expedition 312) nursed and resuscitated Janus throughout both expeditions. Javier Espinosa, the Schlumberger engineer on both expeditions, ensured that we recovered an excellent suite of wireline logs, images, and seismic profiles of the upper ocean crust penetrated by Hole 1256D.

The Expedition 309/312 shipboard science parties were greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Paula Clark (1964–2006) while hiking in the Azores, in October 2006. Paula was a Marine Computer Specialist on IODP Expedition 309. She had recently completed a Master’s degree in Geophysics at Texas A&M that included a project completed during her free time on Expedition 309 with the Physical Properties group. She began working for ODP in 1998 and filled a variety of roles during her years of service, including Computer Specialist, Research Assistant, and Data Librarian, making her an important resource to her colleagues. Paula is remembered for being a helpful and enthusiastic shipmate, as well as a dear friend. She is deeply missed.

Funding for the DMT 360° core scanner on Expeditions 309 and 312 was provided by a Natural Environment Research Council (U.K.) Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Directed Science Programme Urgency Grant (NE/D001277/1 to Teagle/Brewer) and the generous support of the School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton; the Department of Geology, University of Leicester; and the U.S. National Science Foundation, through the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (Texas A&M University) and the United States Science Support Program (Joint Oceanographic Institutions, Inc.).

Our greatest debt of gratitude is to the Transocean rig floor teams, under the supervision of Operations Superintendent Wayne Malone, and tool pushers Joe “Bubba” Attyde and Pete Christie, for their heroic accomplishment of deepening Hole 1256D down to the gabbros. Twice during Expedition 309 prompt recognition and diagnosis of damage to the bottom-hole assembly and drill string prevented major loss of equipment into Hole 1256D, which would have seriously curtailed our progress to the gabbros. The slow penetration, low recovery, and loss of cones and teeth from the drill bit while drilling the nearly impenetrable granoblastic dikes during Expedition 312 led some scientists to feel that the elusive gabbros would never be reached. The Herculean efforts of the rig floor teams to recover the junk, clean the hole, and progress onward toward the gabbros and their “get it done” attitude persist as a huge inspiration to all members of the science party.

Expedition 312 was the last U.S. Implementing Organization cruise of the first phase of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and the final scientific drilling voyage of the JOIDES Resolution before she undergoes major refit and renaming. The JOIDES Resolution has been a maritime home away from home for innumerable crew and scientists since the beginning of the Ocean Drilling Program in 1985, and the successful accomplishment of the longstanding scientific ocean drilling goal of coring down to gabbros is a fitting finale to the JOIDES Resolution’s achievements and the first phase of IODP.