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In 2016, E/V Nautilus and the ROV Hercules collected 549 geological, biological, and water samples (2,022 subsamples) to characterize several US West Coast national marine sanctuaries, the Cascadia margin, and offshore southern California. Most samples are archived at partnering repositories: geological samples to the Marine Geological Samples Lab at the University of Rhode Island and biological samples to Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. The national marine sanctuary samples were split between these repositories and the California Academy of Sciences. During this field season, we experimented with new sampling methods to improve exploration efficiency and robustness.