From the Charleston Post & Courier:

Vents from undersea volcanoes called “snowblowers” spew fresh micro- organisms in a white, slurry-like snow.

The bacterial material is the beginning of sea life. Getting a real-time look at a snowblower at work is groundbreaking science.

A geology class of College of Charleston students is getting an up-close look this week, exploring a vent never seen before.

On Tuesday, they watched a live feed of a submersible exploring the vent in the recently erupted volcano — Axial Seamount — about 250 miles off the Oregon coast. On Thursday they will watch the broadcast finale of the research.

Read the full article at http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/aug/31/c-of-c-students-see-ocean-volcano/