This program explores the interactions between marine organisms and their ecosystems. In the lab, students will investigate food chains, life cycles, adaptations, and habitats during the four stations. Our living systems program explores the relationship between biotic and abiotic components of the marine ecosystem. The lab includes a fish dissection where students will look at external and internal anatomy. Test the quality of different water samples to see which animals are best suited to live in it. Discuss various habitats and ecosystems that animals live in. Investigate the moon jelly life cycle and their importance in the food chain with predator and prey relations. On the R/V Sea Explorer, students will examine benthic and pelagic habitats by deploying oceanographic sampling equipment to collect a variety of marine specimens. On the boat, students will be exploring an oceanic food chain as a circular system that recycles materials and results in a functioning ecosystem. At the plankton station, students will be identifying phytoplankton and discussing their role as producers via photosynthesis. During the benthic station students will be exploring decomposition and recycling of nutrients by identifying benthic organisms. Students will assist in the collection of live animals from the benthic zone using an otter net. The organisms collected will then be studied to determine their type and adaptations.