Our Advanced Living Systems Cruise program aboard our research vessel the R/V Sea Explorer studies benthic and pelagic habitats by deploying oceanographic sampling equipment to collect a variety of marine specimens. During this 2-hour program students will be exploring an oceanic food chain as a circular system that recycles materials and results in a functioning ecosystem. Students will identify plankton and discuss their role in the ocean. Students will discover 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 before being released back into the ocean.