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.