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Below are typical terms that are used while conducting a research cruise.  


Aft: towards the stern or back of the boat

Benthic: term for organisms living on the sea floor

Bow: the front, pointed end of the boat

Captain: the individual who oversees all ship operations and is responsible for the ship and crew safety
Chief Scientist: lead scientist or Principal Investigator, the individual responsible for relaying science needs to MPC and captain
Fore: towards the bow of the boat

Invertebrates: all animals that do not possess a backbone, invertebrates make up 95% of all known animal species

Larvae: the juvenile forms of animals, there may be several larval stages before reaching the adult form, some larvae look completely different from the adult form that they will eventually become

Mates: ship's crew responsible for "driving" the boat, typically there are 2-3 mates on a ship
MOCNESS: Multiple Opening/Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System, a large piece of equipment used to sample different depths of the ocean very accurately for plankton (see below)
NSF: National Science Foundation, the primary U.S. government agency that sponsors non-medical research including all types of basic scientific research

Pelagic: term for organisms inhabiting the water column

PI: Principal Investigator, a scientist who leads a research effort
Plankton: animals that live in the water column and usually are moved around by tides, wind and currents, animal plankton includes jellyfish, worms, crustaceans, molluscs as well as eggs and larvae of many species
Port: the left side of the boat when facing forward
Starboard: the right side of the boat when facing forward
Stern: the back end of the boat
Symbiosis: term to describe the close and often long-term relationship between two (or more) different biological species. These relationships can range from beneficial to all members (a mutualism) to where one benefits at a cost to the other (a parasitism).