The goal of the project is 1) to test whether sea ice microbial communities are an important source of organic material supporting benthic communities in the Ross Sea and 2) resolve important sources of nutrient recycling in the system. To accomplish these two goals we will start by sampling penguin guano and seal scat from sites at Cape Bird, Cape Royds and also collect samples of water and phytoplankton from the sea ice edge. This will then provide the samples needed to start incubation experiments in the wet lab space at Scott Base for the remainder of the event. We will then commense collecting samples of fish, invertebrates, algae and sediments from 6 dive sites (Cape Armitage, Cape Evans, Turtle Rock, Cape Evans Wall, Razorback Island). We will use diving as a primary means of sampling, supported from the USAP dive locker as in 2012 but also sampling of the water column with plankton nets, hook and line fishing. All access to field sites will be based from Scott Base and travel over ice by tracked vehicle.