Because of their relatively short life span, phytoplankton and zooplankton respond quickly to their environment. Changes in the plankton can alter food web dynamics in the ecosystem. We conduct research to understand how large scale forcing and physical factors drive phytoplankton blooms and zooplankton response. This provides insight for understanding inter-annual variability and long-term change. To do this, we use comprehensive data sets such as those provided by the Palmer Antarctic Long Term Ecological Research (PAL-LTER) program http://pal.lternet.edu/.