An offshore oil platform located in the Gulf of Mexico is scheduled to be dismantled via explosives. The local marine life, including two endangered sea turtle species (hawksbills and leatherbacks), is vulnerable to damage and thus needs to be protected throughout the process at all costs. In Mission 2 of Resilient Planet, players step into the role of a NOAA marine ecologist and licensed operator of the Hercules ROV working to decode a complex ecosystem according to the scientific process. Aided by archaeologist and oceanographer Bob Ballard, and equipped with a host of authentic scientific tools and practices, they must navigate the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in search of data that will help them protect the local marine life.
Resilient Planet is very much a field research game. In Mission 2, players use a Crittercam to monitor the activities of hawksbill and leatherback turtles, perform a biodiversity survey using a dichotomous key, locate and evacuate at-risk turtles from the area surrounding the platform, scope a pickled buffalo, and so on. But collecting good data is only part of the picture. Afterward, players must use their data to construct and deliver scientific arguments that convince NOAA to protect the marine sanctuary in accordance with their findings (which may or may not contradict their original hypothesis).