The University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) is an organization of academic institutions and national laboratories involved in oceanographic research and joined for the purpose of coordinating ships' schedules and research facilities. One of the primary functions of UNOLS is to ensure the efficient scheduling of scientific cruises aboard the numerous research vessels located at the multiple operating institutions in the UNOLS organizations.

The R/V Atlantic Explorer, owned and operated by BIOS, is a proud member of the UNOLS fleet, supporting a wide variety of oceanographic research.