Ocean & Earth Day
Get hands-on and find out what exciting discoveries the UK’s world-class scientists are making in the oceans of the world! Each year the National Oceanography Centre opens its doors to the general public by hosting Ocean & Earth Day, an interactive and exciting family show, highlighting the fascinating research that we’re involved in from the coast to the deep ocean.
Keep visiting this page for the very latest news about the next Ocean & Earth Day (OED) along with links to further resources.
- When is the next OED?
- Why go to the show?
- How do I get there?
- Is there a restaurant?
- What if I’m less able?
- What can I expect to see?
- Feedback Prize Draw
When is the next OED?
The next Ocean & Earth Day will be on Saturday 15 March 2014 from 10.30 – 16.00 (last entry 15.30).
Why go to the show?
The oceans are the key to the long-term health of our beautiful blue planet. They continue to surprise and amaze us as we visit this mysterious realm from the coast to miles below the surface. So little of the ocean has been explored that we encounter hundreds of new species every year, opening up new opportunities to understand this dynamic and fragile environment . Our geologists and geophysicists are unearthing the secrets of the Earth’s oceans and climate, and this is your golden opportunity to find out where and how your funding is contributing to our knowledge of the oceans.
How do I get there?
- Park & Ride (Availability to be confirmed)
We are hoping to run our highly successful free Park & Ride service next year. In 2013, UniLink and the NOC partnered to offer you a convenient and free bus route taking in several key car parks around the city. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.
- By Bike
Turn the day into an adventurous terrestrial expedition by bike! We're very green and we provide lots of secure bike parking on site.
- By Bus
Make the day a fun adventure by linking up on the standard city-wide UniLink bus services (see network map and general timetable to plan your journey).
- By Car
On-site parking is severely limited at the NOC. We are hoping to run our Park & Ride service for 2014, so keep this page bookmarked for the latest updates. If you have less able passengers or very young children and need to park at the event venue, please point your Sat Nav to SO14 3ZH, make your way to Dock Gate 4 then follow the signs - staff will be on hand to direct you.
NOTE if the venue or car park is full, you will be politely asked to park elsewhere and walk in or use the standard Unilink bus service (see above).
Important! Visitors who walk, cycle or use public transport are entered into a free prize draw.
Is there a restaurant?
We have a great restaurant with superb views across the working docks and the Solent. Or you can escape the crowds, bring your own food and use our comfortable indoor picnic and rest area by the Reception entrance.
What if I’m less able?
The NOC is committed to providing full access to less able visitors. The show is on two floors with full wheelchair access. If you have any questions about access please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If the tide is particularly low, access to our coastal Research Vessel Callista may be limited.
Please visit the DisabledGo page for the Centre
What can I expect to see?
Each year our visitors leave us with beaming smiles and a greater understanding of the role of the oceans in our lives. In 2013 we welcomed more than 3,000 excited visitors who enjoyed and interacted with our 50+ displays and presenters.
Visitors can see examples of the technology needed to explore at the edge of mankinds’ ability, how we access the depths and hostile environments of the oceans and to learn more about the important role they play in the Earth’s climate. You can find out about the impact of mankind on these delicate ecosystems, and the challenges of exploring this often inhospitable environment and its geology through world leading research and engineering.
Visit the Research Aquarium and say "Hi" to Rocky the Lobster and other examples of local marine life, operate an underwater vehicle, take a close look at fossils and sea life, watch short informative talks and take part in a range of exciting hands-on activities. There is even a chance to visit a working research vessel – RV Callista. In 2013, visitors had a rare chance to see our Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Cook in dock.
Special displays for the 2014 Ocean & Earth Day will appear here when available.
Special displays at the 2013 Ocean & Earth Day:
- The RRS James Cook
- The world's deepest Hydrothermal Vents found by NOC scientists in February this year
- Biggest ever picture of the seabed at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (about the size of Southampton!) - Childrens colouring activity
- Singing Bubbles with Dr Helen Czerski - talk and activity
- Curiosity Mars Rover interactive display
- Local conservation group displays
- Drilling to the Moho - Ultra-deep scientific drilling to sample Earth's mantle - talk and display
- SERPENT Deep Sea ROV simulator - collect specimens using a virtual Remotely Operated Vehicle!
- Thermal Imaging - display and activity
- Augmented Reality and 3D demos
- And lots more!
Feedback Prize Draw
We would love to hear from you about your visit to Ocean & Earth Day. Fill in our Contact form after your visit to be included in our Feedback Prize Draw!