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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Ocean and Earth Day - The National Oceanography Centre Southampton opens it's doors to the public!

Published: 12 February 2014

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 event, highlighting the fascinating research that teh Univeristy of Southampton is involved in from the coast to the deep ocean.

The next Ocean & Earth Day will be on Saturday 15 March 2014 from 10.30 - 16.00 (last entry 15.30). It's a great day for all the family or a great school or college trip opportunity.

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 more about the exciting research happening here in Southampton!

Visitors can see examples of the technology needed to explore at the edge of our 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 that humans have on these delicate ecosystems, and the challenges of exploring this often inhospitable environment and its geology through world leading research and engineering.

Operate an underwater vehicle

Visit our aquarium displays, 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. If you're lucky and she is in dock on the day, you may catch a glimpse of our brand-new Royal Research Ship Discovery, which was named by HRH the Princess Royal here at the NOC on 10 October 2013.


Learning about marine biology

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.

We also have a great cafeteria 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.

How do I get there?
  • Park & Ride (Availability to be confirmed)
    We are hoping to run our highly successful free Park & Ride service in 2014.
    Last year, 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.

View our video from 2013 Ocean and Earth day!

Getting up close and personal with research
Ocean and Earth day 2013
Exploring our Oceans MOOC

Did you study our MOOC?

Calling all MOOCer's! Did you study our Exploring Our Oceans MOOC? Why not come down to the centre where our lead educators and facilitators conduct their research? There will be a special MOOC room where you can show your friends and family what you have been learning and meet the people face to face that have been teaching you!

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