The Ocean Explorer Centre (OEC) is suitable for everyone!
As well as original displays, we often develop new displays or have visiting exhibitions. We welcome all tourists, school children, the local community and visiting stakeholders and scientists.
SAMS hosts the most diverse collection of algae in the world, and you can see a snapshot of the algae in our centre and use the microscope to explore it.
On our fantastic 3D globe you can find the Marianas Trench, the deepest part of the ocean, discover the mountain chains and tectonic plates or even look at where you live. The oceans cover 72% of the planet and the globe really highlights this amazing fact!
We have a brand new sound display. Ever wondered what a killer whale sounds like or the sounds we make like shipping and sonar? Then you will find this display quite fascinating!
You could sit in front of our underwater camera in the observatory and see sea gooseberries or fish floating by and study the sea mats on the kelp. The view is beamed live from the pontoon nearby.
And everybody loves to meet Flappy, our lifesize model of a local female flapper skate which is severely endangered. A special marine protected area has been created for the species in the Sound of Jura and SAMS does important photo-ID work to protect them. The cinema shows films made by our film-maker in residence and students about our science.
And not forgetting our technology models of sea gliders, drifters and argo floats. Visit our Beach cafe for a great value cuppa, cake or lunch overlooking the beach and have a look at our shop full of ocean gifts, books and toys.
Please call us about any special group booking enquiries.
Spring, Summer, Autumn
Fire, Ice and Rock, Oceans and Seas, Plants and Animals, Land and Climate, Energy and Engineering, History of Scientific Discovery
Turn into a marine scientist! Explore plankton with our microscope, discover the shape of our seas on our 3D globe and find out about the latest research into ocean currents, environmental change, aquaculture and more that goes on in Oban at Scotland’s oldest marine research institute.
This family-friendly, small visitor centre includes a cinema, children’s orca and molecule hunts and activity table, high spec microscope. Meet Flappy the flapper skate! The Beach Café has indoor and outdoor seating on the shores of the Firth of Lorn and a small shop stocking marine / science-related books, games and gifts. Plus, the Ocean Explorer Centre at SAMS sits right by the beach at Camas Rubha na Liathaig (Liathaig Bay).
Open Mon-Fri 10am to 4pm (See website for winter opening times).
Entrance free/donations welcome to help us provide free education for a healthy ocean. 3 miles north of Oban.