Anyone interested in the sea can become a SAMS member
SAMS is a charitable membership organisation to increase knowledge and education about the marine environment to benefit both the oceans and society.
Our members have always come from all walks of life: marine scientists and people working in the marine environment, lay enthusiasts, philanthropists, alumni, teachers, artists, students and school pupils.
What unites our members is
- >an enduring interest in the marine environment
- >a shared belief in the mission of maintaining an independent marine science organisation in Scotland
- >wanting to keep up to date with our activities
If you share these values, why not join us? Joining SAMS as a member makes you part of the extended SAMS family. Currently we have around 300 members from all over the world.
Sea-ing the world differently: Ocean education
Since our beginnings in the 19th century public outreach has been a core activity. As champions for ocean literacy in Scotland we maintain a free visitor and outreach centre (Ocean Explorer Centre) and deliver outreach in schools, to community groups and at public events.
Our members are looked after by Rachel Culver. Please contact Rachel for any issues relating to your membership.
T: +44 (0) 1631 559 000
Postal address: SAMS, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban, Argyll PA37 1QA, Scotland, UK
Find out how we look after your data here.
Benefits of SAMS membership
- >Supporting SAMS' public outreach, school education and professional fellowship and bursary programmes
- >Exclusive access to bursaries of upto £1,000 for research in marine science
- >Access to SAMS' Charles Wyville Thomson library (Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00)
- >Access to hiring our conference facilities (corporate members only)
- >Invitation to participate in SAMS seminars as visitor and/or speaker
- >SAMS annual report (electronic or paper copy)
- >Ocean Explorer Magazine (paper copy)
- >Invitation to annual event/s (AGM and Annual Newth Lecture)
- >Right to vote for Council members and key amendments to Articles and Memorandum of Association
Membership categories and annual subscriptions
- >Ordinary member (£12): for anyone with an enduring interest in marine science
- >Student member (£5): open to persons under 18 years old or registered students
- >SAMS employees (no voting rights) (£10)
- >Unwaged (£5): including retired
- >Corporate / Institutional (£60): for organisations who want to support marine science. Please identify a corporate representative.
The membership year currently runs from 1st April - 31 March in line with our reporting year.
How to joins SAMS
- Fill in our online application form
- When you press 'submit' this will be sent to us and you will begin your membership
How to pay for your membership subscription
There are two ways:
- >electronically in our online shop, selecting the appropriate category
- >send a cheque made out to 'SAMS'
If you want to be invoiced for your membership instead and pay by BACS, then please contact Rachel.
Please note that the membership year runs from 1 April to 31 March but you can join anytime throughout the year.
How to renew your membership
We automatically renew your membership unless you tell us otherwise or do not pay following a reminder email or letter. For anyone not paying automatically by standing order, please use one of the above stated payment methods.
How to cancel your membership
Please notify us in writing of your intention to withdraw from SAMS membership. We would greatly appreciate some feedback why you do not want to remain a member as we do try within our means to provide you with a valuable membership experience.
Annual General Meeting
107th SAMS Annual General Meeting: December 2021 - details tbc
106th SAMS Annual General Meeting: 4 December 2020
Annual Newth Lecture
Since 1990, SAMS has held an annual lecture to commemorate former SAMS President and Glasgow University Professor of Zoology, David Richmond Newth FIBiol FRSE. This is held by an esteemed academic following from the AGM. In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, no lecture was held but one will be organised for the spring of 2021.
Who was Professor David Newth?
David Newth had a distinguished scientific career at the interface between biology and medicine.
Initially David was at University College, London, and the Middlesex Hospital School. From 1965 to 1981 he was Regius Professor of Zoology at the University of Glasgow. He was a most urbane individual, excellent company and a wonderful raconteur.
When he became SAMS President in 1973 he faced a considerable challenge. The decade of the 1970s was difficult for the Association. A significant part of SAMS finance from the Science Vote of the Department of Education and Science was transferred to other government departments, and projects had to be identified that would win contracts from them. Large collaborative research programmes were coming into vogue, while fish farming on the west coast was growing rapidly and the offshore oil industry was developing. At the same time, the climate of opinion was swinging against science.
In his six years of office, David Newth steered the Association with a strong and sure hand. Thereafter he served as a Vice-President until his death on 5 June 1988 at the age of 66.
The late Professor Alasdair D. McIntyre (SAMS President 1988-1993, SAMS Vice President 1993-2009) described David thus:
"David Newth was a distinguished scientist, a fair-minded and effective administrator, a man who was both strong and gentle in his approach to the challenges of his professional life. He did not flinch from difficult decisions yet took them with an understanding that inflicted least hurt. He was both an idealist and pragmatist and both of these aspects of his personality I saw displayed when he was a member of the Nature Conservancy Council. If David's spirit could be reincarnated in animal form then, given his love of cats, I imagine it as a tiger, applying the right amount of strength and energy appropriate to the occasion – but having enough in reserve to cope with the unexpected. And it was good to watch him in action. He served our Association with great distinction and with a sense of tradition in which he took a pride."
List of past Newth lectures
- >2019 Associate Professor Ibon Cancio (Plentzia Marine Station University of the Basque Country): Scientia potentia est and marine biology is the proof. View here...
- >2018 Steven Hall (Society for Underwater Technology): Blue Future: how new technology is going to change our relationship with the global ocean. View here...
- >2017 Professor Colin Moffat (Head of Marine Scotland Science): A day at the seaside, a life with our seas. View here....
- >2016 Professor John Spicer (Plymouth University): Plankton of the sea and of the mind. When Hardy met Garstang
- >2015 Professor Jane Francis (British Antarctic Survey): When the polar regions were green - fossil plants reveal the climate history of the Arctic and Antarctica
- >2014 Dr Patricio Bernal (International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile): Oceanography and Ocean Policy: What are the links
- >2013 Professor Geoffrey Boulton (SAMS President): The Open Science Imperative and its Implications for Oceanography
- >2012 Professor Lora Fleming (Director, European Centre for Environment and Human Health at the Royal Cornwall Hospital): Oceans and human health: A new area of interdisciplinary science
- >2011 Professor Gideon Henderson (University of Oxford): Ironing the Ocean: the critical role of metals for ocean ecosystems and the global carbon cycle
- >2010 Dr Paul Tett (SAMS): Modelling for Science and Policy: From Loch Striven to the European Court of Justice
- >2009 Professor Toby Sherwin (SAMS): Charting the circulation of the North Atlantic: the legacy of David Ellett
- >2008 Professor Laurence Mee (Director of SAMS): "Quo vadis mare nostrum? Systems science for sustainable seas
- >2007 Professor Tom Crowley (Director of SAGES, University of Edinburgh): A geologist's perspective on global warming and energy options
- >2006 Professor Julian Dowdeswell (Director: Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge): Ice and environmental change
- >2005 Professor Michel Kaiser (Bangor University): Can't see the fishermen for the fish: net benefits demand a wider perspective
- >2004 Professor Chris German (SOC): Hydrothermal exploration can lead you a long way: Oases for life in distant oceans
- >2003 Dr Phil Williamson (NERC/UEA): Is marine management a myth?
- >2002 Dr Joanna Oliver (ECMB): Biotechnology meets the sea – a recipe for success
- >2001 Professor Peter Wadhams (SPRI): Convective chimneys in the Greenland Sea
- >2000 Professor Graham Shimmield (SAMS): Marine Science Plan for Europe: Issues to be addressed
- >1999 Professor John Harwood (SMRU): Marine mammals in the 21 st century: will habitat loss be a problem?
- >1998 Professor John S Gray (University of Oslo): The oil and gas industry and the North Sea environment. Lessons from Norway?
- >1997 Professor Harry Elderfield (University of Cambridge): Sea floor hot springs and ocean aquifers
- >1996 Professor John HS Blaxter (SAMS Honorary Fellow): Enhancing marine fish stocks
- >1995 Professor Steve A Thorpe (SOC): Marine dispersion: from parsnips to oil and yellow plastic ducks
- >1994 Sir Graham Hills (former Principal, University of Strathclyde): The University of the Highlands and Islands: A university of the future.
- >1993 Dr Eileen Buttle (NERC): The government white paper on science, engineering and technology: The challenge to Scottish marine science
- >1992 Professor George M Dunnet (University of Aberdeen): Scottish Natural Heritage and the marine environment
- >1991 Dr John H Steele (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution): Are we marine organisms?
- >1990 Professor Sir Frederick Holliday: Conserving conservation
The SAMS research bursary supports research in any marine science subject - especially if of relevance to Scotland - to a maximum of £1000 per application.
In the past this bursary has allowed visiting scientists to spend some time working at SAMS, or has been used to support travel, research assistance, completion of a project, or capital equipment purchase (for which SAMS reserves the right to retain ownership). We encourage applicants to discuss project ideas with a SAMS researcher, and welcome collaborative applications.
Any application will be judged on criteria including the originality of the project, the clarity and focus of the objectives, the research plan and content, its socio-economic relevance, the probability of being completed, and other funding sources and applications.
Successful applicants should be - or are required to become - members of SAMS.
Applications are considered twice a year: on 31 March and 30 September.
Applicants should provide:
- > brief description of the project (no more than two pages of A4)
- >itimised costings to justify the requested funds
- >an indication of other funding granted or applied for
- >a brief cv including bibliography
Applications should be sent by email or letter to Professor Keith Davidson.
Recent research bursary reports
- >Annual Report 2000.pdf
- >Annual Report 2001.pdf
- >Annual Report 2002.pdf
- >Annual Report 2003.pdf
- >Annual Report 2004.pdf
- >Annual Report 2005.pdf
- >Annual Report 2006.pdf
- >Annual Report 2007.pdf
- >Annual Report 2008.pdf
- >Annual Report 2009.pdf
- >Annual Report 2010.pdf
- >Annual Report 2011.pdf
- >Annual Report 2012.pdf
- >Annual Report 2013.pdf
- >Annual Report 2014.pdf
- >Annual Report 2015.pdf
- >Annual Report 2016.pdf
- >Annual Report 2017.pdf
- >Annual Report 2018.pdf
- >2019 AGM - Annual Report
- >2020 Annual Report
- >Newsletter issue 22.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 23.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 24.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 25.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 26.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 27.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 28.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 29.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 30.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 31.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 32.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 33.pdf
- >Newsletter issue 34.pdf
- >Ocean Explorer issue 35.pdf
- >Ocean Explorer 36.pdf
- >Ocean Explorer 37.pdf
- >Coastal Zones: Solutions for the 21st Century (2015). Baztan, J, O Chouinard, B Jorgensen, P Tett, J-P Vanderlinden & L Vasseur, (Eds). Elsevier.
- >Shared, Plural and Cultural Values: A Handbook for Decision-Makers (2014). Kenter, JO, et al. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.4683.5281
- >Fjord Systems and Archives (2011). JA Howe, WEN Austin, M Forwick and M Paetzel (Eds.), GSL Special Publications. 392 pp
- >Sustaining Coastal Zone Systems (2011) Tett, P, A Sandberg & A Mette (Eds.). Dunedin Academic Press. Edinburgh.
- >Black, K.D.(2008) Environmental aspects of aquaculture, in Aquaculture, Innovation and Social Transformation, (eds. K. Culver, D. Castle) Springer Science and Business Media B.V. 2008, pp 99-115
- >The World Guide to Whale and Dolphin Watching (2006). Angus Wilson and Ben Wilson. Colin Baxter Photography Ltd. 288 p
SAMS is governed by an independent non-executive Board that meets five times a year. The Board is supported by a range of sub-committees. Our commercial subsidiary company SAMS Enterprise is governed by its own Board. Board members are the non-executive directors of the company and trustees of the charity.
Ultimate legal responsibility for SAMS' operations rests with the Board. The Board appoints the Director and delegates the running of SAMS to the Director and the executive team.
The learned society members of SAMS elect Board members and office bearers at the Annual General Meeting, that is usually held in early December.
An audit committee monitors the integrity of financial reporting, internal controls and risk management systems, whistleblowing and internal audit and liaises with the external auditors.
Articles of Association (last updated 2020)
Chair / Trustee
Diana Murray CBE (2019-2022)
Trustees / Board members
Hazel Allen (2017-2020) - chairs Finance Committee
Professor John Baxter (2018-2021)
Professor Colin Brownlee (2018-2021)
Lisa Chilton (2018-2021)
Ian Dunn (2016-2019, 2019-2022)
John MacKerron (2019-2022)
Dr Deborah McNeill (2018-2021)
Dr Magnus Nicolson (2019-2022)
Susan Watts (2018-2021)
Vice Presidents (previous Presidents / Chairs)
John MacKerron - chair
Professor Robert Ferrier
Dr Carol Philips
Directors of SAMS Enterprise
Magnus Nicolson (chair)
Dr Karen Blackport
Professor Axel Miller
Professor Nicholas JP Owens
The SAMS executive team
Director & Managing Director of SRSL
Deputy Director / Company Secretary
Associate Director, Science and Research
Associate Director, Science and Education
Associate Director, Science, Enterprise and Innovation
Head of Human Resources
Head of Enterprise
Head of Financial Services
Donald Smith (interim)