FAU Harbor Branch offers a variety of educational tours so that the community can learn about the marine environment and the important research conducted by the institute. For more information or to make a reservation please call 772-242-2293 or stop by our Ocean Discovery Visitors Center. Special group tours are also available.
Offered Wednesdays from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.
FAU Harbor Branch welcomes you to go behind the scenes with one of our outreach scientists to gain a greater understanding of the significant research conducted by the institute. During this 1.5 hour golf-cart tour, participants will explore our 144 acre waterfront campus, learn about our history, hear highlights of the cutting-edge research being conducted by our marine scientists and engineers, and discover the impact that our work has on their everyday lives. The experience will also include a photo-op in front of our iconic Johnson Sea Link deep-sea submersible as well as views of the Indian River Lagoon and Florida wildlife.
About FAU Harbor Branch: Founded in 1971 as a premier marine research facility, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute is now the northern-most campus of Florida Atlantic University. Our team of over 300 scientists, engineers, students, staff and volunteers work toward a goal of Ocean Science for a Better World.
Campus Immersion Tours are recommended for ages 10 and up.
Tours are limited to 12 people. Reservations and payment are required in advance (must be made by 4 pm the day before).
Cost to attend: $15 per person
Offered select Thursdays: February 21st, March 7th, March 21st & April 4th from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm.
Join us on the lagoon for a fun and educational experience aboard a covered pontoon boat captained by Audubon Warden “Chop” Lege. During this 1.5 hour excursion, an FAU Harbor Branch scientist will discuss the wildlife encountered as well as the research that the institute conducts to better understand and protect the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) ecosystem.
About the IRL: Designated as an aquatic preserve and Estuary of National Significance, the lagoon is one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America. Spanning from 156 miles along Florida’s east coast, it is home to more than 2,100 different species of plants and more than 2,200 animal species, including 50 threatened or endangered species. FAU Harbor Branch research includes studies on harmful algal blooms, critical habitats like seagrass communities, the health and ecology of sharks, rays, manatees and dolphins, and real-time water quality information from the Indian River Lagoon Observatory Network.
Tours are limited to 30 people. Reservations and payment are required in advance (must be made by 4 pm the day before).
Indian River Lagoon Research Boat Tours are appropriate for all ages.
Cost to attend: $30 per adult; $25 per child (under 12 years old)
Price: $30/adult; $25/child (12 and under)
Offered select Thursdays: February 28th, March 14th & April 11th from 10:30 am to12:00 pm.
Journey to the deep during this exclusive tour of the FAU Harbor Branch Exploration Command Center (ECC). Participants will learn about the institute’s partnership with NOAA and see video footage from the latest missions conducted by their 6,000-meter capable remotely operated vehicle (ROV) the Deep Discoverer, aboard “America’s Ship for Exploration” the Okeanos Explorer. An FAU Harbor Branch scientist will discuss the importance of these missions and provide information about the various animals and habitats that are encountered during the dive.
About the ECC: Until recently, ocean-going scientific exploration has been something relatively few people have had the opportunity to experience. Today, live-streaming of video, data and information from ROVs at depth and ships at sea to shore-based audiences anywhere in the world has been made possible through the use of next-generation technologies. The FAU Harbor Branch ECC is operated by the Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology (CIOERT), which is dedicated to exploration of the nation’s ocean frontiers through innovative science and cutting-edge technologies. This is one of over a dozen ECCs around the country, which allow scientists and students to participate in global oceanographic expeditions in real-time!
Tours are limited to 16 people. Reservations and payment are required in advance (must be made by 4 pm the day before).
The ECC tour is recommended for ages 10 and up.
Cost to attend: $20 per person
Interpretive tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm.
Participate in an interpretive tour of the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center led by an FAU Harbor Branch graduate student or outreach scientist. The center’s five research-themed exhibits currently include “Marine Biomedical & Biotechnology”, “Marine Mammal Research & Conservation”, “Aquaculture & Stock Enhancement”, “Marine Ecosystem Health” and “Ocean Engineering”. This interactive tour provides an excellent overview of FAU Harbor Branch as well as the opportunity to learn about the research equipment and live aquaria displayed throughout the center.
About the Center:
The Ocean Discovery Visitor's Center (ODVC) is the public gateway to FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute. The center houses interactive exhibits, aquaria, a video theater and other displays depicting the marine environment and the research efforts of the Institute. Exhibit content is continually evolving to showcase our latest scientific discoveries and provide visitors with a close-up look at the emerging technologies used by the marine research community. The ODVC also features a student information station and the FAU Harbor Branch Gift Shop.
Interpretive tours are available anytime that the center is open and last approximately 45 minutes. Advance reservations are only required for groups of 10 or more guests.
The ODVC tour is recommended for ages 10 and up.
Cost to attend: ODVC admission and interpretive tours are free, though donations are encouraged and can be made by cash, check or credit card.