Discover FAU Harbor Branch

Ocean Discovery Visitors Center

The Ocean Discovery Visitors Center is the public gateway to FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and showcases the on-going efforts of our marine scientists and engineers. Our research-themed exhibitions provide visitors with an up-close look at the cutting-edge methods and technologies that have led to nearly 50 years of discoveries around the world. The Center also contains over 1,000 gallons of aquaria and is home to more than 80 different species of plants and animals. Our live displays highlight fascinating marine environments from seagrass beds to coral reefs and even include demonstrations of our state-of-the-art sustainable aquaculture systems. Our goal is to bring awareness to the importance of marine research and wildlife, connect visitors with our experts and inspire people of all ages to work together to conserve our blue planet.

Ocean Discovery Visitors Center
A five-dollar donation is encouraged to help support our outreach programs.

For more information please call 772.242.2293.

Directions to the Center can be found here.


Hours of Operation

The Visitors Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Current Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions Include

Marine Biomedical & Biotechnology
Take a journey from the ocean to the pharmacy while learning about how our researchers discover, test and understand the medicinal properties of marine chemicals.

Marine Mammal Conservation
From local dolphins and manatees to whales that travel the world- learn about the health and behavior of these animals as well as success stories from our rescue team. 

Aquaculture & Stock Enhancement
Learn about the plants and animals that our researchers are growing and the sustainable systems they have developed to help feed the world and protect the environment.

Marine Ecosystem Health
Explore the relationships between human activities and the health of our environment while learning about important species like seagrasses, turtles, sharks and corals.

Ocean Engineering and Exploration
Get an up-close look at the cutting-edge technologies that enable us to discover, map, sample and observe the ocean’s diverse organisms and habitats.

A Journey Through the History of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Dive into our rich 50-year history as well as some of our greatest discoveries!

Discovery Spotlight
This changing display highlights new discoveries and provides a behind the scenes look at how they were made. It currently features information about marine debris and the impact of the Junior Ambassador Program titled "Keep the Sea of Debris."

Student Information Station
Learn about the next generation of marine scientists- our graduate students- as well as the many education programs offered across FAU’s six campuses.

Event Banner


Science Saturdays

Join us at the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center for this fun-filled, outdoor event. Bring the whole family and learn from our experts while participating in a variety of exciting, interactive activities. Schedule coming soon!


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.

You can also take a behind the scenes look around FAU Harbor Branch through a series of Virtual Tours. These videos highlight our various research projects, state of the art facilities and equipment, as well as views from our historic 144-acre campus that is located along the Indian River Lagoon.

FAU Harbor Branch Gift Shop

Located in the Ocean Discovery Visitors Center, our gift shop offers a variety of FAU Harbor Branch merchandise as well as ocean-themed and eco-friendly gifts. Guests can also visit the gift shop to make reservations for our campus, boat and specialty tours

Our online gift shop also offers a selection of our in-store merchandise.

gift shop

HBOI ocean fish