The Research Experience & Education Facility, better known as The REEF, is UCSB’s teaching aquarium.

UCSB student teaches grade school kids around aquarium

For scheduling requests, please email inquiries to our REEF Program Coordinator at or call us at 805.893.8765.

Located at Campus Point Beach, the REEF is part of the Marine Science Institute’s (MSI) Oceans-to-Classrooms (O2C) education and outreach program. Equipped with state-of-the-art touch tanks and aquaria, The REEF provides an “Ocean View of the World” for students in Southern California including Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern, Los Angeles, San Diego, and beyond! The REEF’s unique method of instruction and science communication utilizes current and on-going research at UCSB and aligns it with Common Core, and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

the reef ucsb

From 2, to 2,000, gallons, The REEF has Temperate and Tropical aquaria and touch tanks to explore an Ocean View of the World!

Combined with strategic on-campus partnerships with the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education and the Office of Education Partnerships, as well as other environmental and science departments, MSI produces high level science, literacy and pedagogical programs for K-12 students, teachers, college courses and the community-at-large. Additionally, through off-campus collaborations with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the Santa Barbara County Education Office, MSI creates very meaningful, place-based curricula for K12 students and professional development opportunities for teachers. Through our web-based content, MSI has the capacity to bring our “Ocean View of the World” to students all around this Ocean Planet.


Public Hours

Have you ever wanted to hold a sea hare or lobster?
Come down to The REEF for Open Door!
We are open to the public every Friday/Saturday (except for major holidays) during our Open Door hours. The REEF is always FREE of charge.
For more information, please email our REEF Program Coordinator at or call us at 805.893.8765.


Friday 4:00pm–5:00pm
Saturday 11:00am–2:00pm

Winter 2024 Open Door Dates:*

January 26th–March 16th
The REEF will be closed this Saturday, February 17th.

*Subject to change. Please email our REEF Program Coordinator at for the latest dates/hours.

Dive In

Education and Programs

The VirtualREEF

Spend your Day @ The REEF watching our YouTube Channel