Information for Visiting Researchers and Students

General Visitor Information

All visitors to HIMB must have an HIMB sponsor. Please obtain approval from a sponsor before proceeding with housing arrangements.

For dorm reservations and questions, contact housing managers at (primary form of communication) or (808) 391-7158

Applying for research and dormitory space at HIMB

  1. Contact housing managers with the dates and duration of your desired visit to insure housing availability.
  2. Fill out Application for HIMB Housing, Application for Research Facilities, and Visitor Waiver/Release Forms (all are available online on our “Visitor Information” page).
  3. Your sponsor must submit a Visitor Report Form, stating the dates of your visit, to the HIMB office at least three days prior to your arrival.
  4. Address all questions regarding research facilities to your sponsor.
  5. A collecting permit is required to collect aquatic life or use fishing gear which is otherwise prohibited.Please contact your sponsor for more information.
  6. When coordinating your visit, please take the time difference into account: we can be up to six (6) hours behind US East Coast time (EST).

Planning for your arrival

There are no food stores on Coconut Island! Make sure to stop in Kane‘ohe for provisions before coming to the Island.

General Disclaimer: Life on Coconut Island

The Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology is a world-renowned research institute situated on Coconut Island in Kane‘ohe Bay. Staying on the island is a fantastic opportunity for studying marine processes in the water with coral reefs just outside your door. This ideal location for research is both a blessing and an inconvenience:

When you arrive in Hawai‘i to study at HIMB, you not only have to navigate from the airport to Kane‘ohe, but also get through a gate and down a steep hill, park in a small parking lot, walk along a long pier, which juts out into the water, and wait for a boat. There is no public transportation to Lilipuna Pier, the gate requires a code, and the parking lot is often full to capacity during business hours. In order to cross the channel to Coconut Island, you have to adhere to a boat schedule. The boat stops running at 10pm.

These steps are second nature to the staff and researchers who work on the island, but can be daunting to the uninitiated. Although Coconut Island is small, it will seem larger if you have to carry your luggage to your dorm (remember to arrange for assistance!). The roads are mostly unpaved dirt (or mud, depending on weather conditions) and there are no stores (outside of a lone vending machine), so you have to carry in all your food.

This disclaimer was not written to dissuade you from staying on Coconut Island, but rather to make you an informed visitor. The rewards that come from living on Coconut Island are plentiful. The scenery is beautiful and you cannot beat the convenience for coral reef research.

Contact Us

For more information about living and working on Coconut Island, please contact us at:


[ Top of the page ]