Colloquium Office Manager
Phone: (239) 590-7488
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd. South
Fort Myers, Florida 33965-6565
Campus Naturalists act as a liaison to the campus community and particularly University Colloquium students. Most importantly, naturalists act as peer interpreters, helping students connect to the campus ecosystem and the wild side of Florida - including campus trails, native and exotic wildlife, wetland and upland ecosystems, natural and cultural resources and conservation areas. Campus Naturalists also educate classes about FGCU environmental and sustainability initiatives such as LEED certified buildings, our energy conservation measures, and recycling programs. Campus Naturalists primarily assist professors in leading classes at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Matanzas Pass Preserve, Downtown Fort Myers, and on the Campus Trails. Naturalists may occasionally assist with other Colloquium field trips, campus trail clean-ups and other service learning events sponsored by University Colloquium. Naturalists help their peers understand the natural environment they are visiting. Training is provided throughout the year. Naturalists may also be required to assist with other projects, programs or events as assigned.
My name is Shawn Brunelle and I am a junior here FGCU. I am a Biology major, with a passion for plants and molecular biology. I aspire to one day become a botanist, focusing specifically on plant genetics. I love exploring nature and I’m a fan of getting lost in the wild. One day I plan to visit all the National Parks in North America. My favorite trips are the campus trails and the Food Forest.
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”- Theodore Roosevelt
G’Day! My name is Ricky Cassell and I am a Senior majoring in Biology with a concentration in organismal and ecological studies. I have always had a passion with wildlife and the outdoors while growing up in Michigan. This came from my many experiences in Boy Scouts that led to me becoming an Eagle Scout! My first time experiencing Florida Wildlife was not until I came to school at Florida Gulf Coast University a few years back. Whenever I get the chance, I love to spend time in the outdoors hiking, hammocking, and camping. If I’m not outside, you may find me playing the tuba at the FGCU Basketball Games! I am also involved with the Habitat for Humanity Club, Honors Mentor Program, and the Wildlife Club. Recently, I went on a Study Abroad trip through FGCU to South Africa. While there, I experienced all sorts of wildlife through various preserves, rehabilitation centers, as well as Kruger National Park. I also we cage diving with Great White Sharks! My dream job would be to become a guide and or naturalist in a National Park and share the awesome things about NATURE with everyone who comes through and inspire them to enjoy more of their time in the great outdoors!
I’m FGCU’s Senior Naturalist and an FGCU graduate with a B.S. in Biology concentrated in organismal and ecological studies. I’m currently pursuing a Master’s in Environmental Science at FGCU conducting a study on environmental DNA. In my four years as a naturalist I’ve become a Certified Interpretive Guide and CPR/AED/First-Aid certified.
I’m originally from Ft. Myers, but didn’t venture out to the local natural areas until I started attending FGCU. I had spent four years indoors studying engineering, drafting, and art at Estero High School where I excelled in those fields. I started at FGCU as a bioengineering student interested in biomechanics but quickly switched to Biology after finishing my first course in it. From there on, I quickly developed a passion for wildlife and ecology through my coursework, service learning, and time as an officer of the FGCU Wildlife Club.
My current interests are wetland ecology, disturbance ecology, paleontology, and herpetology among other things. My specialty is frogs and toads and I’ll literally “jump” at the opportunity to catch one for students to observe and learn from. My favorite is the Oak Toad.
My name is Samantha Headley, but I usually go by Sam. I am sophmore at FGCU majoring in Environmental Studies. I'm from Miami, Florida and like any Floridian I am a complete beach bum. I love everything about the ocean and hope to someday work with rescue and rehabilitation of marine wildlife. I am a certified scuba diver and an officer for the FGCU Scuba Club. I also enjoy kayaking, camping, drawing, comics, and just being all around silly and adventurous. I hope to one day be working doing research, rescue, and rehabilitation on marine mammals, such as dolphins and manatees (which are my favorite). Dream jobs for me include working with: Dolphin Plus, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium, MOTE, Disney Under the Seas, or Animal Kingdom. If you see me around feel free to come up and say hi!!!
My name is Joey Hutchinson and I am currently a senior at FGCU majoring in Environmental Studies. I am originally from Massachusetts and I am not afraid to brag about it. My passion is ecology and I hope to continue my pursuit of education to meet that goal. My original major was biology but through exploration of the mountains in North near my home it clicked that the environment was the only option I would ever see myself completely satisfied with. I hope to travel the world one day with what I have learned and experienced to continue demonstrating my passion.
“I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored.” -David Attenborough
Hi! My name is Courtney, and I am a junior Environmental Studies major at FGCU. I was born and raised in Florida and love the environment here! I enjoy longboarding, drawing, and studying birds. I also love reptiles and have three pet geckos! I volunteer working with shorebirds through the Audubon Society and have also volunteered at Shy Wolf Sanctuary and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. I hope to get my Masters Degree at FGCU and study birds in the field. I am passionate about wildlife and I enjoy sharing that with others!
Hello, my name is Molly Lane. I am a Florida native majoring in Political Science with a minor in Peace and Social Justice here at FGCU. As a Naturalist for University Colloquium, I have a passion for the outdoors, conservation, and environmental education. I had the pleasure of working on the Real Food Challenge movement at FGCU implementing local, fair trade, ecologically sound, and humane food sources on campus. I enjoy gardening and take an interest in medicinal and edible plants. Future goals include the Peace Corp, National Parks, and working on environmental policy.
My name is Ivana Lezcano and I am a biology major with an organismal and ecological concentration. My passion is herpetology and I hope to pursue my masters and PhD degrees one day conducting research on reptiles. On any given day you can see me spending some time outdoors as I am a currently a Campus Naturalist, an officer of the Wildlife Club, and am conducting research on gopher tortoises. My love for the outdoors stems from my belief that nature not only gives us the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, but because we can see science at work before our very eyes.
Hey, everyone! I’m Leesha Marlett, I’m currently a junior, and I’m majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Education Environmental. I grew up in Dunnellon, Florida, which is a tiny town in North Central Florida. As a kid, I spent my days in the woods building club houses and learning to appreciate the natural world. I also learned the importance of local food production by having a garden and fruit trees in my neighborhood. I have always had a passion for knowledge and understanding and at FGCU I have begun the thrive. You can often find me on the FGCU nature trails and in the food forest. I believe that education is the best pathway to a sustainable future and I’m helping lead the way.
My name is Kai Sacco, and I’m a Biology major with a concentration in organismal and ecological studies and a minor in Chemistry. Born and raised in Safety Harbor, Florida, my interests include wetland ecology, mangroves, hydrology, and the role of fire dependency and suppression. I’m aspiring to earn my Master’s and PhD while engaging in field research and preservation studies. While I always told myself I’d never become a teacher, a love for educating has inclined me towards a career as a professor. For now, I’m thankful for the opportunity to educate FGCU students on the Floridian ecosystems that were integral to my personal experiences growing up. We might not all experience nature the same way, or with the same enthusiasm, but there is a connection for everyone to be made in the intricate and complex natural environment that surrounds us all.
My name is Meagan Vanderbeck and I’m a senior here at FGCU majoring in marketing with a concentration in the public relations field. In addition to studying marketing, I also help lead worship at my church and have been practicing vocal music since I was 11. As a southwest Florida native, I’ve always been passionate about our natural ecosystem and eager to share its unique beauty with others. Becoming a campus naturalist is such an amazing experience and I cannot wait to see you all out on the field!