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!
My name is Dan Chomyszak and I am a senior at FGCU, majoring in Environmental Studies. I discovered my passion for the outdoors through my Boy Scout journey to Eagle Scout. I had many opportunities to discover plants, trees and animals while camping outdoors in both the winter and the summer months. I am originally from upstate New York and spent every summer in the 1,000 Islands, where I learned about the fish species and discovered my love of water. My goal is to work for FWC or DEC as a game warden. My special interests are raising reptiles and learning more about herpetology. I am very excited to have the opportunity to introduce people to the world I love through being a Campus Naturalist.
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!!!
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.
Hi, My name is Alex Marsh and I am a sophomore majoring in Biology. I grew up in the middle of the woods in western Pennsylvania, and this is where I found my passion for nature. I have a special interest in herpetology which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. Most days you can find me walking the nature trails or the side of the roads looking for wildlife. Over the summer, I volunteered at a reptile center in South Africa where I handled some of the deadliest snakes on the planet! After I earn my biology degree, I hope to continue my education in veterinary school.
Hello people of FGCU, I'm Julie! I am a sophomore majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecology and Environmental Assessment and a minor in Biology. I'm a Hoosier turned Floridian, who loves the swamp, ocean, and everything in between. You can catch me hanging in my hammock in a cypress dome, diving in a spring, or petting a dog. I'm all about sustainability and my favorite animal is a jellyfish. Ride a bike, eat plants, hike often, and of course, go Eagles!
"I only went out for a walk and I finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." - John Muir
Hola, my name is Hannah. I study marine science and environmental studies here at Florida Gulf Coast! I became passionately curious about Florida as it revealed its biodiversity and potential for subtropical permaculture, which I regard as revolution, a holistic solution in cultivating sustainability in our society, and which is in great contrast to the small farm town in Illinois where I was raised. I traded the endless corn fields for coastline, the oceans unparalleled to our global health and untamable frontier I so love and respect. I crave to know how things work, which translates to my professional intentions to research disturbances in marine ecology (on a sailboat, only to return to land for cocos), and while I complete my studies- wood soldering, composting, reworking clothing, and constantly seeking a deeper understanding of my environment. The intricacies of nature I have found are to ponder, to laugh about, to play in, and I can't wait to get in the sunshine and share it all with you!
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.
Hi! My name is Sofia Sciancalepore. I am a sophomore Environmental Studies major with a minor in Biology. I’m interested in traveling to study the effects of human impact on diverse environments. My goal is to pursue environmental legislation and one day work for an environmental organization like the EPA. I look forward to my first environmental study abroad trip this summer to San Salvador. I also enjoy photography, Korean barbecue, and my dog!
My name is Gabrielle Vignet-Williams. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Environmental Engineering. I was born and raised in Florida, and I can say I’ve always been in love with the Flora and Fauna of our state. Becoming naturalist is probably one of the most exciting jobs I’ve ever possessed and I’m so excited to guide students through the endless nature that surrounds FGCU. AWIB!