Campus Naturalists

Campus Naturalists

Campus Naturalists act as a liason 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 primarily assist professors leading classes at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, Lovers Key State Park, 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. 

Interested in becoming a naturalist search for position in Eagle Jobs

FOOD FOREST CAMPUS TRAIL MAP 

 

 

Rory Cushen Photo

 Rory "Cush" Cushen

Hi! My name is Rory Cushen but I go by Cush. I am an Environmental Studies major with minors in Creative Writing and Climate Change Science, class of 2023.  I enjoy nature, my dogs, laughing, and long walks on the beach.  I'm joking I'm terrified of the ocean; a Bahamas cruise is my worst nightmare.  While i don't know specifically what I want to do after college with the environment, I just want to ensure that the people that come after me have the same opportunity to love nature as much as I do.  I always hope to make my trips educational, engaging, and entertaining, because then it doesn't feel like work.  Hope to see you out there!


Idalis Gomez Photo

Idalis Gomez

 Hi everyone!  My name is Idalis and I'm a senior majoring in Biology with a concentration in Organismal Biology & Ecology, and I'm minoring in Interdisciplinary Studies.  After graduation, I want to go into wildlife conservation.  In my spare time, I volunteer at Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples and the FGCU Food Forest.  I love being in nature and learning about animals.  Some of my hobbies include hiking, swimming, creative writing, journaling, and spending time with animals.  My favorite animals are frogs, snakes, and sea turtles.  I'm excited to be able to share my passion for nature & wildlife with my peers and introduce them to SWFL's beautiful ecosystems.

 


 
Santana Lange Photo

Santana Lange

Hi everyone!  My name is Santana, and I'm a senior majoring in Environmental Studies.  I was born and raised on the east coast of Florida, in a town called Melbourne.  My interests include sea turtle rehabilitation, national parks, and environmental policy.  I have a passion for traveling and plan to take a cross-country road trip when I graduate.  The Florida springs are my favorite place to explore and snorkel.  With my position as a naturalist, I hope to inspire other FGCU students to appreciate our surrounding natural beauty and take of our environment.  I hope to see you all on the campus field trips!

 


 
 Alexis Ludwig photo

Alexis Ludwig

Hi!  My name is Lexi, and I am the Senior Naturalist for Colloquium.  I am dual majoring Marine Science and Environmental Studies with a minor in Biology.  In the future I hope to attend graduate school and pursue a career conducting research on local water quality issues.  In my free time I love to scuba dive, go to the beach, and explore some of the amazing natural areas we have here in Florida.  Environmental education is so important, and I can't wait to teach all of you about sustainability and the environment of Southwest Florida.

 


 
Sheyanne Mastro photo

Sheyanne Mastro

 Hi y'all!  I am Sheyanne.  I'm currently a senior studying Marine Science and getting a minor in Geology.  I used to work at an aquarium in Tampa and that is where I fell in love with the ocean and educating others about the environment.  My hobbies include paddle boarding, painting, and reading.  My scientific interests are water-quality and deep-sea brine pools.  My goal is to be an education coordinator at an aquarium or conservancy and share my knowledge and passion with the public.  I hope to see you on the trails!  Wings up!


 
Kaylee Mooney photo

Kaylee Mooney

 Hi everyone, my name is Kaylee!  I am a junior honors student majoring in Environmental Studies with a double minor in climate change and geology.  I love going to the beach, hiking on the many preserves that Florida has to offer and kayaking in the springs closer to my home in Tampa.  My interests include mangrove research, ecology, and habitat restoration.  After graduating I plan on furthering my education and working towards a master's degree in Environmental Science.  Being a Campus Naturalist gives me the wonderful opportunity to spread awareness and educate others on the natural world and all of it's beauty.  I can't wait to see you all on our field trips!


 
Savannah Pultrone photo

Savannah Pultrone

 Hi guys!  My name is Savannah Pultrone and i am an Environmental Studies major with a concentration in Environmental Education and a minor in Climate Change.  One time while traveling, a guide approached me and asked, "you're from Florida, so are you a swamp or beach person?"  The answer is, a die hard swamp person.  I recently started an internship with Big Cypress National Preserve and have begun fulfilling my dream of becoming a park ranger at a NPS unit.  I am constantly outside whether it be hiking with my dog, foraging, canoeing, etc.  I cannot wait to hopefully instill a sense of appreciation and love for all of the natural beauties that Florida has to offer.


 
Tyler Rider photo

Tyler Rider

Yo!  My name is Tyler, I am a junior majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ecology.  After college, I'm hoping to work with animals.  As of now, I am considering becoming a conservationist.  My favorite thing about wildlife is evolution, I find the level of diversity and elegance life can achieve fascinating.  A fun thing I share with everyone: I have a  Blue Tongue Skink, a Giant Day Gecko, two Spotted Salamanders and a Green Tree Frog.  My favorite animal is the Mantis Shrimp and as you might be able to tell, I am excited to share my knowledge about animals on the trails.  See ya' soon!

 


 
Tiffany Rivet Photo

Tiffany Rivet

My name is Tiffany, and I am an environmental studies major with a concentration in environmental education.  After graduation, I hope to move somewhere with mountains, and will ideally work with the National Parks or a wildlife sanctuary!  I have a huge love for traveling and plan to do plenty more of it in the future.  In my free time I volunteer at a barn called Special Equestrians, love hanging out with my beagle, and enjoy doing any outdoor activities that allow me to be in nature.  Being a campus naturalist, I can't wait to share my passion for nature and a sustainable lifestyle with my peers as well as introduce them to the great ecosystems SWFL has to offer.

 

 

 

Caitlyn Sapka Photo

Caitlyn Sapka

Hey guys, I'm Caitlyn!  I am a junior majoring in Environmental Studies, with a concentration in Ecology and Environmental Assessment.  I'm excited to become a naturalist and educate others on the importance of ecosystems, and hopefully help people better understand the connectedness between humans and the natural world.  When I'm not on the trails, you can find me at the beach, baking, or volunteering with animals.  I've always loved animals and the outdoors, so after earning my degree, I plan to travel and work at various animal sanctuaries and later land a job at a zoo or national park.  Hope to see you on the trails!

 

Grant Steinke Photo

Grant Steinke

Hi all!  My name is Grant Steinke and I am a Junior here at FGCU.  I am a Marine Science major and and Environmental Education minor.  I was born and raised in Florida and I've always had a love for animals and for nature, probably because I watched a lot of Steve Irwin shows on TV as a kid.  I've always wanted to go to the Galapagos Islands, and hopefully after graduation I'll be able to visit and dive around the islands since I'm scuba certified.  I like fishing, but I do it a much less common way, bowfishing.  I typically bowfish for invasive species like plecostomus and tilapia so that our Florida natives can have better ecosystems.  I look forward to seeing you all on a field trip soon!

 

Christina Ufland Photo

Christina Ufland

Hi everyone!  My name is Christina, and I am a sophmore majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in ecology and a double minor in geology and climate change.  After graduating, I hope to move northwest and work in conservation or with a national park.  My dream is to visit all 63 national parks in the United States.  I have been to Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Petrified Forest National Parks, and cannot wait to experience more of these beautiful places.  I love spending time hiking and being outside, which is something we will frequently do as naturalists!

 

Arianna Varga Photo

Arianna Varga

Hi Eagles! My name is Ari!  I am a history major graduating in May 2022.  I spend my free time volunteering at Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida where I educate guests on the different marine mammals that we have.  After graduating, I am going to study for my masters degree in hopes I will continue to educate others by becoming a history professor.  I was born in New Jersey and moved to Sarasota, Florida after I graduated high school.  I love spending time at the beach and I think sharks are the coolest animal.

 

Image Description

Sam Walch