Vester Field Station

A Waterfront Nexus for Studying the Natural World

Our unique facility in nearby Bonita Springs serves as an easy-access point to Estero Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and is an important base of operations for studies of Southwest Florida’s coastal and watershed habitats.

About Vester Field Station

A resource for FGCU faculty and students, as well as researchers from throughout Florida and the United States, Vester has also hosted scientists from 15 foreign nations. Located 12 miles from the FGCU campus on Little Hickory Island, our field station sits along Fish Trap Bay, where the Imperial River empties into Estero Bay. Its three buildings perch on a spit of land that formerly held a commercial fish house, then an old Florida-style resort.

Vester Field Station Research Opportunities


Vester Field Station's Water Quality Live Data

Kimberly's reef

Kimberly's Reef

Kimberly's Reef is FGCU's official research reef which is located 10 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico in 30 feet of water, the FGCU artificial reef brings a living laboratory to the coastal waters off Collier and Lee Counties – only a 25-minute boat ride away. The reef’s size and location lends itself to essential research and community outreach.

Explore Kimberly's Reef

Marine Science Summer Camp
Registration open now for incoming 6th-8th graders

5 days in the classroom, lab, and field led by FGCU Students. Outdoor Excursions: Daily boat outings and beach trips Environmental Education: Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Ecology.

Session 1: June 24th-28th
Session 2: July 15th-19th


For more information contact or

Marine science summer camp


Vester is outfitted to accommodate diverse instructional programs and research projects — indoors and out, on the water and in the labs.

  • Vessel Fleet

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  • Laboratories

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  • Hatchery

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  • Classrooms, Workrooms, and Conference Room

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  • Housing

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  • Research Tools

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  • Live Water Quality

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Field Trip Resources

Partner Resources

County & State Resources

Contact Us

Vester Field Station
5164 Bonita Beach Rd SW
Bonita Springs, FL 34134

Phone: 239-745-4707


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