Vester Marine & Environmental Science Research 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.

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.

In 2007, Norm and Nancy Vester donated more than $1 million to FGCU, which enabled the university to buy the Bonita Beach Plantation Resort and develop the field station to benefit generations of young scientists and world-class researchers. 

Vester Aerial

Photo of Mike Parsons on boat

Our goal is to serve as a venue and base of operation for educational programs, community involvement and scholarly research that increases our understanding and promotes science-based stewardship.”

Dr. Michael Parsons

Director, Vester Field Station

Meet Dr. Parsons

Thank you to our educational partners

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Contact Details

Vester Marine & Environmental Science Research Field Station

Farida Sheikh
Administrative Assistant
5164 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
239-745-4707 | Contact Us 

Media Contact: Kyle McCurry | 239-745-4507