Vester Field Station Facilities and Resources

A Multi-Purpose Marine Station for Learning and Discovery

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


5164 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

26° 19’ 50” N  81° 50’ 15” W


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The Station is equipped with all the resources needed for class, lab, and field work.

Vessel Fleet

25' C-Hawk: This vessel is powered by single 250 -hp Yamaha four stroke motor. Complete complement of electronics. Features include a wheelhouse, large deck area, and dive ladder.

Two 27' Grady White Sailfish: This 1999 cabin cruiser is ideal for offshore research and is powered by twin 200-hp Yamaha motors. Includes head, freshwater washdown, fish/depth finder, chart plotter, GPS, and dive ladder.

Two 25’ Tidewater Center Consoles: Purchased in 2012 and 2013, these two boats are the workhorses of the facility and are each powered by a 150 hp 4-stroke Yamaha. GPS/ depth finder and dive ladder.

27' Carolina Skiff: This vessel is ideal for large research crews (capacity to 18 people) to study the shallow estuary. It is a 2013 Center Console powered by a 150-hp 4-stroke Yamaha motor.

Canoes/Kayaks: 21 canoes and 2 kayaks are available for use in the local waterways. Personal flotation devices (PFD’s) and paddles are available.

Photo of Vester Marine Carolina Skiff


In addition to the large area under the apartment building containing raceways and larger outdoor seawater holding tanks, researchers have access to two (2) indoor, conditioned wet labs including a hatchery (1,660 sq ft), and two dry-lab areas (950 sq ft.). These labs are equipped with access to filtered or raw sea water, autoclave, fume hood, UV filtration, microscopes, photoperiod, and temperature control, dissecting scopes, and glassware. Labs, flow-through sea-water system and hatchery can be configured in many ways to accommodate diverse research projects.

Students in Vester lab


Vester Field Station houses a shellfish hatchery that is capable of spawning and rearing various species of shellfish (e.g. oysters, clams and scallops). To date, the facility is used for spawning and growing oysters. The hatchery includes a temperature- and light-controlled room for larval and algal culture. The facility is equipped with microscopes, cell-culture hood, autoclave, and miscellaneous laboratory instruments to facilitate work requiring sterile or clean environments. Outdoors, researchers have access to raw and filtered water flow-through tanks, raceways, and to a protected cove where animals can be acclimated to the local environment.Students working on hatchery research


A large student-assembly room is available for group workshops and meetings equipped with modern A/V equipment. Up to 35 participants can be seated comfortably in this air-conditioned area.Photo of classroom buildings


For visiting researchers and instructors, a fully functioning office area provides a copy/scanner/fax machine and comfortable desks in an air-conditioned room.

Conference Room

A spacious meeting room can accommodate up to 12 participants. Audio/visual equipment can be made available for presentations. Directly attached to this meeting room is a lounge/kitchenette with sink, refrigerator, microwave, and hotplates.


Overlooking the bay, 8 newly refurbished apartment-style rooms (four one-bed rooms and 4 apartments containing bunk beds for 24 people) are available for comfortable overnight or extended stays. Each apartment has air-conditioning, fully stocked kitchen, and laundry facilities. Wi-Fi is readily available throughout the field station campus.

Boat ramp to enhance access to local waters.

Research Tools

Flow-through Seawater system

Raceways / seawater holding tanks / aquariums

WiFi internet access through station

Additional Lab Equipment Available

Thermo Fisher Scientific incubators

Chillers and hot water baths

5 – Olympus microscopes

5 –Olympus dissecting scopes

Olympus IX73 Inverted Microscope with DP73 Digital Camera

Eppendorf centrifuge

E-pure Distilled water system

2 – Pentair Aquatics Ultraviolet purification systems

Labconco Bio-safety cabinet

Drying oven

Muffle furnace

4 – Dell Desk-top computers (PC’s)

Freezer and refrigerators

Assorted field and laboratory equipment, e.g., balances, pH meters, ORP probes, YSI data sondes, niskin bottles, otter trawl, seines and plankton and neuston nets (of various mesh size).


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