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Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve serves as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for students and scientists from around the world. The Visiting Scientist program encourages graduate students and other researchers to conduct their studies in the reserve -- reserve staff can draw on the expertise of these individuals when making management decisions. Current Visiting Scientist research includes studies of Burmese pythons, invasive plants, native box turtles, and nearly 100 others.

Check out our interactive map showing all current and past research projects.

To conduct research within Reserve boundaries, you must register using our Visiting Scientist Form (see link below).



Rookery Bay Reserve has various facilities available for use by Visiting Scientists. The Research wing at Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center (on Tower Road) houses a dry and a wet lab with standard lab supplies and equipment. The Shell Island Road Field Station has a newly renovated lab conveniently located next to Henderson Creek and available for necropsies and processing of field samples. A new facility is currently underway at our Ten Thousand Islands Field Station in Goodland.


dormsDormitory rooms are available at the Shell Island Road Field Station (on lower Henderson Creek) in south Naples and the Ten Thousand Islands Field Station in Goodland.These facilities are operated for the purpose of providing logistic support and overnight accommodatiions for reserve visitors conducting research, education, resource management or other projects consistent with the mission of the reserve and Florida DEP.

The Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc., a non-profit citizen support organization for the reserve, facilitates the operation of the two field stations by accepting tax-deductible fee donations to defray the costs associated with the maintenance and operation of the facilities.

All visitors are required to read and abide by the Dormitory Use Policy. In order to stay in either of our facilities it is necessary to request a reservation by completing our Dormitory Reservation Form.


 Visiting Scientist Registration

In order to better and safely accommodate the existing, and growing, population of visiting investigators, the Reserve has developed this mandatory registration form. Failure to provide accurate information or notify the front desk of excursions to remote areas will result in loss of Reserve visiting scientist privileges. 


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