In addition to our full time team of familiar faces, we are excited to welcome a few more ocean-loving humans to our summer camp staff. Some of them you will recognize from summers past, others are first timers. Learn more about them below, and when you see them around, please say hello! 


Sam O'Konski

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Where are you from?
I am from Ft. Myers, Florida.

Where do you go to school and what do you plan to study? 
I am going to Boston University in the fall and planning to study communications.

Years attending/ working for Sanibel Sea School:
I have attended Sanibel Sea School since 2008, started working as a CIT in 2013, and as a senior CIT/ tent leader in 2016.

Is there something about being a Sanibel Sea School counselor that you are looking most forward to? 
I look forward to having my own day group and doing face paint before the surf races.

What do you like to do during your time off? 
During my time off I like spending time with my dog Duke.

Favorite sea creature: 
My favorite sea creature is a blue whale.

What's the best music for a weekend at the beach? 
The best music for a weekend at the beach is Britney Spears. 

If you could visit any marine ecosystem on the planet, where would you go? 
I would visit the Great Barrier Reef.


Emma Neill

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Where are you from?
I am from Sanibel, FL. 

Where do you go to school and what do you plan to study? 
I am going to Middlebury College, in Vermont, where I plan on studying environmental science and French.

Years attending/ working for Sanibel Sea School:
I've been with Sanibel Sea School since the very beginning, 12 years ago or so. 

Is there something about being a Sanibel Sea School counselor that you are looking most forward to? 
I am most looking forward to being able to teach children something they never knew about the ocean or a new ocean skill they've never learned before, like surfing. 

Favorite sea creature: 
My favorite sea creature changes daily but, as of late, I have really been in love with whale sharks.

What's the best music for a weekend at the beach? 
Jack Johnson, hands down.

If you could visit any marine ecosystem on the planet, where would you go? 
I would go to the Great Barrier Reef.


Kaity Seitz

Where are you from?
I'm from Canal Winchester, Ohio (a small town outside of Columbus).

Where do you go to school and what do you study? 
I just finished my sophomore year at Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH. My major is environmental science and my minor is marine science. 

Years attending/ working for Sanibel Sea School:
This will be my second summer working as a counselor!

Is there something about being a Sanibel Sea School counselor that you are looking most forward to? 
This summer I am most looking forward to seeing the kids that I had in camp last year, and continuing to share my love of the ocean.

What do you like to do during your time off? 
During my time off I enjoy running, reading, watching Netflix, being outside, and eating lots of pasta!

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Favorite sea creature: 
I can't say that I have a favorite sea creature, but I love the cownose rays! Standing in the ocean while having a whole group of them swim by and surround you is the coolest thing ever!

What's the best music for a weekend at the beach? 
I really like The Lumineers and bands with similar styles. So I guess indie folksy music!

If you could visit any marine ecosystem on the planet, where would you go? 
I would love to visit anywhere in the Arctic. It's pretty crazy that the animals that live there endure such harsh conditions. I really want to see an Orca!

Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself? 
Before I head to Sanibel, I will be spending three weeks on San Salvador in the Bahamas doing field work and research. I am super excited for all of the adventures that lie ahead this summer! 


Samantha Galindo

Where are you from? 
I was originally born in Arizona, then moved to St. Croix in the USVI, where I spent most of my childhood. Later I moved to Ocala, Florida for High School, then made my way to Fort Myers for college. 

Where do you go to school and what do you study? 
I am a senior at FGCU planning to graduate next spring with a B.S. in Marine Science.

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Years attending/ working for Sanibel Sea School:
This is my first time working for Sanibel Sea School.

Is there something about being a Sanibel Sea School counselor that you are looking most forward to? 
I look forward to sharing my passion and love of the ocean and the neat stuff that goes on under the sea with campers. 

What do you like to do during your time off? 
In my free time, I like to go boating and fishing with my friends or do yoga on the beach. 

Favorite sea creature: 
Blue ringed octopus

What's the best music for a weekend at the beach? 
I have always been a fan of classic rock and 90’s rock bands.

If you could visit any marine ecosystem on the planet, where would you go? 
My favorite ecosystem in the world is a massive coral reef called The Wall in St. Croix, but I would like to visit the coral reefs of the Philippines and compare them to the ecosystems found in Florida and the Caribbean. 

Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself? 
hen I’m not at the beach, I enjoy riding horses and going hiking with my dog. 


Elly Rundqwist

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Where are you from?
Atlanta, Georgia

Where do you go to school and what do you plan to study? 
I’ll be attending Boston University in the fall and I plan to study Communications and Marine Sciences.

Years attending/ working for Sanibel Sea School:
Every year since the beginning, 11 years ago! I was a camper at Sanibel Sea School when I was 6 and have been back every year since!

Is there something about being a Sanibel Sea School counselor that you are looking most forward to? 
I’m most excited about being able to share my love of the ocean and seeing the joy it brings to new explorers. I also can't wait to identify sea shells!!!

What do you like to do during your time off? 
I love photography! In my free time I like to travel and explore, but also to play my guitar and journal.

Favorite sea creature: 
tiny: nudibranchs of all kinds
big: manta ray!
bigger: humpback whale

What's the best music for a weekend at the beach? 
Jack Johnson, Colbie Caillat, and Vance Joy

If you could visit any marine ecosystem on the planet, where would you go? 
The Maldives!

Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself? 
I’ve been diving on the Great Barrier Reef and snorkeling in 8 different countries! I'm beyond excited to share my summer with my Sea School family.


Alex Schwartz

Where are you from?
I've lived in Fort Myers for most of my life, but went to college in Atlanta.

Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I just graduated from Emory with a BA in Spanish.

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Years attending/ working for Sanibel Sea School:
None, but I'm excited to be here!

Is there something about being a Sanibel Sea School staff member that you are looking most forward to?
Sanibel is one of the most amazing places in the world. Even the drive out here is something to look forward to.

What do you like to do during your time off? 
I love games! I play backgammon every day.

Favorite sea creature:
Cuttlefish videos are really neat, but my favorite local creatures are anhingas and cormorants.

What's the best music for a weekend at the beach?
Anything that makes you feel good.

If you could visit any marine ecosystem on the planet, where would you go? 
Thailand!

Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself?
I can't wait to see what adventures are ahead and what I'll learn along the way.


Talia Horvath, Camp Photographer

Where are you from?
Hanover, New Hampshire

Where do you go to school and what do you study? 
I went to the University of Miami in Miami, FL and studied Ecosystem Science and Policy, I will be returning in the fall for a master's degree in Environment, Culture, and Media. 

Years attending/ working for Sanibel Sea School: Five years

Is there something about being a Sanibel Sea School staff member that you are looking most forward to? 
I'm looking forward to engaging with all camp-goers and working to capture the essence of Sea School through photography and film! 

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What do you like to do during your time off? 
Take my dog for walks, read, sleep, and any outdoor activities. 

Favorite sea creature: Cuttlefish

What's the best music for a weekend at the beach? 
Rebelution 

If you could visit any marine ecosystem on the planet, where would you go? 
Coral reefs in Thailand.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself? 
Sea School has been an important part of my life for years and I'm very happy to be joining the team this summer in a new and exciting position!

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