Understanding environmental change in a changing world

Northern Kentucky University’s Research and Education Field Station (REFS) facility provides scholars an operations base for a wide range of field research and offers students across disciplines opportunities for field-oriented curricula, independent research, and close interactions with professionals. REFS also serves as a center for the community to connect and learn about the environment.


our location

REFS invites the community to spend an evening of learning about varioius aspects of the environment this summer with our Talk-&-Walk nature series. These sessions are a casual get together with a short presentation on the nature topic by an expert on the subject. Following the presentation, an activity is planned (informational hike, nature-based project, organismal monitoring or data collection experience) based on the evening's topic. A great way to learn something new and have a change to interact with a scientist in that field of study. Thursday's 7 –9 pm. (June 6, 20; July 18; August 1)


NEW to REFS! Wetlands Management Micro-credential. Sign up and participate in our professional short courses in wetlands management. With this NKU micro-credential you can demonstrate your mastery of relevant field skills, abilities and competencies, which is professionally invaluable not only to you, but also to your employer.


St. Anne Woods and Wetlands is part of  the Campbell County Conservation District and funded by Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund


The Research and Education Field Station (REFS) is located at 

99 Harrison Ct.,
Melbourne, KY 41059

The Research and Education Field Station (REFS) is located adjacent to and facilitates the use of 155 acres of St. Anne Woods and Wetlands Natural Area, a conservation easement on and near the Ohio River. REFS is within the Outer Bluegrass Ecoregion, and includes both open and closed canopy wetlands in the lowland and mixed mesophytic forest and open grassland in upland natural areas. There is also substantial old growth forest, primarily dominated by beech.