Skip to main content

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

Research and university courses are in full swing at REFS this fall semester. See our section on Research to lean more about these investigations. REFS invites the community to spend the afternoon learning about various aspects of the wetlands at our Nature Adventure Day at the end of September.  This is an opportunity to take the whole family out and experience many aspects of nature and the wetlands. You will also be able to engage with researchers about their work at REFS and the wetlands, and participate in a variety of nature-based activities. 


NEW to REFS! Wetlands Management Micro-credential. This fall we are finishing out with our professional short courses in wetlands management, and getting geared up for even more courses for 2020. 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.