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.
The REFS facilities and associated land opens an array of research initiatives. The facility provides space for indoor laboratory and field processing research, meetings, teaching areas, and indoor restrooms.
The proximity of REFS to the NKU campus expands the opportunity for ecological undergraduate instruction while providing unique interdisciplinary teaching opportunities over a range of other disciplines. This facility enhances community outreach programs for K-12 education, summer camps, and teacher continuing education.