November Fish of the Month: Marsh Killifish Fundulus confluentus Dr. Geoffrey Smith NWFSC Biology Instructor This month will feature another fish whose coloration matches the season, at least among the males. The Marsh Killifish is a small fish species with a maximum size of about 3-4 inches. They exhibit what is known as sexual…
MKEI Annual Family Estuary Festival
Getting kids of all ages excited about the outdoors, as well as how to play a part in protecting the environment, is the annual goal of the Mattie Kelly Environmental Institute Annual Family Estuary Festival. This event promotes development of environmental stewards, both young and old.
The festival comes every spring to Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park, Highway 20, Niceville. On festival day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., local organizations provide fun activities, hands-on displays and environmental awareness. In this family and community event for all ages, you can learn about the local waters of our estuary and the people living and working there.
Participating organizations have included Panhandle Butterfly House; Emerald Coast Science Center; Walton County Environmental Department; Choctawhatchee Audubon; Florida Department of Agriculture; Northwest Florida Aquatic Preserves; Topsail Hill Preserve State Park; and Northwest Florida State College Kids on Campus. Choctawhatchee Audubon Society; Junior Rangers Program; Northwest Florida Aquatic Preserves; Florida Trail Association; Hike It Baby; Walton County Environmental Department; University of Florida Milton; Audubon Florida; Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance; Okaloosa County Environmental Health; US Fish and Wildlife Service; Topsail Hill Preserve State Park; Early Learning Coalition of Emerald Coast; Northwest Florida State College Kids on Campus; Kayak Tours; and more!
The event is always FREE and open to the public with paid admission to the park. (Regular Florida State Park fees apply)
MKEI Annual Symposium
MKEI annually holds a scientific symposium highlighting research in the northwest Florida region along with providing workshops for experimental learning of various components of the environmental sciences.
Every October, MKEI provides this thrilling day of environmental-focused research presentations, discussion opportunities, and selection of a hands-on workshops. The MKEI Symposium is held at Northwest Florida State College on the Niceville campus. Participants hear about exciting research in and around the local region. Topics allow attendees to learn about how research is protecting our area and what scientists are doing to understand and improve our environment.
MKEI Seminar Series and Workshop Series
During the fall and spring semesters, MKEI provides a seminar and/or workshop highlighting an aspect of environmental science presented by local guest lecturers who are experts in their respective fields. Previous seminar topics have included:
- Trash in Our Oceans: What We Can Do to Make a Difference
- Native Versus Invasive Plants: How You Can Impact the Landscape
- Environmental DNA Applications in Aquatic Sciences
- Wetlands Restoration at Deer Lake State Park
- Reefs of Florida: Past and Present
Previous workshop subjects have included:
- Aquaponics – A Growing Hobby
- Bird Life Along the Emerald Coast
- Learn How to Make a Rain Barrel
- Talking Turtles
October Fish of the Month: Red Drum Sciaenops occelatus Dr. Geoffrey Smith NWFSC Biology Instructor A fish whose coloration and life history match the start of the fall season. Red Drum, more commonly referred to as Redfish by most (or Channel Bass if you’re from a bit farther north on the Atlantic coast) are a…