Providing outreach opportunities, cultivating exploration of environmental sciences through hands-on encounters.

MKEI Annual Family Festival

Getting people 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 Festival. This event promotes development of environmental stewards, both young and old.

The festival comes every spring to Niceville. On festival day, from 11 a.m. to 2 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 our local region 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.

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

March Fish of the Month: Bay Anchovy Anchoa mitchelli

March Fish of the Month: Bay Anchovy Anchoa mitchelli Dr. Geoffrey Smith NWFSC Biology Instructor   Spring has arrived in Florida and for many fish species, the corresponding increase in temperature leads to greater overall activity, which requires more food to be consumed. But what do all those hungry fish eat? The answer for a…

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