Okaloosa S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Project

Okaloosa S.C.I.E.N.C.E. (Science; Community- Involvement; Engagement; Networking; Capacity-Enhancement) is a new STEM- based initiative to enhance students' interest and performance in science while preparing them for the 21st Century workforce. This project, through the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institue and 7- Dippty, is a citizen science based wildlife monitoring project in public lands throughout Okaloosa county and including parts of Santa Rosa and Walton counties. The data collected thoroughtout this study will be used to assess urbanization, habitat and prescribed burn impacts on wildlife, as well as it will be incorporated into science curriculum in K-12 classrooms in Okaloosa County School District.

The study started in the Fall 2014 and will run though 2017. The project partners with many public lands including: Eglin Air Force Base/ Jackson Guard, Hurlburt Field, Yellow River Water Management Area, Blackwater River State Forest, Henderson Beach State Park and Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park. Volunteers deploy 3 Reconyx Hyperfire cameras throughout the public lands in 4 different habitats: pine/sand Hill, upland hardwood forest, wetland and coastal uplands. Cameras are randomly placed within the habitats, not baited and ran for at least 21 days (3 weeks).

Project Images