Kate Watts monitors vegetation in the pine rockland ecosystem on Big Pine Key. Watts serves as Lead Wildlife Biologist for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, overseeing biologists, technicians and interns at the refuges in the lower Keys.
“Although a scientist by trade, I find that it is extremely important to translate the technical parts of my job into concepts that the public can relate to,” she says. “By providing ways for people to connect with nature, science and the outdoors, I feel like the Refuges have the ability to offer limitless valuable learning opportunities for the country.”
Kate will be leading many events in the upcoming Outdoor Fest— set for Thursday, March 17th through Sunday, March 20thc— including a Sunrise Bird Walk on Thursday, March 17th and a Wading Bird Walk on Saturday, March 19th, both in National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge in Big Pine Key, and a Birding, Sailing, Snorkeling, and Kayaking Excursion into Key West National Wildlife Refuge with Danger Charters on Sunday, March 20th.
The Outdoor Fest was created by the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex and their Friend’s group FAVOR to help people recognize the refuges as safe havens for the creatures who live in them while also educating them on how to enjoy the areas in wildlife-friendly ways and will feature many family-friendly, mostly free outdoor adventures and hands-on activities. “
The Florida Keys Refuges offer so many learning experiences to those that slow down and open up their eyes to explore,” she says.
Visit www.favorfloridakeys.org/outdoor-fest for more information and to register for the many events offered—some, like Kate’s events, have limited availability. Brought to you in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.