The Oka' Institute

Image of Sheep Creek taken by Kevin Blackwood

Located in Ada, Oklahoma on East Central University’s campus, The Oka’ Institute opened its doors in July of 2016 to bridge the gap between sustainable water management and economic development. The name, Oka’, is derived from the Chickasaw and Choctaw word for water.

East Central University and The City of Ada make an ideal location for The Oka’ Institute. The City of Ada is the nucleus of multiple well-known water resources such as EPA’s Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, which is nationally recognized for their expertise on groundwater resource research, and the Chickasaw Nation, which is recognized as a leader in water resource management. In addition, the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer is the single most studied groundwater resource in the state. All these resources convene to make compelling reasons why the Oka’ Institute at ECU is the perfect spot for a water institute. Add to these resources the fact that ECU has recently established a new Master of Science degree in Water Resource Policy and Management and you have a dynamic opportunity for sound water policy driven by research and data that ensure water sustainability.


Vision Statement

To create practical water solutions, both locally and globally, driven by research and directed by data that result in long-term sustainable ecological management and economic development.

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