Entomology and Herpetology


CAMN 2018 Class

Image result for wild basin preserve

Meet at Wild Basin in the morning!

805 North Capital of Texas Highway
Austin, Texas 78746-3301
Directions to Wild Basin
Lat/long coordinates for Wild Basin: 30.312029, -97.826509

Start Time: 8:15 am (at Wild Basin)

End Time: ~3:40 pm

Classroom is located in the Wild Basin interpretative educational welcome center. Parking is available along the entrance road near the center.

After the morning classroom session, we will carpool to the Nature Conservancy Barton Creek Habitat Preserve located on Bee Cave Road about 15 minutes from Wild Basin.

Class Coordinators

John Barr, Sachin Aggarwal, Marsha Caven, Bill Volk

Preparing for the Day


Bring your own lunch. We will eat at the pavilion at the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve.

Outdoor Info

We will spend about three hours outside at BCHP. We recommend that you wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, sturdy shoes or boots and a hat or a cap, and that you bring sunscreen and a refillable water bottle. Drinking water and restroom facilities are available at Wild Basin and BCHP.

Bring List

Hand lens (loupe), binoculars, smart phone with iNaturalist app

Curriculum Chapters to Read

Unit 13 Entomology
Unit 15 Herpetology
Unit 24 Citizen Science


Val Bugh

Naturalist, published photographer

Valerie Bugh is a local naturalist specializing in the arthropods of the Austin area, with interests in taxonomy and photography. She runs the Fauna Project at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, leads insect discovery walks, teaches entomology courses, provides insect/spider identifications, gives talks to local organizations, and has published pocket guides to “Butterflies of Central Texas” and “Spiders of Texas.”

Johnny Wilson

Johnny has taught biology and environmental science for 30 years at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, where he has won multiple teaching excellence awards. He has led over 90 field trips to west Texas with more than 1800 students. Through a 15 year partnership with Texas Nature Conservancy and with Dr Louis Harveson of Sul Ross State University, he has participated in wildlife research projects on turkeys, feral hogs, Montezuma quail, herptofauna, and mountain lions. He has worked with Dr Travis Laduc, Assistant Curator of Herpetology at The Texas Natural Science Center of the University of Texas and for the last 6 summers, he has worked as a field biologist and ecology lecturer with Operation Wallacea, a conservation biology group out of England, monitoring populations of large mammals, bats, birds, herptofauna and insects in the rain forests of Guyana and Peru.

Jacob Owen

Jacob specializes in ecological research on endangered and threatened species. His experience includes natural resource management, floral and faunal inventory and monitoring, species identification (reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, mussels, and plants). The threatened and endangered species he has worked with include freshwater mussels, Houston toad (Anaxyrus houstonensis), Barton Springs salamander (Eurycea sosorum), Austin blind salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis), karst species, black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla), and golden-cheek warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia). He holds a MS in biology from Tarleton State University and a BS in wildlife biology from Texas State University. Jacob has assisted with the Herp and Insect class for several years. Currently, Jacob Owen works for BIO-WEST, Inc. an environmental consulting agency in Austin.

Thom Marshall

Thom is a Ph.D. student in the Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior program at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a BA in psychology at Vanderbilt University, a MS in Population and Conservation Biology at Texas State University, and is a proud graduate of the CAMN class of 2013. His interests include herpetology, evolutionary biology, and conservation. His past research has focused on the genetics of the fungal amphibian pathogen Bd in Texas, and he is now beginning to investigate the evolution of color pattern variation in corn snakes. In his free time, he enjoys birding, herping, and hiking with his dog at the various parks around Austin.

Wildflowers at Barton Creek Habitat Preserve, Texas

Afternoon field excursion at the Nature Conservancy Barton Creek Habitat Preserve!

Directions to BCHP
Lat/long coordinates to BCHP entrance: 30.30860, -97.91763
Use address 2305 Resaca Blvd!

(beware of searching “Nature Conservancy”  or it might lead you to their headquarters elsewhere)

How to get there:

The preserve entrance is a little difficult to find. As you pass Lake Hills Church, look for traffic light at Resaca Blvd. TAKE A LEFT (south) onto Resaca Blvd. (It looks fancy!) Go 1/2 block on Recasa, just before the gate, turn left into back entrance to Lake Hills Church parking lot.  Immediately on the right there is a gravel road with Nature Conservancy sign.  (See above for reference)

You will then see a gravel road leading to the parking area. Walk down the trail to the pavilion.

We’ll break up into groups at the preserve and find some critters!

Reference Material

Central Texas volunteers devoted to ecological stewardship, education and outreach.

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