Entomology and Herpetology



CAMN 2019 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: 8:00 am (at Wild Basin)

End Time: ~4:00 pm

Classroom is located in the Wild Basin interpretative educational welcome center.

Parking on a Saturday is a problem.

LIMITED PARKING!!! On a pretty day there are other outdoor groups using Wild Basin PLUS regular tourist through the preserve. This will be a wonderful opportunity to carpool!

IF IT’S RAINING WE STAY AT WILD BASIN and parking is not a problem.

1. There will be no parking at Wild Basin unless your vehicle has 4-6 people. If you have less than 4-6 people, proceed directly to Vireo Preserve. The security Guard at Wild Basin will turn you away and direct you to the Vireo Preserve. This goes for late arrivals, helpers, monitors.

2. Parking will be at the Vireo Preserve next door to Wild Basin. 1403 N Capital of Texas HWY (Loop 360). You will turn east off of the highway at the traffic light at Pascal Lane. Drive up the hill and follow Jim O’Donnell’s directions. Vireo Preserve is the next driveway north of Wild Basin.

3. You may walk to WB (10 minutes) or pile in a large capacity vehicle (4-6 people) and shuttle to Wild Basin.

4. We will drive out to the Nature Conservancy Barton Creek Habitat Preserve for lunch and the field portion of the class. This will require shuttling back to Vireo Preserve to get your car and driving out to the Nature Conservancy Barton Creek Preserve.

Wild Basin

805 N. Capital of Texas Hwy (Loop 360)
Vireo Preserve 1403 N Capital of Texas Hwy (Loop 360) (Traffic light at Pascal lane)

The Nature Conservancy Barton Creek Habitat Preserve

Resaca Blvd South (about 11701 Bee Caves Road (FM2244)

Turn right at the Traffic light at Resaca Blvd (south) off 2244. It will look like you are going into a gated development, then turn left onto the dirt road. (follow the dirt marks on the pavement). You will know you are getting close when you see Lake Hills Church on your left (south side). Handicap parking is available at WILD BASIN. We must repeat the process to return to our cars to go to the BARTON CREEK HABITAT PRESERVE for the field portion of our class looking for insects and herps. 

Class Coordinators

John Barr, Sachin Aggarwal, Marsha Caven

Preparing for the Day


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

Outdoor Info

Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. We will hike at BARTON CREEK HABITAT PRESERVE looking for herps and insects.

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. Bring sunscreen and a refillable water bottle.

Restroom facilities are available at Wild Basin and BCHP..

Bring List

Smart phone with iNaturalist app recommended but not required

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.”

Val is an honorary Texas Master Naturalist, one of the few in Texas. She was given the honor by CAMN for her countless volunteer efforts with CAMN and other organizations.

Bill Brooks


Bill studied and has been giving Texas Reptile presentations since grade school. He is a past president of the Horned Lizard Conservation Society and a member of the Texas Herpetological Society.

Bill Brooks has always lived in central Texas but has visited every state in the US except for Alaska. He also did some caving and visited the Monarch overwintering sites in Mexico and toured Costa Rica.

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.

Reference Material

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