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Capital Area Master Naturalists

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Austin Nature & Science Center (ANSC)

2389 Stratford Dr
Austin, TX 78746
Google Map directions

Date: 11/10/2018
Start time: 8 am
End time: 3:30 pm

Class Coordinators

Mary Ann Baker –
Billy O’Leary –

About the Austin Nature & Science Center

ANSC webpage

Since 1960, the Austin Nature & Science Center has provided hands-on nature exhibits, educational programs and recreational activities for countless visitors, teachers and children of all ages that increases awareness and appreciation of the natural environment (FOR FREE). Programs for preschoolers, kids, families and adults include topics that range from biology, astronomy, paleontology and more. Located on the western edge of Zilker Park, the ANSC is dedicated to the exploration of the natural world.

Where to Park

Parking is available at 2389 Stratford Dr in the public lots under the MoPac bridge. Across from the parking area, ANSC is a short walk up the hill. The classroom is located down the steps, just to the right before you reach the main building.


8:00 – 8:10 Meet and greet
8:10 – 8:15 Announcements & day’s agenda
8:15 – 8:30 Show & Tell – Interpretation; speaker Introduction
8:30 – 10:00 Observation & Nature Journaling – Val Bugh
10:00 – 10:20 Outdoor Observations
10:20 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 12:00 Urban habitat – Kelly Simon, Urban Wildlife Biologist, Central Texas, TPWD
12:00 – 12:20 Outdoor Observations of Habitat
12:20 – 1:05 Lunch
1:05 – 2:35 Interpretation – Clark Hancock, Heritage Interpretive Consultant and Trainer
2:35 – 2:55 Outdoor Interpretation
2:55 – 3:30 Closing announcements, Clean up, Adjourn

How to Prepare
  • Dress for the weather including comfortable walking shoes or boots. We will have 20-30 minutes outdoors with each of the three speakers. Bring bug repellent and sunscreen, if you would use them in a park situation. If stairs are a problem for you, call Mary Ann Baker (512-626-9027 ) to discuss how you can get to the facility.
  • Be sure to bring:
    • Paper, pen, tools for observing (hand lens, camera, binoculars, etc.), something for Show and Tell.
    • Sack lunch
    • Water bottle–water fountain is in the main building
    • Notebook & pen/pencil
  • Curriculum Units to Read:
    • Urban Ecosystems
    • Volunteers as Teachers
Speaker 1: Val Bugh

Val 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 is the author of pocket guides to “Butterflies of Central Texas” and “Spiders of Texas.” Website:

Speaker 2:  Kelly Simon, TPWD Urban

Kelly Conrad Simon is the Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Biologist for Central Texas.

Speaker 3: Clark Hancock

Clark Hancock has been working as a Heritage Interpretive COnsultant and Trainer since 2009. He worked with the City of Austin 26 years, serving as Exhibit Coordinator at ANSC, exhibits for the Beverly Sheffield Education Center at Barton Springs, and the Splash! Into the Edwards Aquifer Exhibit. He is presently serving as president of the Save Barton Creek Association.

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