Special Programs

Treasured Resource for Learning

Learn about the St. Edward’s University Wild Basin Creative Research Center. View photos of the preserve. See how the center enhances the education of students across all academic programs.

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St. Edward's University Wild Basin Creative Research Center

Sunset at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.

Less than 10 miles from the well-groomed campus green at St. Edward's sits the university’s Wild Basin Creative Research Center on the west side of Austin. Encompassed by 227 acres of oak and juniper woodlands, the center is equipped with science laboratories and art workshops.

Students from all programs utilize the Creative Research Center to study art, science, policy and local government, education, business, and other disciplines. Examples of students enriching their studies at the center include:

  • Environmental Science and Policy students from the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences completed internships in the Wild Basin Environmental Education and Land Management programs.
  • “Crime scene” events are being planned at Wild Basin for a Forensic Science course from the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
  • The School of Natural Sciences engages in multiple research projects centered at Wild Basin and is currently hosting an Environmental Topics course at Wild Basin that focuses on deer overpopulation in Central Texas.
  • Photocommunications and Art students from the School of Humanities will work with students from the School of Natural Sciences on an upcoming interdisciplinary course to develop portfolios, collect data for publication purposes and prepare an exhibition in the St. Edward’s University Fine Arts Gallery.
  • St. Edward’s University Noyce Scholars engage in math and science education in a real-life setting as they explore water quality issues at Wild Basin.
A Home to the Wild

St. Edward's University and Travis County work in partnership to manage and study the grounds surrounding the Creative Research Center. The area serves as an incubator to a range of species, from lizards and tarantulas to mammals such as the ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), a member of the raccoon family, found to nest in the hollows of trees common in rocky, desert habitat.

Golden-cheeked warblers arrive at Wild Basin in March to nest in the preserve’s Ashe juniper and oak woodlands. Of the nearly 360 bird species that breed in Texas, the golden-cheeked warbler is the only one that nests exclusively in Texas.

Located along Capital of Texas Highway, Wild Basin Preserve was founded in 1974 thanks to a 25-year grass-roots effort. The preserve was established despite enormous development pressures and was saved from the region’s rapid development and growth. Acquired by St. Edward’s in 2009 and expanded to include interdisciplinary creative research in 2011, the Wild Basin Creative Research Center is a treasured educational resource that provides extensive learning opportunities for students.

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