Science Live! at Wild Basin
Science Live! at Wild Basin is an hour-long live webcast series showcasing real field science happening at Wild Basin and other Balcones Canyonlands Preserve lands. We explore natural science themes and make real science accessible to middle grade students with a live Q&A over-the-air with scientists. Recommended for 4th-8th grade.
Episode 2: Biodiversity Detectives (aired April 2021)
Which animals roam Wild Basin? What is it like to work at a nature preserve? Join us for a free live virtual program featuring three field science projects that help gauge biodiversity on the preserve. We’ll connect wildfire prevention, invasive species removal, and wildlife camera studies in a packed hour-long program. Special live Q&A with field biologists Dr. Barbara Dugelby and Dr. Amy Concilio and Preserve Manager Niki Lake.
Part 1 - "Unexpected Consequences", with St. Edward's University professor Dr. Amy Concilio, 7 min.
Part 2 - "Chasing Invasives", with Preserve Manager Niki Lake, 8 min.
Part 3 - "Spy in the Wild", with Director Dr. Barbara Dugelby, 8 min.
Full Science Live! playlist on YouTube - all episodes and videos
Episode 1: High Flying Science (aired November 2020)
Can robots help save birds? What does a field biologist do? Join Wild Basin staff for a live synchronous virtual program about Austin birds and some ways that biologists are going "high tech". Special live Q&A with field biologist and Wild Basin Research Director Dr. Darren Proppe.
Part 1 - "Banding Birds", with City of Austin Biologist Dr. Laurel Moulton, 7 min.
Part 2 - "Mapping the Soundscape", 8 min.
Part 3 - "Spy in the Sky", 5 min.
Full program - Science Live! at Wild Basin, High Flying Science, 55 min.
Full Science Live! playlist on YouTube - all episodes and videos
"High Flying Science" Additional Resources
Learn about the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve from our preserve partners at the City of Austin.
Download the free open source sound recording app Audacity, used by field biologists and more.
Discover and Celebrate Urban Birds that live around you, from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Explore nature around you, share your photos and observations online on iNaturalist.
Reading in the Wild
Reading in the Wild is a science and literacy series of early elementary "read alouds" recorded at Wild Basin in collaboration with Austin ISD and elementary school librarian Amanda Braziel. Each selection connects the time-honored instructional strategy of reading aloud with the natural world at Wild Basin. Many thanks to publishers HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and more for permission to make these links available for educators through June 2021. Recommended for PK-3rd grades. Available via direct link to unlisted YouTube here:
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
A Tree Is Nice by Janice May Udry
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis
Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
A Stone Sat Still by Branden Wenzel
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Finding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd
The Earth Gives More by Sue Fliess
City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems
Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus
The Lorax by Dr. Suess
Resources for Educators
New curriculum guides for educators serve as an introduction and guide to exploring Wild Basin with students. Each guide offers information about the preserve, suggested questions and critical thinking strategies, a vocabulary list, TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) correlations, sample activities, literature connections, and links to outdoor learning resources.
Supplement your school visit to Wild Basin with these natural science lessons for the classroom. Each lesson includes: lesson objectives, TEKS correlations, materials, procedures, and extension suggestions.
- K-1 - Nuts About Squirrels - downloadable .pdf, 400 KB; Squirrels video copyright Brittanica School Edition.
- 2nd - Slithering & Swimming Snakes of Wild Basin - downloadable .pdf, 280 KB; Snake images, free for use.
- 4th - A Myriad of Arthropods at Wild Basin - downloadable .pdf, 740 KB.
- 5th - Tree-mendous Assets: Ashe juniper and Golden-cheeked Warblers at Wild Basin - downloadable .pdf, 1.9 MB.
- 6th/7th - To Plant or Not to Plant, Native vs. Invasive Species - downloadable .pdf, 216 KB.
- 7th/8th - Plains, Prairies & Plateaus, Oh My! Biodiversity in Texas Ecoregions - downloadable .pdf, 220 KB.
We would like to thank our 2020-2021 funding partners:
Wild Basin Education Email List
Educators: would you and your students like to join us live for future programs this year? Complete this short form to sign up for the Wild Basin Education email list. We'll email a couple of times per year with notice of future (virtual) programs and events. Stay well and stay wild!
PLEASE NOTE: No guided tours or in-person programs are offered at this time.
Bring your students to Wild Basin for an adventure with a purpose! Guided school tours for 2nd grade and up Wild Basin allow your students to explore the Texas Hill Country—right in the heart of Austin. School tours include a 1-2 hour guided hike where students learn about plants, wildlife, geology, and more, at the 227-acre wilderness preserve. Groups may also explore the Visitor Center with its hands-on natural science exhibits. For more information or to request a guided school tour please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wild Basin School Programs, .pdf, 58MB.
- Wild Basin / St. Edward's School Program Waiver, English/Spanish, required for all child and adult participants, .pdf, 1MB.
- Preparing for Your School Group Visit, downloadable .pdf, 630KB.
Tiny Footprints Programs
PLEASE NOTE: No in-person programs are offered at this time.
Tiny Footprints programs for PreK through First Grade are hands-on, nature-based hikes for young explorers. Choose a nature theme for your class: Butterflies and Caterpillars, Spiders and Scorpions, Ants and Roly-polies, or Squirrels and Acorns. Stimulate curiosity and increase vocabulary through stories, finger plays, and hands-on experiences. Children may be introduced to insect metamorphosis, ant lions, dragonflies, lichen, walking sticks, earth stars, daddy longlegs, and animal tracks. Tiny Footprints also serves mixed-age groups, including homeschool groups. For more information or to request a Tiny Footprints program please email: email@example.com.
Guided Weekend Hikes
PLEASE NOTE: No guided hikes or in-person programs are offered at this time.
Wild Basin's public guided hike is a great way to learn about the native Texas Hill Country. Join us the second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.-noon. Guided hikes begin on the deck of the Wild Basin Creative Research Center. Register now. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a private or group guided hike.
PLEASE NOTE: No in-person events are offered at this time.
In addition to guided hikes Wild Basin offers engaging public events throughout the year. View our Events Calendar here.