Hands on Activities take place at 10:45, 11:45, 12:45 and 1:45 unless otherwise noted.
***Hands on Activities are reserved for REGISTERED STUDENTS ONLY
***Hands on Activities are reserved for REGISTERED STUDENTS ONLY
Karen Kocher, Media Producer and Professor of Practice in the Radio-Television-Film Department, University of Texas at Austin
10:45 and 11:45 am only
Join producer Karen Kocher to view the short documentary, A Reflecting Pool from Living Springs, a multi-platform online documentary series about the history, science, culture, and spiritual practices at Barton Springs. A Reflecting Pool recounts Barton Springs from 1912-1962 through the memories of those who lived the history. This piece looks into the little known social history of the Springs, including the segregation and eventual integration of the Springs in 1962. After the showing, students will help her brainstorm for a new animated film about the swim-ins at Barton Springs undertaken by Austin High students in the summers of 1960 and 1961.
3 Creative Instincts ~ Native Patterns
Omid Aski Laridja, Artist
This environmental art education session led by Austin Artist and Art Educator, Omid Aski Laridjani, connects students to the water and opens them to being inspired by environmental science and the natural world of Barton Springs. Students will observe the water patterns in Barton Springs and will be shown how to draw them with ink on paper. Omid will play his didgeridoo while the students are creating their art. 10:45, 11:45, 1:45
4 Eliza Springs Amphitheater Tour
Nathan Bendik, M.S., and Sarah Donelson, Austin Watershed Protection Department
The Eliza Spring Daylighting Project was completed in 2017. This project removed the old pipe draining Eliza Spring and recreated a stream in its place. This tour is a rare opportunity to see the beautiful new stream and salamander habitat up close. The amphitheater is usually closed to the public. Eliza Spring is home to the largest known population of endangered Barton Springs salamanders. Biologists will give a tour of the amphitheater and answer all your salamander questions.
5 Testing Water Conductivity
Shay Hlavaty, Communications & Outreach Manager, Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District
The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District will explore water conductivity with students in a hands-on activity. Participants will learn some differences between the Trinity and Edwards aquifers, what conductivity is, and how water sources can have varying levels of conductivity.
10:45, 12:45, 1:45
6 Search-and-Find Manikan in Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Lifeguards
Join the amazing Barton Springs lifeguards in this fun search and find activity. Attendees must know how to swim. Please indicate number of students interested in this activity on your registration form. Participants wear snorkel, mask, and fins that fit them. Lifeguards will guide them in how to dive and retrieve the mannequin in the pool. This activity is from the Starguard Elite training that every Barton Springs lifeguard completes before working their first shift!
8 Guided Snorkel Tours
Joel Manzo, SOS Ecotour Guide
We will be offering guided snorkel tours of the Barton Springs, directly experiencing how and where Barton Springs flows from the Aquifer into the pool and discovering the plants and wildlife of the pool. We will provide snorkels and masks.
Participants will be in the water for 15-20 minutes and must know how to swim. Please indicate number of students that want this activity on your registration form. 10:45, 11:45, 1:45
9 Live Eels! The Weirdest Fish in Texas
Hayley Gillespie, Site Supervisor, Austin Nature & Science Center
and Holland Austin, Eel Enthusiast
See live eels and learn about the incredible life story of the weirdest and wildest fish who call Austin their home for part of their life. Until recently there have been very few accounts of eels in Texas, but we are starting to see them more and more. What is causing eels to choose to seek freshwater in Texas all of a sudden? Researchers from the University of Texas are attempting to answer that question.
10 Alligators in Austin?!
Dr. Hayley Gillespie, Site Supervisor, Austin Nature & Science Center
and Christina Burkovich, Wildlife Exhibit Coordinator, Austin Nature & Science Center
See live alligators and learn about this once endangered creature’s recovery from overhunting. Almost all of the 500,000 alligators estimated to live in Texas live in the coastal counties, and Travis County is on the far northern part of their native range. Our two baby alligators from the Austin Nature & Science Center are on loan to us from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Alligator Swap program out of Brazos Bend State Park.
11 Live Austin Bats!
Austin Bat Refuge
Dianne Odegard & Lee Mackenzie Founders
Get up close and personal with Austin local bats. Veteran bat rehabilitators and educators with extensive experience in urban wildlife issues educate students about these fascinating animals. Bats are highly beneficial, harmless, and vital to the balance of nature. The Austin Bat Refuge gives bats a second chance through rehabilitation and release, conflict resolution, and education.
12 Austin Caves, Dye Trace Simulation
Nico Hauwert, Ph.D., P.G., Program Manager, Austin Water Balcones Canyonlands Preserve with Drew Thompson and Colin Strickland, Austin Water Balcones Canyonlands Preserve
Attendants will simulate a dye trace from the surface to see if it appears in a simulated cave. One team will inject dye and measure the flow. A second team will crawl into a simulated cave, measure a drip rate, measure air quality and collect samples to see where the dye discharges. Attendants will learn scientific data collection associated with groundwater protection, and see examples where dye studies are used to better understand and protect water supplies our cave heritage.
13 Live Salamanders: The Importance of Local Endangered Species
Justin Crow, Fish Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Featuring a 20 gallon aquarium housing several Barton Springs Salamanders that are part our the US Fish and Wildlife Service's captive assurance colony. Discussion about the Barton Springs Salamanders and the programs in place to help protect this endangered species. Additional discussions about endangered and threatened species, their importance, and their conservation. There will be several non-listed preserved specimens for individuals to handle and discuss basic fish biology.
14 Walking Tour of Nature Based Solutions for Water & Climate in Zilker Park
Eric Paulus, Director of Ecology Action of Texas
Lindsey Holmes, Environmental Literature Professor, St. Edwards University
(10:45,11:45 and 1:45pm)
Walking tour of Nature Based Solutions for Water and Climate in Zilker Park. Join rewilding expert Eric on an informative stroll throughout the park to understand ways that we can support nature's inherent intelligence.