Wild Basin is a living laboratory for students across disciplines, from natural sciences to social sciences to humanities.

The Dr. Allan W. Hook Endowed Wild Basin Creative Research Fund is a generous fellowship that provides funding for student projects at Wild Basin or other preserves in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve system. Hook Fellows' projects can be research-based or creative endeavors, and they can be grounded in any discipline. Recent Hook Fellows have created art installations, investigated new technologies for censusing deer, and researched microbial communities in the streams and soils of Wild Basin.

The Hook Endowed Wild Basin Creative Research Fund Now Accepting Applications for 2021

Fellowships up to $4,000 for research at Wild Basin or in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve

2021 Hook Wild Basin Fellowship Application Guide & Instructions

2021 Hook Fellowship Application Form

Applicants may be from any accredited college or university.

2020 Hook Fellows

Kaitlyn Stark. Comparing Molecular markers of Gregarine Life Cycle Stages in Cockroaches Obtained from Wild Basin to Laboratory Raised Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
Advisor: Dr. Daniel Gold

Jemima Ohwobete and Andrea Huriega. Quantitative Analysis of the Effect of Traffic Noise Levels on the Endangered Golden-Cheeked Warbler in Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve
Advisor: Dr. Darren Proppe

Colton Mitchell. The effects of Ligustrum sinense and L. japonicum on bird abundance and diversity in Travis County, TX
Advisor: Dr. Amy Concilio

2019 Hook Fellows

Gracen Bivens. The Effects of Urbanization on Mesopredator Landscape Utilization and Dispersal Routes in the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, Vireo Nature Preserve, and Surrounding Urban Areas

Aaron Duran. Activity and Distribution Patterns of Mammals at Wild Basin Preserve

John Rippel. Inoculating Invasive Species Logs with Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail) to Promote Lasting Soil Health and Improve Ecosystem Function

Taylor Kelly. Using Water and Adjacent Soil Reservoirs of Microbials to Characterize Antibiotic Resistance

2018 Hook Fellows

Nicholas Barrett, Matthew Fenci. Comparing Biological Diversity in Gregarines from Wild-isolated and Grain Beetles Through Genomic Sequencing.

Alex Birch. Fluoride Toxicity in Freshwater Systems: Wild Basin.

Juan Diaz, Holcombe Huddleston. Organization and expansion of Wild Basin's photographic, video, and document archives.

Elayna Grove. Camera Trap Data Collection: The Effects of Urbanization on Austin's Wildlife.

Patrick Kelleher. Travis County Stream Assessment: Macroinvertebrate Indices and Water Composition Comparison.

I Gusti Ayu Larasati. Effect of Housing Development on Wildlife Movement Along and Through Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve Boundaries.

Adriana Lee. Evaluation of Ecosystem Function of a Restored 30-Year Old Dumpsite in Wild Basin Preserve.

Elizabeth Rodriquez, Cole Calderon. Using the Wild Nematode Microbiome as an Indicator of Soil Health.

Sarah Waddell. Composition, Recruitment, and Restoration of Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) in Riparian Zones of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve System.

Becky Woodward. Identification and Analysis of Microbial Communities Associated with Texas Milkweed, Asclepias texana, success in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

2017 Hook Fellows

Phillip Valdez. Mobile Plant Identification App for Wild Basin.

Chris Enders, Kristen Meisner, Winfred Mudong. Groundwater Dye Trace Analysis Through BCP/WQPL Tracts. 

Ashley Bussell, Nicolas Gonzalez, Leslie Roberts. Estimating Heavy Metal Runoff Concentrations from Bridge Decks.

John Gonzalez, Nicole Wile. Water Contamination Sourcing in Bee Creek and North Hollow in Wild Basin. 

Renee Cornue. You are Here: Earth Day Art Show.

Justin Stewart, Kizil Yusoof. Microbial Communities Relationship to Soil Characteristics. 

2016 Hook Fellows

Elizabeth AdemskiExploring the potential for plastic-eating microorganisms in Wild Basin soil communities.

Kelsey Emmons, Michelle Mendoza, and Lauren Schricker.  Determination of the economic value of ecosystem services provided by Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.

Michael Horvath, Lexington Belyeu, and Danica Metlay. Utilizing UAVs to measure biodiversity and compare white-tailed deer survey techniques at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.

Abigail Kropf, Savannah Bryson, and Eric Johnson. Identifying successful methods for removal and management for three invasive plant species coexisting in a Central Texas riparian forest.

Jacqueline Ortuno. Mosquito activity comparison of adult Aedes aegypti between work and natural protected areas.

Maria Rodriguez. Using indicator microorganisms to determine the effects of urbanization on ecosystem services at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.

2015 Hook Fellows

Brandy Shigemoto. Educating K-12 Students on Species of Concerns at the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.

Suzanne Gamboa, Erica Joelson & Christina McGlew. Quantifying the Wild Basin Ecosystem Services for the Austin Area.

Aaron Haynes & Marsha Barnes. The Effects of a Major Highway on Stress Hormone Levels of the Gulf Cost Toad (Bufo valliceps) within the Wild Basin Nature Preserve.

Lauren Cybulska & Christopher Cormier (2014-2015). A Study of Tick Population Densities as Disease Vectors on an East-to-West Transect of Austin, Texas.

Amanda Maxon, Pamela Millan & Stacia Sheputa. Press on Vegetation and Stress Levels of White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianis) through Density Mapping of Deer across the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin, Texas.

Antoine Pasquier & Katalina Salas. Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Spatial Invasion Analysis for Texas and Wild Basin using Population Density of Fraxinus texensis to predict future invasion pathways.

2014 Hook Fellows

Andrew Barrick & Nicole Minicone. The Assessment of Macroinvertebrates in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. 

Christopher Johnson & Gregory Washington. Estimating Temporal Variation in Vertebrate Biodiversity using Camera Traps at Wild Basin Preserve.

Christina Schech. Translating Natural Patterns and Flora into Intepretive Sculptural Installations.

Aaron Waters & Jamie Carpenter. The Influence of Land Use Change on the Health and Integrity of Stream Ecosystems in the Bee Creek Watershed.

Karina Cuellar. Analysis of Antimicrobial Secretions of the Burying Beetle, Nicrophorus carolinus.

Yvette Cannata. Investigating the Effects of Herbicides on Cognitive Foraging Abilities in the Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri).

Maryhelen Reuter. Native Texas Wild Basin Insects: Large Scale Hanging Sculptures.