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Guidebook to the Geology of Travis County

Austin's Earth Science Resources

Places to go for Help and Information

Diana Grunig and Egan Jones

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This appendix lists most of the institutions and agencies that serve as sources of earth science information in Austin. Some of the listings will be of interest to those who want to learn more about the geology of Austin or of Texas; some will serve those who want to learn or teach basic geology or related sciences; others will only interest those who want specialized, advanced, or technical scientific information.

Information on locations and fees is correct as of August, 1977. (Check out their web-pages to find more current information)


University of Texas at Austin, Campus

CAMPUS GROUNDS -- building and paving stones in many parts of the campus are rock from local and state quarries and from out of state. Many different rock types are represented; some of the sedimentary rocks show sedimentary structures.

WILL C. HOGG BUILDING -- decorative frieze around this building (the old Geology Building) depicts a variety of ancient life forms and crystal forms.

JACKSON GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES BUILDING- JGB -- retaining wall at west entrance contains a collection of large rock specimens and fossils; first and second floors inside the building contain exhibit and display cases.

TEXAS MEMORIAL MUSEUM -- (no admission charge); basement floor contains geologic exhibits, including mineral specimens and restored dinosaurs and other fossil vertebrates; outside of the building is an exhibit of dinosaur tracks.

BIOLOGY (PATTERSON) BUILDING -- The Herbarium contains pressed and dried samples of Texas native plants; inquire at the main office of the Biology Department.

HUMANITIES RESEARCH CENTER -- on the seventh floor are specimens from the Barron Collection on display. Ask to be let into the room.

J. J. PICKLE RESEARCH CAMPUS (formerly Balcones Research Center), Between MoPac (Loop 1) and Burnet at Braker Ln.

VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY LABORATORY-- this lab is part of the Texas Memorial Museum and contains some formal exhibits and many fossil vertebrates in storage and under study.

INVERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGY COLLECTION, Texas Memorial Museum -- contains most of the collections of invertebrate fossils at The University of Texas.

DEEP EDDY NATURAL SCIENCE CENTER, Deep Eddy Drive, just south of Lake Austin Boulevard -- The Science Center houses a museum with exhibits from many realms of the natural world, including geology. Geared primarily to children, admission is $.25 per adult and $.10 per child. The Center also sponsors classes for all age groups, some of which cover the basic earth science and related subjects.

TEXAS SYSTEM OF NATURAL LABORATORIES, Room 213, Littlefield Building (northeast corner, at 6th Street and Congress Avenue). -- The Texas System of Natural Laboratories serves as an intermediary between people engaged in serious scientific investigation and landowners all over the state who have agreed to permit their lands to be used as natural laboratories in scientific research projects.

NATURAL CAVERNS AND STATE PARKS -- A wealth of different geologic environments lies within an easy day's outing from Austin. Many of them have interesting outcrops and fossil localities within their boundaries, and even those principally of historic interest provide a chance to view the geology on the way. Any good Texas road map will show exact locations; a publication by the Bureau of Economic Geology, Geologic and Historical Guide to the State Parks of Texas (Guidebook 10) summarizes the geology of each park. Information about fees and facilities can be obtained from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


University of Texas at Austin

Geology Library -- third floor, Geology Building; extensive collections on geologic literature and maps; holdings are open stack and available for room use to anyone and may be checked out with a library card, which is free to UT students and staff, and available for $2 plus a $15 deposit to others (apply at Main Desk, Perry-Castaneda Library).

Architecture Library (Arch. Bldg.) -- includes land use and city planning materials

Barker Texas History -- contains Texas materials, especially historical, including maps

Life-Sciences Library (Main Bldg.)

Chemistry (Welch Bldg.)

Engineering (Taylor Hall)

Latin American Collection (Sid Richardson Bldg.)

Tarlton Law Library(Townes Hall)

Physics-Mathematics-Astronomy (R.L. Moore Hall)

Perry-Castaneda Library -- this is the University's main library. The facility houses the collections of the old Main Library (formerly located in the UT Tower) and several branch libraries including Business Administration, Economics, Classics, and Education-Psychology. Its collections cover all the social sciences and humanities as well as general and interdisciplinary areas of knowledge. The library contains the card catalogue for the entire holdings of the UT Library System.

Visual Instruction Bureau -- Education Annex, north of the Texas Olympic Swimming Center on San Jacinto. The Bureau holds a collection of films, some with earth science content, which can be rented.

Texas State Library and Archives -- Directly east of the Texas State Capitol Building, on the northwest corner of 12th and San Jacinto Streets; contains reference works about Texas and old records and other documents of the state. Open to the public, check-out privilege limited to state employees.

Austin Public Library -- Main Library is at 401 West 9th Street, inquire here for branch locations and bookmobile schedule; geologic holdings are small and almost entirely non-technical; the Main Library houses the Austin-Travis County Collection, which contains books, manuscripts, reports, and photographs from and about the Austin area.

St. Edwards University -- Library Building, St. Edwards' Campus is in south Austin and bounded by I.H. 35, Woodward Street, South Congress Avenue, and St. Edwards Drive; the library is open stack and contains a small collection of basic geology books.

See all PROFESSIONAL SCIENTIFIC ORGANIZATIONS with libraries which may be of use.


Bureau of Economic Geology (Pickle Research Campus) -- The Bureau serves as the state geological survey for Texas. Public services include: publications available for sale, covering many aspects of Texas geology, technical and non-technical -- including geologic maps, guidebooks to state and federal parks and to areas of particular geologic interest; maintenance of a reading room containing publications about Texas geology, including rock identification; lectures to public groups. Inquiries may be made at the reception desk, 5th floor, Geology Building, or addressed to:

Bureau of Economic Geology
The University of Texas at Austin
University Station, Box X
Austin, TX 78712

United States Geological Survey, (Out on Cameron Rd. North of 183) -- The United States Geological Survey maintains an office of Water Resources Division, which handles water data and investigations for the state of Texas, and a branch office of the Office of Energy Resources, Geologic Division, which deals with south Texas uranium, in this building. The water Resources Division library contains publications from the other divisions of the U.S.G.S., too. Inquire at the information desk, Room 649.

General Land Office (Stephen F. Austin Building, 17th and Congress) -- This is a state agency that holds information on the original titles of privately owned land, and handles all state-owned land. Inquiries about state-owned mineral resources or coastal lands could be directed here, either to Energy Resources Management, Room 849, or Land Resources Management, Room 749.

Texas Water Development Board (Stephen F. Austin Building, 18th and Congress) -- This state agency manages the ground and surface water resources for Texas and maintains a library of relevant literature and a map library. Information: Room 513.

Texas Water Quality Board, (Stephen F. Austin Building, 18th and Congress, 4th Floor) -- Records of water quality measurements and investigations are handled by this state agency.

Texas Highway Department, District 13 Headquarters, (I.H. 35, north of its junction with U.S. 183) -- The Highway Department has county maps showing all the roads in a county, has some aerial photographs of Texas, and publishes county reports, some of which contain geologic discussion and geologic maps.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, John H. Reagan State Office Building (SW corner of 15th and Congress) -- This department has information on Texas flora and fauna and ecological studies, particularly for areas such as the Texas coast. The information desk and publications sales office are on the first floor.

Planning Department, City of Austin, (124 West 8th Street) -- This city department has large-scale plate maps and aerial photographs, from the 1940's and the 1960's for much of Austin, and they will sell copies.

National Weather Service, (main Terminal Building, Robert Mueller Airport, East on Manor Road) -- This station receives current regional and national weather reports, collects local weather data, and stores weather data for the Austin station from the present back to the station's opening.

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Perry-Castañeda Library
101 East 21st St.
Austin, TX. 78713

Phone: (512) 495-4250

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