All scientific inquiry begins with the simple question of "I wonder". The I-Wonder series highlights students who are conducting research at the Wild Basin Creative Research Center and their scientific process. For more updates and to follow our I-Wonder series visit our blog.

St. Edward's University student, Narda Salinas, talks about exploring the history and ecology of an old restored dump site at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin, TX. Narda's research project began with a simple question, "I-Wonder what were the effects of a restoration project on an old dump site?" Narda explains the process of how she uncovered the answers using scientific methods from field ecology.


Alyseia Alexander

Alyseia Alexander I wondered... how microorganisms influenced leaf decomposition. I buried three leaf species (Red Oak, Ashe Juniper, and Evergreen Sumac) in three types of soil (dry, mesic, and wet) and recorded their decomposition rate. I found that Evergreen Sumac decomposed the fastest and microorganisms grow faster in mesic communities.

Carl Gilbert Tiro Basbas

Carl Gilbert Tiro Basbas I wondered what affect bacteria growing on the roots of plants common to Wild Basin had on plant growth. I used the bacteria found on the roots of three common grasses at Wild Basin and tested two compounds on these bacteria for differences in growth.

Andrew Barrick

Andrew Barrick I wondered if Wild Basin's proximity to the freeway and housing development caused the river inside Wild Basin to be more polluted than other rivers in Austin. We collected aquatic insects inside Wild Basin, at local parks and inside Barton Creek Nature Preserve because the ratio of insects found are good indicators of water quality. We found that Wild Basin is similar in quality to other rivers in the area and may be slightly more polluted but we would need to do more research to prove it.