Research Projects

  • Biosolids, Compost, and Soil Ecology Research – a program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service, Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory to study the effects of biosolids on soil ecology supported by a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Experimental Exemption for Land Application Permit. The following annual research reports are associated with the exemption are submitted annually to TCEQ.
  • Hydrogeology of the Colorado River and the Alluvial Aquifer – studies the alluvial aquifer of the Colorado River at Hornsby Bend in cooperation with the University of Texas Department of Geological Sciences.
  • Riparian Ecology and Restoration Research – a program to research and restore the 3.5 miles of riparian habitat and bottomland forest along the Colorado River at the Hornsby Bend site.
  • Avian Ecology – a database of over 50,000 bird records from Hornsby Bend dating back to 1959 is constantly updated through the Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory monitoring programs and university researchers. 


  • The Texas Riparian Association - a statewide organization to promote awareness for protection and restoration of Texas riparian areas hosted by the CER. To learn more, visit their website.
  • Austin-Bastrop River Corridor Partnership - a stakeholder partnership of nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, businesses, and citizens concerned with the future of 90-miles of the Colorado River in Travis and Bastrop County.
  • EcoHouses Partnership - a partnership with local non-profit environmental organizations that have used green remodeling to convert houses on the Hornsby Bend site into their offices
  • Public Safety Training Houses – a partnership with City of Austin and Travis County public safety agencies to use houses at the facility site for training.


  • The Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory - Supports "citizen science" researching and monitoring Central Texas bird populations to promote habitat conservation.
    • Monthly Bird Survey (second Saturday of every month, 7a.m.)
    • Fieldtrips with Travis Audubon Society (third Saturday of every month, 7:30a.m.)
    • Monitoring Workshops and More,
  • Ecological Mentorship Program – offers academic internships in natural resource management, environmental engineering, ecology, and geography to undergraduates.
  • Lunchtime Lecture Series – a free monthly public lecture about different aspects of Austin’s ecology.
  • Ecological Literacy Days – three hours of outdoor volunteer work and an hour of ecological education on the last Saturday of every month at Hornsby Bend (9 a.m. - 1p.m.)

For more information, please contact the CER Coordinator by phone at 512-972-1960 or by e-mail.