The Biodiversity Collections are housed at three locations.
- Ichthyology and Herpetology are at the University's J.J. Pickle Research Campus about 8 miles N of the main UT campus.
- Entomology and Cave Arthropods are at the Lake Austin Center Building, adjacent to Brackenridge Field Lab, about 3 miles west of the main UT campus.
- The Teaching Collections are housed in the BIO labs building on the main campus.
We've provided a Google map to each of the facilities.
Pickle Research Campus
The Ichthyology and Herpetology collections are housed at the Pickle Research Campus in North Austin. The mailing address for all correspondence is:
Texas Natural History Collections
10100 Burnet RD, PRC 176/R4000
Austin, TX 78758-4445
TNHC Building, PRC 176
Our fluid collections building on the J. J. Pickle Research Campus (PRC) in northwest Austin, about 8 miles north of the main UT campus, was occupied in February/March 1994. Offices, labs and collections occupy 8,784 ft2, with the potential to double that by adding another floor in the ample vertical space. Offices and labs cover 3,032 ft2 while separate fire-resistant enclosures for alcoholic collections (Ichthyology, Herpetology, and Invertebrate Zoology) total ~2913 ft2in 5 rooms all on a separate air-handling system that keeps collections at 70 +/- 1 degree F, though relative humidity varies between 30% - 70%. Fire protection is via water sprinkler systems, again separate for collections rooms and labs/offices. All collection and lab rooms have UV filters over fluorescent tubes. Temperature, humidity, and light levels are continually logged (HOBO data loggers, Onset Computer Corporation, Bourne, MA).
The Ichthyology catalogued fluid-preserved collections occupy two rooms totaling 1539 ft2 of floor space supporting 5882 ft2 of shelf space; Space constraints and recent collection growth forced part of the fish collection to be temporarily housed on 261 ft2 of shelving in 648 ft2 of open floor space outside of the fluid collection enclosure rooms. All fluid-preserved specimens except oversize specimens stored in stainless steel tanks are stored in clear glass jars with polypropylene lids. In 1994-1995 a collection-wide (except types and a small larval fish collection remaining in 10% formalin) alcohol change from 50% isopropanol moved all lots to 70% non-denatured ethanol.
Most work with chemicals occurs in the specimen prep area (~500 ft2), and in two dedicated lab/research rooms shared by staff and visitors. These contain basic lab equipment, and high-end binocular stereo dissecting microscope with fiber optic illumination and digital camera/video capability. The TNHC library is well stocked with discipline-specific reprints, journal series and books, and recently expanded significantly with acquisition of Clark Hubbs’ library following his passing.
We also maintain a facility for preparing skeletons for research and teaching using dermestid beetles, in collaboration with the Vertebrate Paleontology Lab.
Directions to the Ichthyology and Herpetology Collections at PRC
Shuttles from main campus run every 15 minutes, and are free for UT students, staff and faculty (with valid UT photo ID). Travel time is normally about 25 minutes. See the weekday PRC shuttle schedule for details. The collections building (noted as Bldg 176, or LSF on some campus maps) is located in the southeast corner of the PRC, near the intersection of Road D and Harry Ransom Trail. The shuttle stop is at the Pickle Research Commons, about 1500ft NW of PRC 176 (see map).
DRIVING FROM THE MAIN UT CAMPUS TO PICKLE RESEARCH CAMPUS
Take I-35 North to 183 North. From 183, take the Burnet Rd. exit, (2.0 road miles after junction with I-35). Turn right at the light, heading North onto Burnet Rd. The Pickle Research Campus (PRC) is on the left hand side, after the 3rd light (less than 1 mile). After you pass the guard stand you will be on Read Granberry.
DRIVING FROM AUSTIN BERGSTROM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (ABIA)
Head on SH 71 West and merge onto 183 North (about 1.6 miles). Take 183 N and stay on for ~12.5 miles until you reach the Burnet Rd. (FM 1325) exit. Turn right on Burnet Rd., heading N. After the third light, turn left into the Pickle Research Campus. After you pass the guard stand you will be on Read Granberry.
FROM ABIA TAKING CAPITAL METRO BUS
The MetroAirport leaves on the hour and half hour from the far right end of the terminal sidewalk as you leave baggage claim. Get off at 21st St, across from the stadium, and walk away from the stadium on 21st St to Guadalupe. Turn right on Guadalupe to catch the NORTHBOUND METRO RAPID 803 (more info above) at its West Mall stop just N of 22nd Street.
DRIVING TO THE BIODIVERSITY COLLECTIONS, BUILDING 176
From Read Granberry, take your first left onto Harry Ransom Trail. Follow on Harry Ransom Trail until it dead ends at the intersection with Road D. Take a left (east). TNHC (PRC 176) will be the second building on your right, after the Library Storage Facility. The TNHC entrance and parking lot are on the east side of the building. If you do not have a proper UT parking permit, see staff for a temporary use permit.
If you are visiting from out of town, here are some lists of hotels in the nearby area:
Lake Austin Center and Brackenridge Field Lab
Our Entomology and Cave Arthropods collections reside at the Lake Austin Centre Building (LAC) at Brackenridge Field Lab. The physical address for LAC is:
3001 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, TX 78703
For further information regarding visiting Brackeridge Field Laboratory: Visitor & User Guidelines
BIO Labs, UT Main Campus
The Biodiversity Collections and Curators contribute to teaching in the Department of Integrative Biology. Parts of the collections are used for instruction in Entomology, Vertebrate Natural History, Comparative Anatomy, Herpetolology, Ichthyology, and other courses. These collections are housed in BIO labs on the main UT campus.