Outdoor Education and Stewardship

Our Outdoor Education Program comprises four distinct programs that are designed to help students develop specialized skills and knowledge about varying aspects of the natural environment, including stewardship of the land. 

Field Research

The Field Research Station (FRS) program gives each new 6th-grade class a five-acre plot of land on campus to study and care for throughout their time at St. Stephen’s. The FRS is designed to allow students to participate in hands-on project-based research using our land and its resources. FRS activities include the ongoing removal of invasive species, surveying of plant and animal species on campus, and analysis of water runoff and implementation of erosion control projects. 

West Texas Trips

The West Texas Project exposes students to the outdoors and, more specifically, to open spaces that are unique to Texas. Student groups attend overnight trips to Nature Conservancy land and private ranches throughout West Texas, where they focus on learning about the ecology, geology, hydrology, history, ranching economics, water rights and invasive species of the different areas. Student groups perform a service project on each trip, usually working with local ranchers on Nature Conservancy land to improve the outlook for wildlife. Through these hands-on, immersive activities, students experience camping, hiking and the great outdoors while learning about pertinent land issues facing Texans today. 

In addition to the West Texas Project,
paleontology students take annual trips to West Texas, near Terlingua, to search for dinosaur fossils. Biology teacher Dean Mohlman has been taking students to this excavation site for approximately 14 years. These trips offer students the opportunity to get into the field to do hands-on work and research.

Land Management

Two of the unique elements of the Outdoor Education Program are the Class Land Project and the Spartan Conservation Corps, also known as the Field Research Station (FRS). Each year the new 6th-grade class is assigned a five-acre plot of land on campus to study and care for throughout their time at St. Stephen’s. The FRS is designed to have students participate in hands-on project-based research using our land and its resources. FRS activities include the ongoing removal of invasive species, surveying of plant and animal species on campus, and analysis of water runoff and implementation of erosion control projects.

Eco Literacy

Eco Literacy is a Middle School course, integrated within the science curriculum, in which students learn gardening, soil management and enrichment techniques, natural pest control, and more.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213