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The Master Herpetologist Program is offered at the Amphibian Foundation and instructed jointly between the Foundation, GA DNR and the Orianne Society.

Amphibian Foundation and Zoo Atlanta

This intensive class provides an introduction to herpetology and equips participants with amphibian and reptile identification skills and general knowledge of frogs, salamanders, turtles, lizards and snakes — their life histories, habitat requirements and biodiversity.

Instructors: Mark Mandica, Executive Director, Amphibian Foundation; Chris Jenkins, CEO of the Orianne Society; Grover Brown, University of Southern Mississippi; and John Jensen, State Herpetologist for Georgia DNR and editor of our course text book.

Course content includes classification and identification of amphibians and reptiles, 'herping' equipment, frog calls, attracting amphibians/reptiles and backyard wildlife habitat, anatomy and physiology, ecology, behavior, breeding migration, and conservation. This course is a deep dive into the world of amphibians and reptiles, with special focus placed on the critters of the southeast.

The course fee includes lectures and 2 field trips, a copy of Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia (Jensen, et al), a certificate, and a graduation luncheon. Throughout the year, Master Herpers may be offered early bird or discounted registration for workshops and other reptile and amphibian events in and around Georgia.

The course meets every Saturday from 10 am until 3pm (with an hour break for lunch). The class is intended for adults, but there is no age limit. Please contact us before registering someone under the age of 18.


Summer 2019

Week One (June 8th): Introduction
Week Two (June 15th): Salamanders
Week Three (June 22nd): Frogs
Week Four (June 29th): Amphibian Field Trip
Week Five (July 6th): Turtles
Week Six (July 13th): Snakes
Week Seven (July 20th): Reptile Field Trip
Week Eight (July 27th): Graduate Luncheon


The Amphibian Foundation is located at the beautiful, 30 acre, Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Buckhead (Atlanta, GA). The main building on the grounds holds 3 of the Foundation's research labs, office space and classrooms, as well as Atlanta Audubon Society, and the Blue Heron Nature Preserve's administration offices and classrooms. It is a hub for urban ecology and conservation right in Atlanta. The course will be held in the Amphibious AF Meeting Room.

This class is not wheelchair accessible


Would you like to see the Master Herpetologist offered on a weekday?

Your input is valued as we assess the possibility of offering a Master Herpetologist Program during the week. Please choose one of the answers below.

We, as Georgians are lucky to have such a comprehensive and wonderful guide to our native herpetofauna. John Jensen (State Herpetologist for GA DNR) and others have compiled a comprehensive resource for those interested in learning about our local frogs, salamanders, lizards, turtles, and snakes. While this is not required reading for the Master Herpetologist Program, it provides in-depth supplemental information for what we will be covering during the course.

Pricing & Registration

The Master Herpetologist Program is offered at a price of $400 for the 8 session program. It includes lectures, guided field trips, Reptiles and Amphibians of Georgia (Jensen, et al.), a certificate, and graduate luncheon.


Registration is Open for Summer 2019!

Member Discount

Annual and Sustaining Members of the Amphibian Foundation receive a $20 discount on the Master Herpetologist Program, and a $15 discount on the Critters & Cabernet series. To verify your membership and receive this discount, click the link below. You will be redirected to the Members' Registration Page.

You will need to know the date you registered, and membership type (eg: Striped Newt, Gopher Frog, Flatwoods Salamander, etc ...)


Membership Verification Form

Course Resources

The course resources, materials and lectures slides are for students only and not available to the public.


Students, please do not share your passwords as some of the resources available to you through your registration are governmental documents and data and cannot be shared publicly.



Course Resource Folder