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The Master Herpetologist Program is offered at the Amphibian Foundation and instructed jointly between the Foundation and Zoo Atlanta's Herpetology Department.

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; Robert Hill, Assistant Curator of Herpetology, Zoo Atlanta; Joe Mendelson, Director of Research, Zoo Atlanta and Adjunct Associate Professor at GA Tech; 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), 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 approximately every other Saturday from 10 am until 3pm (with a break for lunch). The course is intended for adults, but there is no age limit. Please contact us before registering someone under the age of 18.

Winter / Spring 2019

Week One (Jan 5th): Introduction
Week Two (Jan 19th): Salamanders
Week Three (Feb 2nd): Frogs
**one week delay due to Southeast Partners in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation conference, which the instructors will be attending**
Week Four (Feb 23rd): Amphibian Field Trip Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve
Week Five (March 2nd): Turtles
Week Six (March 16th): Snakes
Week Seven (March 30th): Reptile Field Trip Sweetwater Creek
Week Eight (April 13th): 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 (Sold Out!)

The Master Herpetologist Program sold out for the Winter/Spring offering and developed a substantial wait list.

Registration will open again in Feb for the summer session of the Master Herpetologist Program. Priority will be given to Amphibian Foundation Members (who also receive a discount on the course). Next, people on the waitlist will be contacted and invited to register.

You can also subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get notified when registration opens for the next offering of the Master Herpetologist Program (planning for June 2019).

Learn More About AF Membership

Subscribe to AF Monthly Newsletter

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