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

Amphibian Foundation, GA DNR and Orianne Society


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.

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, intended to create a foundation of herpetological knowledge upon which students can build.


The course fee includes lectures, exam, and certificate. For the IRL courses at the Amphibian Foundation, the fee also includes 2 field trips, a copy of Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia (Jensen, et al), and a graduation luncheon. Throughout the year, Master Herpetologists may be offered early bird or discounted registration for workshops and other reptile and amphibian events in and around Georgia, including opportunities for field work in conservation studies.

The class is intended for adults, but there is no age limit. Please contact us before registering someone under the age of 18
Master Herpetologist Class of 2019
Master Herpetologists gather at Sweetwater State Park for the reptile field trip

Select a Semester Below See the Schedule and to Register

  • Online Course

    The online class is asynchronous (no required time to meet), 100% online, and designed for students to go at their own pace with the material. We will meet optionally on the Wednesdays listed below from 6 - 8 pm (EST = UTC -5:00) as 'office hours' — if anyone has questions or would like to communicate directly with the instructor (not required). The course will work through any web browser on PC, Mac, iPhone, and Android.

    Summer 2020

    May 27: Introduction
    Jun 10: Salamanders
    Jun 24: Caecilians
    Jul 8: Frogs
    Jul 22: Turtles
    Aug 5: Lizards
    Aug 19: Snakes
    Sep 2: Final Exam

    Course Instructor: Mark Mandica, Amphibian Foundation Founder & Director, and Biology Faculty at Agnes Scott College.


    The Master Herpetologist Program Online is $300 for the 8 session program. It includes lectures, a certificate, and final exam.

    Registration for Summer 2020 Online Course is Open!
  • Fall Semester

    Class meets Wednesdays from 10 am - 3 pm (with an hour break for lunch) at the Amphibian Foundation.

    Fall 2020

    Aug 26: Introduction
    Sep 9: Salamanders
    Sep 23: Frogs
    Oct 7: Amphibian Field Trip
    Oct 21: Turtles
    Nov 4: Snakes
    Nov 18: Reptile Field Trip
    Dec 2: Final Exam & Graduate Luncheon

    Course instructors: Mark Mandica of the Amphibian Foundation and Agnes Scott College; Daniel Sollenberger of Georgia DNR; Chris Jenkins of the Orianne Society; and Grover Brown of University of Southern Mississippi


    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 for Fall 2020 is Open!
  • Spring Semester

    Class meets Saturdays from 10 am - 3 pm (with an hour break for lunch) at the Amphibian Foundation.

    Spring 2020

    Jan 11: Introduction
    Jan 25: Salamanders
    Feb 8: Frogs
    Break for Southeast Partners in Amphibian & Reptile Conservation conference
    Feb 22: Amphibian Field Trip
    Break for Atlanta Science Festival
    Mar 28: Turtles
    Apr 11: Reptile Field Trip
    Apr 25: Snakes
    May 9: Final Exam & Graduate Luncheon

    Course instructors: Mark Mandica of the Amphibian Foundation and Agnes Scott College; Daniel Sollenberger of Georgia DNR; Chris Jenkins of the Orianne Society; and Grover Brown of University of Southern Mississippi


    The Master Herpetologist Program is $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.

    Spring 2021 Registration will open in September 2020!

Chris Jenkins of the Orianne Society teaching the snake portion of the course
Dr. Chris Jenkins of the Orianne Society teaching the snake portion of the Master Herpetologist program.


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, which is unfortunately, not wheelchair accessible.

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.

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