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Venom Weekend — the first weekend every month at AF

Venomous Training Program
We are pleased to offer a Venomous Training and Certification Program at the Amphibian Foundation in partnership with the Rattlesnake Conservancy.

In-person (Atlanta) | Weekend workshop | Certificate program | Offered every 8 weeks

If you are a land manager, environmental consultant, first responder, zoo professional, herpetology enthusiast, photographer, or private citizen looking to learn how to safely handle and relocate venomous reptiles, this course is for you!

This 2-day workshop is a comprehensive training to prepare yourself for working with venomous snakes, or encountering them in the field safely. Using the techniques and protocols laid out by TRC, not a single person (TRC, AF staff or students) has ever been bitten by a venomous serpent.

This training sets the standard for safety, husbandry, and protocol for working with venomous reptiles. Our Level 1 Program is the leading venomous training program in the United States and has been taught to over 100 students. If you are a land manager, environmental consultant, first responder, zoo professional, herpetology enthusiast, photographer, or private citizen looking to learn how to safely handle and relocate venomous reptiles, this course is for you! Topics covered in the course include:

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Hands on individual training, guided by one of our professional instructors.
  • Handling methods for non-venomous and venomous snakes.
  • Learn about the life history, toxinology, and ecology of native venomous reptiles.
  • Emergency field care for envenomation.
  • Methods of relocation.
This course consists of 2-days of intense training with expert instructors. The first day of the Level 1 Course involves 8 hours of classroom work, where students learn about venom toxinology, native venomous snakes in their region, snake bite management, captive venomous reptiles, and disease monitoring and management.

On day 2, students take a written test on the information they learned the day before and begin hands on training with venomous reptiles. Students learn about the various type of handling equipment available to safely work with venomous reptiles, how to spot venomous reptiles in the wild, and handle multiple species and sizes of venomous snakes. Routinely, students will work with Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon c. piscivorus), Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus), Copperheads (Agkistrodon c. contortrix), and Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus).

This course is applicable for novices and individuals with entry level experience, or may be taken by advanced individuals as a refresher on information learned. Please only register if you are reasonably sure you can attend. The course is offered every other month.

This class is not wheelchair accessible

Critters & Cabernet — the night before Venom Class!

Critters & Cabernet

Most of Venom Class students come from out of town, and travel to Atlanta for the weekend. We wanted to let you know that the first Friday of each month (the night before Venom Class) is a 21+ adult learning experience called Critters & Cabernet.

It's taught by our fabulous team of Venomous Instructors, and each month a new group of amphibians or reptiles is discussed followed by live animal demonstrations. It's a lot of fun, a great way to interact with the Instructors, and offered at a $5 discount if you register at the same time as Venom Class.

Venomous Competency Training

Venomous Competency Training

Students who have become certified in our Level I Venomous Training & Certification Course are invited to return for Competency Training, which is also offered every other month at the Amphibian Foundation, in Atlanta.

The Competency Training is led by AF Venomous Programs Coordinator, Marjan and she works with students on strengthening their technique, and gaining confidence in the methods learned in the training program. These competency training hours are documented as well for those that are officially recording their training hours.

The Competency Trainings occur every other month for 6 hours on Saturdays (10:30-4:30)

Select your month below:
Student's Name
Student's Email Address
Venomous Competency Training


The Rattlesnake Conservancy

Participation in the venomous handling courses by the Rattlesnake Conservancy and/or the Amphibian Foundation, does not guarantee certification by our organizations. Students must successfully pass a written and practical test to achieve certification. Completion of the course does not substitute a venomous permit or other permit that may be required to keep venomous or handle reptiles within your state of residency. Before collecting or possessing venomous reptiles, students should contact their state wildlife management agency to ensure no permits are required prior to keeping or handling venomous reptiles.

Pricing & Registration

Level I Venomous Training & Certification Program is a 2-day (weekend) workshop for adults (18+).

The course fee is $325.

($350 if you would like to come to Critters & Cabernet the night before, and register at the same time)

See available sessions below. Each 2-day workshop occurs at AF (in Atlanta) over a weekend, from 10:30 - 4:30 EST both Saturday and Sunday.

* due to the extreme hands-on nature of the class, the class might let out a little earlier or later.

Workshops are offered on the first weekend of every other month.

The night before (on the first Friday of every month) is Critters & Cabernet, a 21+ casual learning experience featuring a different group of reptiles and amphibians each month! It's $30, including the wine, and if you register for both you get $5 off! To learn more click below.

Critters & Cabernet

Competency Training (on the first Saturday of every other month) is a one-day refresher for those who have been certified, and would like to gain additional confidence with the techniques and equipment. These hours are officially documented for those with permit requirements.

July 6-7, 2024


Aug 31 - Sept 1, 2024

Registration type
Student's Name
Student's Email Address

Nov 2-3, 2024

Registration type
Student's Name
Student's Email Address

Wait List

Space is extremely limited. If the session you wanted is sold out, please sign up for the Wait List and we'll let you know if a spot opens up

Venom Wait List

Course Instructors

The Instructors for the Venomous Training and Certification Program are:

  • Marjan Ghadrdan, Venomous Programs Coordinator
  • Michael Goldman, Venom Instructor
  • Sami Netherton, Venom Instructor
  • Vahab Rajaei, Venom Instructor
  • Amanda Dahlgren, Venom Instructor

Local Hotels

Most of the students for Venom Class come from out of town. Here is a link to a Google Map of local hotels. AF is not aware of any that should be avoided. Many students stay at the Hampton Inn, which is 1.6 miles from AF. AF is located on the Blue Heron Nature Preserve (plenty of parking) at 4055 Roswell Rd NE. Atlanta, GA 30342.

Hotels Close to AF

Refund Policy

The Refund Policy for the Venomous Training & Certification is as follows.

If you would like to cancel more than two weeks before class starts - FULL REFUND or transfer to another month.

At two weeks or less, if you would like to cancel or transfer your registration, we will work with you to find a replacement. If someone is found, then a full refund can be provided, or a transfer if you wish.

Because the seating is extremely limited, the class sells out quickly, and we staff our events based on registrations, we may not be able to provide you with a refund if you cancel within two weeks of the start date, and we are unable to find a replacement.

If we haven't found a replacement and you would still like to cancel two weeks or less before class starts: 50% refund

We recommend registering for the class if you are reasonably sure you will be able to attend. We offer this class every other month, so there will be more opportunities.

Registering without PayPal

You do not need a PayPal account to register for classes at AF, just a debit or a credit card. If you are having trouble, here's a short instructional video covering how to register without a PayPal account'