Master Herpetologist Program Suite - Available Online Courses

The Southeastern Master Herpetologist Program is offered 100% online, and is taught by a diversity of herpetologists, agency professionals, academics, graduate students and researchers working in the Southeastern US.

100% Online | Asynchronous | 16 week program | Certificate program

Master Herpetologist Logo with Frosted Flatwoods Salamander

Online Course

This intensive class provides an introduction to herpetology and equips participants with Southeastern amphibian and reptile identification skills and general knowledge of frogs, salamanders, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, 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 amphibians and reptiles of one of the most interesting and species-rich areas of the world — the Southeastern United States. The class goal is to create a foundation of herpetological knowledge upon which students can build.

The course fee includes lectures, handouts, exam, and certificate.

The class is intended for adults. Please contact us before registering someone under the age of 18. For younger learners, please see our Junior Master Herpetologist Program (ages 12-17)
The 100% online class is asynchronous — meaning there is no required time to meet, is designed for students to go at their own pace with the material, and from any time zone. The scope of the course is broad in order to highlight the biodiversity of the animals, the students, and the instructors. We will meet optionally every other Thursday from 6 - 7 pm (EST = UTC -5:00) as 'office hours' on the first day of a new section — 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, and also on the Moodle app on phones/tablets: iPhone, and Android.

Course Schedule

The schedule below is a guide for the class. A given section (eg. Frogs) will be made available on the first day of that section and will remain available for the duration of the course. Students have 2 weeks to absorb the material, before the next topic (section) is introduced, but can go at their own pace and refer back to earlier topics throughout the course.

The Final Exam will be made available after the (optional) Office Hours at the beginning of the last section, which will serve as a review session for the final. The class lasts about 16 weeks, and requires an average of 2-3 hours a week to complete.

Summer/Fall 2022
Section 1 (Aug 4): Introduction + State and Federal Stakeholders
Section 2 (Aug 18): Salamanders
Section 3 (Sept 1): Frogs
Section 4 (Sept 15): Turtles
Section 5 (Sept 29): Lizards
Section 6 (Oct 13): Snakes
Section 7 (Oct 27): Crocodilians + Others
Section 8 (Nov 10): Final Exam

The Southeastern Master Herpetologist Program Online is $300 for the 8 session program. It includes ~50 lectures, all handouts, a certificate, and final exam.

Registration is open for the Summer/Fall 2022 semester!
Register below.

Student's Name
Student's Email Address

Once registration is completed successfully through PayPal, you will be asked to read and sign the Code of Conduct form. Submitting that form will complete your registration. You will be emailed a copy of the signed form, and a receipt from PayPal. The instructor will reach out to students before class starts with login info, and questions can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Course Instructors

Affiliation and Twitter Handle

Bones Glorioso, USGS
Bradley O'Hanlon, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Brooke Talley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission | @Br00keT
Bruce Means, Coastal Plains Institute
Casey Perkins, Amphibian Foundation
Chris Jenkins, The Orianne Society | @OrianneSociety
Chris Murray, Southeastern Louisiana University | @crocchris11
Connor Pogue, Amphibian Foundation
Eric Soehren, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Ericha Nix, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Grover Brown, Jacksonville State University | @GroverJBrown
Hardin Waddle, USGS
Harold Mitchell, US Fish & Wildlife Service | @alphamale1339
Houston Chandler, Virginia Tech & The Orianne Society | @TheSnakeDude
Jeff Beane, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Jim Godwin, Auburn University
Joe Jenkins, Alabama Natural Heritage Program
Kurt Buhlmann, UGA/SREL
Laura Kojima, Odum School of Ecology/Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia | @LauraKojima
Mark Mandica, Amphibian Foundation & Agnes Scott College | @markmandica
Mike Martin, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Parker Gibbons, Parker Teaches Science
Pierson Hill, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Susan Walls, USGS
Todd Pierson, Kennesaw State University | @twpierson
Tristan Clark, Amphibian Foundation | @AmphibianNerd
Whit Gibbons, UGA/SREL

This course is offered on the Moodle Platform

Moodle logo

Are you interested in being an instructor in the course or suggesting a topic?

If you are a herpetologist, agency professional, academic, graduate student or researcher working in the Southeastern US, and would like to be an instructor in the course, we would love to hear from you! Please use the link below to submit a topic proposal, and we will get back to you promptly.

Click here to propose a topic

Georgians are lucky to have such a comprehensive and wonderful guide to our native herpetofauna. John Jensen (State Herpetologist for GA DNR (retired)) 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.

Why take the Master Herpetologist Course?

First and foremost, the Master Herpetologist program is an intensive class in herpetology, covering most of the major groups in detail. While the instructors aim to make the material accessible to the widest audience possible, students should anticipate spending between 8-10 hours per two-week session to digest the information (up to 5 hours/week).

The students so far have come from a wide range of backgrounds including: college and graduate students, educators, agency professionals, naturalists, and herp enthusiasts. Typically students are interested in gaining knowledge and connections in the field of herpetology, and building their resume with certification as a Master Herpetologist.

The certificate also serves as documentation of program completion, including passing the final exam.

Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society

'The Amphibian Foundation’s Master Herpetologist Certification Program'

A wonderful review of the course by Amelia Pollock

Read Article

What about the 'in-person' class at the Amphibian Foundation?

The Master Herpetologist Program started as an in-person class taught jointly by AF, GA DNR, Orianne Society, and others, and focused on the herpetofauna of Georgia and the Southeast. We have had to cancel or postpone this class many times during COVID, and are not sure when it will be offered in-person again. Please sign up on the mailing list if you are interested, and we will let you know if and when the in-person class is offered again.

The online version offers a lot more information from a greater diversity of instructors, but the online class lacks the two field trips which are part of the in-person class.

In person class mailing list