• Master Herpetologist Program

    Expert Perspectives into the World of Amphibians & Reptiles
    The Master Herpetologist Program is offered both as an in-person class in Atlanta at the Amphibian Foundation, taught by regional experts on the herpetofauna of the Southeastern United States — and as a 100% online program, instructed by over 30 herpetologists from around the world.

    Join Us!
    Both programs offer expert instruction and certification as a Master Herpetologist.

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Master Herpetologist Program Suite - Available Courses

The Master Herpetologist Program is offered 100% online, and is taught by a diversity of herpetologists from around the world.

Master Herpetologist Logo


Online Course

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, crocodilians, tuatara, 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, handouts, exam, and certificate.

The class is intended for adults. Please contact us before registering someone under the age of 18
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 global biodiversity of the animals, the students, and the instructors. We will meet optionally every other Wednesday 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.

Fall 2021

The schedule below is a guide for the class, as well as the days of the optional office hours. A given chapter (eg. Frogs) will be made available on the date listed below and will remain available for the duration of the course. Students have 2 weeks to absorb the material, before the next topic 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 on Nov 24, which will serve as a review session for the final.

Aug 18 - Section 1: Introduction
Sep 01 - Section 2: Caecilians
Sep 15 - Section 3: Salamanders
Sep 29 - Section 4: Frogs
Oct 13 - Section 5: Lizards + Tuatara
Oct 27 - Section 6: Snakes
Nov 10 - Section 7: Turtles + Crocodilians
Nov 24 - Section 8: Final Exam


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

Registration for Fall 2021 is Open.

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

Adam Bland, Chester Zoo | @adamwbland
Amanda Duffus, Gordon State College | @DrRanidae
Andy Coleman, Urban Turtle Project & Talladega College | @AlabamaTurtles
Anthony Herrell, Bâtiment d'Anatomie Comparée- National Museum of Natural History | @AnthonyHerrel
Arik Hartmann, University of Florida | @AmphibiArik
Brooke Talley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission | @Br00keT
Carla Bardua, Natural History Museum, London | @CarlaBardua
Chris Jenkins, The Orianne Society | @OrianneSociety
David Bickford, University of La Verne
David Blackburn, Florida Museum of Natural History | @davidcblackburn
David Steen, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission | @AlongsideWild
Duncan Irschick, University of Massachusetts | @duncanirschick
Ed Stanley, Florida Museum of Natural History | @DrScanley
Grover Brown, University of Southern Mississippi | @GroverJBrown
Henry Astley, University of Akron
Houston Chandler, Virginia Tech & The Orianne Society | @TheSnakeDude
Jen Lamb, St Cloud State University | @jenylamb
Jodi Rowley, University of New South Wales | @jodirowley
John Measey, Stellenbosch University | @AfriHerp
Jonathan Losos, Washington University at St Louis | @JLosos
Katy Greenwald, Eastern Michigan University | @amphibs
Laura Kojima, Odum School of Ecology/Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia | @LauraKojima
Mark Mandica, Amphibian Foundation & Agnes Scott College | @markmandica
Matthew Niemiller, University of Alabama in Huntsville | @cavemander17
Mark Scherz, University of Konstanz | @MarkScherz
Max Lambert, UC Berkeley | @MaxRLambert
Robert Sprackland, Smithsonian Institution, Museum of Natural History | @RSprackland
Ryan Kerney, Gettysburg College | @ryankerney
Sarah Lamar, Victoria University of Wellington | @SphenodonSarah
Sarah McGrath-Blaser, University of Florida | @BlasinAmphibs
Simon Maddock, University of Wolverhampton; Natural History Museum, London & University of Seychelles | @Simon_Maddock
Sneha Dharwadkar, Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises Foundation | @Herpomania
Steve Allain, Save the Snakes | @stevoallain
Steven David Johnson, Eastern Mennonite University, International League of Conservation Photographers
Taylor West, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. University of Michigan | @WildWildTWest
Tobias Landberg, Amphibian Foundation | @TobiasLandberg
Tony Daly-Crews, The Rattlesnake Conservancy
Vladimir Dinets, University of Tennessee, Knoxville | @VladimirDinets
Walter E. Meshaka, Jr., State Museum of Pennsylvania | @ToadWally

Online Course Portal

Below is the login portal for the online version of Master Herpetologist Program. Access might not be possible before the actual start date of the course.


Login to the Online Course

Member Discount

Members of the Amphibian Foundation receive a $20 discount on the Master Herpetologist Program, and a $15 discount on the Critters & Cabernet series.

Member registration links are provided on our Patreon page.


Become a member today!

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