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Registration is Open for Spring 2020!

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

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; Chris Jenkins, CEO of the Orianne Society; Grover Brown, University of Southern Mississippi; and Daniel Sollenberg, the new State Herpetologist for Georgia DNR.

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 and 2 field trips, a copy of Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia (Jensen, et al), a certificate, 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.

Master Herpetologist Class of 2019
Master Herpetologists gather at Sweetwater State Park for the reptile field trip

The course meets on Saturdays from 10 am until 3pm (with an hour break for lunch). The class is intended for adults, but there is no age limit. Please contact us before registering someone under the age of 18.

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

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.

Pricing & Registration

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.

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