The Husbandry & Captive Management Program is offered online, and is taught by a diversity of herpetologists and herpetoculturists from around the world.

100% Online | Asynchronous | 16 week program | Offered: Winter, Spring & Fall

Tortoise shell husbandry course graphic

Online Course

Interested in keeping and breeding reptiles & amphibians? Learn from the professionals! There is a lot of material out there on the internet, and sadly, most of it is confusing, not helpful, or just outright wrong. This class provides an opportunity to learn about the successes and failures from professionals. This intensive class provides a husbandry foundation as we learn from zoo professionals, nonprofit keepers, conservation managers, professional breeders, and others about the best practices and proven techniques for keeping and breeding reptiles & amphibians in captivity. Methods for growing healthy live food, ensuring proper water quality, light and heat sources, and more will be provided by professionals, as well as details of successful captive projects with species and groups of salamanders, frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, and more.

The course fee ($275) includes ~ 60 lectures, handouts & additional readings, and optional live Zoom discussions with the Lead Instructor + other Instructors.

The class is intended for adults. Please contact us before registering someone under the age of 18

The course is asyncronous (on your own schedule) and divided into eight 2-week sections. A topic (e.g. Snakes) is introduced, related lectures are made available, and optional Zoom and forum discussions on the topic begin. Lectures remain available for the duration of the course, so students can always return to the material.

Husbandry & Captive Management Course

Fall Semester starts July 2, 2024
Section 1: Introduction and Growing Live Food (Jul 2)
Section 2: Caudata: Salamanders & Newts (Jul 16)
Section 3: Anura: Frogs & Toads (Jul 30)
Section 4: Sauria: Lizards (Aug 13)
Section 5: Serpentes: Snakes (Aug 27)
Section 6: Testudines: Turtles & Tortoises (Sep 10)
Section 7: Strategies for Success with Husbandry (Sept 24)
Section 8: (Optional) Final Exam (Oct 8)

Larval Salamander

Course Instructors & Affiliations

Allison Bogisish, Memphis Zoo
Amanda Dahlgren, Amphibian Foundation
Ana Sparks, Amphibian Foundation
Andrew Gray, The Manchester Museum
Ann McAbee, Camp Wildernest Wildlife Center
Anthony Pierlioni, The Turtle Room
Ariana Emami, Master Herpetologist
Austin Rea, Josh's Frogs
Bethany Dean, The Manchester Museum
Bill Hughes, Tennessee Aquarium
Black Mudpuppy, The Newtist
Bobbie Todd, The Nature Preschool at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church
Boris Berlijn, Berlin Reptiles / Amphibian Foundation
Carla Littleton, Carnegie Science Center
Casey Perkins, Amphibian Foundation
Christopher Anderson, University of South Dakota + IUCN/SSC Chameleon Specialist Group
Chris Buttermore, Dallas World Aquarium
Chynna Bailey, Master Herpetologist
Dave Collins, Turtle Survival Alliance
Dustin Smith, North Carolina Zoo
Grace Davis, Master Herpetologist
Hendrik Hinkle, Kandt House Museum
Jake Hutton, Southern Illinois University
James Bogan, Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation
Jason Smith, Chicago Herpetological Society
Jeffrey Weiss, Amphibian Foundation
Jessi Krebs, Henry Doorly Zoo
Jessica Cantrell, Memphis Zoo
Jessica Hill, Medusa's Pythons
Jessica Nelson, National Aquarium
John Wiseman, Rainbows by Design
Kacie Fitzhugh, National Aquarium
Kate Littrell, The Serpentry
Lewis Single, Indianapolis Zoo
Logan Hope, Josh's Frogs
Lorren Kezmoh, Carnegie Science Center
Lottie McPhillips, ZooLab
Lynn Mueller, Master Herpetologist
Malissa Thomas, Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation
Mariah Healey, Reptifiles
Mark Beshel, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Mark Mandica, Amphibian Foundation
Maryanne Barbon, Amphibian Foundation
Matthew Most, Sarpamitra
Matthew O'Donnell, The Manchester Museum
Michael Rodgers, Palm Beach Zoo
Mike Novy, Rainforest Junkies
Nick Clark, Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation
Peyton Jackson, West Liberty University
Ralph Till, Tampa Bay Turtle & Tortoise Society, Inc
Ryp Walters, Froggy's Lair
Sami Netherton, AWARE
Savi Serrott, Zoo Miami
Sawyer Raymond, Josh's Frogs
Sean Foley, Riverbanks Zoo
Sheila Poo, Memphis Zoo
Shelley Quesnel, Rosemere Reptiles
Sierra McWilliams, Josh's Frogs
Steven Greene, Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation
Sydney Seng, Central Florida Zoo's Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation
Thomas Ziegler, Koelner Zoo
Tony Daly-Crews, Rattlesnake Conservancy
Zach Brinks, Josh's Frogs

This course is offered on the Moodle Platform

Moodle logo

Do you have expertise you would like to share in the class?

We are always looking for contributors with husbandry and captive management experience to share and diversify the perspectives of successful captive management of amphibians and reptiles. Please fill out this form if you are interested, or reach out to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions

Metamorphosis Meadow at AF
The Amphibian Research and Conservation Center at AF. Nicknamed 'Metamorphosis Meadow' this outdoor facility houses some of the US's most imperiled amphibians for conservation studies.

Registration is Open for the Online Course!

The Husbandry & Captive Management Course online is $275 for the 16 week program. It includes the all lectures, handouts, final exam, and certificate.

Fall semester starts July 2, 2024
Registration closes July 9, 2024

Login information will be emailed to students on the day before the first day of class (July 1).

Ages 18+

Meets at 6pm EST at the beginning of each session for an optional live session.

Student's Name
Student's Email Address

This course offers a Certificate of Completion for those who pass the optional final examination..

Lead Instructor, Erin

The Husbandry & Captive Management Course is led by Master Herpetologist and AF Virtual Education Administrator, Erin.

If you would like to contact the Master Herpetologist Program team with questions, you can reach them directly at the link below.

Contact MHP Team

Would you like to give Master Herp registration as a gift?

Click here for instructions on how to give the Master Herpetologist Program as a gift. We provide instructions and also an image you can use to surpise your student!

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'


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 Program?

First and foremost, the Master Herpetologist Program is an intensive class in herpetology, covering the major groups in detail. While the instructors aim to make the material accessible to the widest audience possible, students should anticipate spending between 6-8 hours per two-week session to digest the information (up to 4 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 career building with including certification as a Master Herpetologist on their resume.

Certified Master Herpetologists have gone onto further advance their careers and knowledge in academia, state/federal agencies, and the zoological field. Master Herpetologists are invited to a global private Slack network to continue conversations, herping, and share opportunities once the course is over.

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

Master Herpetologist Refund Policy

The Refund Policy for the Master Herpetologist Program, The Southeastern, and the Captive Management class is as follows.

If you want to cancel before class starts - FULL REFUND IS PROVIDED.

If you want to cancel after class starts - NO REFUND IS PROVIDED.

Up until week 4 of class, you are able to transfer your registration to the following semester at no additional cost.

Students who are unable to pass or complete the Master Herpetologist Program or the Southeastern Master Herpetologist Program, they will be offered an opportunity to retake the class at a 50% discount.