Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse group of organisms, including species as different from each other as frogs and snakes. Arkansas has a high diversity of snake and salamander species, making it a good location for research on reptiles and amphibians. Although they are often misunderstood, and maligned, reptiles and amphibians are an important part of the ecosystem. In this class, we will do a quick overview of some natural history and conservation of reptiles and amphibians, what it means to be a herpetologist, and how to identify Arkansas’ lizards, snakes, frogs, salamanders, and turtles. Most of our class time will be spent covering central Arkansas species. If weather allows, we will conclude the class with a walk from the Nature Center to look at habitat and see if we can find and identify any reptiles and amphibians.
We will meet in the Visitors Center Conference Room. Coffee and treats will be ready at 8:40ish and the class will start promptly at 9:00. Bring a sack lunch.
Our instructor Meredith Swartwout has a Ph.D. in reptile and amphibian ecology. She currently works at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in the Research Division as the Competitive Grants Coordinator.