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(In-Person) BioU: Field Herpetology

July 11, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - July 12, 2020 @ 5:00 PM


Biodiversity University: Field Herpetology
Instructors: Kiley Briggs
July 11 – 12 | $265
Course size: 9 students

Amphibians are among one of the most imperiled groups of animals on earth and many reptile species are in sharp decline, even here in Vermont. Increasingly, reptiles and amphibians are receiving attention from state, federal, and non-profit conservation organizations, so knowledge of and experience with these secretive animals can be an asset in the fields of ecology, conservation, and education. Throughout this two-day course, participants will learn about the almost 30 species of frog, salamander, snake, and turtle found in Northeastern Vermont, including how to identify them, their ecology, habitat requirements, and the methodology used by biologists to sample their populations. The course will include a combination of active searches, standardized surveys, catch-and-release trapping, radio telemetry, and educational presentations such that participants become confident in their ability to identify each species occurring in Northeast Vermont, what their conservation needs and threats are, and some of the methods used by professionals to study their populations in the wild.

Course Goals and Objectives

  • Learn how to identify and locate each of the reptiles and amphibians found in Northeastern Vermont.
  • Gain an understanding of the habitat requirements for each species and land management considerations.
  • Obtain experience using the methods used by professional herpetologists to study reptile and amphibian populations in the wild.

About the Instructor(s)

Kiley Briggs is a conservation biologist working for the Orianne Society, an organization dedicated to the conservation of critical habitat for imperiled reptiles and amphibians. A native Vermonter, Kiley first became interested in reptile and amphibian conservation at a very young age and studied wildlife biology at the University of Vermont. After several years working as a field technician studying species including Mudpuppies, Timber Rattlesnakes, Indigo Snakes, and Gopher Tortoises, Kiley moved to South Texas and obtained a Master’s degree studying how invasive grasses impact habitat use by Texas Tortoises. Kiley moved back to Vermont in 2016 and soon joined The Orianne Society as their Northeast Turtle Conservation Coordinator. In that role, he is spearheading a Wood Turtle conservation program focused largely in Vermont, and is also working with five states to advance Blanding’s Turtle conservation, working out of his home office in Woodbury, Vermont.



July 11, 2020 @ 9:00 AM
July 12, 2020 @ 5:00 PM
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North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602