Course List: Field Herpetology

Course List: Field Herpetology


NRES 498, 4 credit hours

LIFE 121 or equivalent taught at CPBS

Professor Dennis Ferraro


2020 Schedule

In this class students will acquire skills to sufficiently gather herpetological data and then effectively analyze & interpret that data. Students should leave with:

  • Skills of methods, techniques and standards for obtaining field data regarding herpetofauna for various applications (such as occupancy, population demographics, regional status, threat analysis, infectious disease incidence & more).
  • A background in morphology, physiology and behavior of amphibians, turtles, and reptiles.
  • Knowledge relating to the behavior and ecology of amphibians, turtles, and reptiles in various ecosystems.
  • An appreciation of native herpetofauna as an integral part of ecosystems.
  • A sound understanding of the diversity and ecological significance of amphibians, turtles, and reptiles.
  • Recognize and identify Nebraskan herpetofauna.
  • Knowledge of the principles for conservation and management of herpetofauna.
  • Ability to utilize critical thinking to propose solutions in regards to herpetological conservation and management situations/scenarios.

Texts & Supportive Materials:

  • Inventory and Monitoring: Recommended Techniques for Reptiles and Amphibians, with application to the United States and Canada -- Editors: Gabrielle J. Graeter, Kurt A. Buhlmann, Lucas R. Wilkinson, and J. Whitfield Gibbons
  • Inventorying and Monitoring Protocols of Amphibians and Reptiles in National Parks of the Eastern United States by Richard H. Yahner, Gerald L Storm, Gregory S. Keller
  • Amphibian Ecology and Conservation: A Handbook of Techniques (Techniques in Ecology & Conservation) 1st Edition by C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (Editor)
  • Reptile Ecology and Conservation: A Handbook of Techniques (Techniques in Ecology & Conservation) 1st Edition by C. Kenneth Dodd (Editor)
  • Reptile Biodiversity: Standard Methods for Inventory and Monitoring 1st Edition by Dr. Roy W. McDiarmid), Dr. Mercedes S. Foster, Dr. Craig Guyer , Dr. J. Whitfield Gibbons , Dr. Neil Chernoff

Each student needs to obtain a copy of the following:

  • "Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern North America" 4th Ed. By Powell, Conant & Collins (2016)

{4th edition -2016- ONLY ... older editions will NOT help}

Readings will be assigned from primary journal literature and technical reports.

I will furnish many supplemental readings (electronically via “CANVAS”) that you will be required to read, review and discuss.

Students will be engaged in hands on learn by conducting investigative research on species & phenomenon of their choice. Evaluation is achieved by short quizzes and selected project. There are no exams.