Preparing For A Career In Herpetology


SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger was interviewed in October 2019 by a young frog enthusiast about preparing for a career in herpetology (the study of amphibians and/or reptiles). So as to assist anyone looking to achieve success in their herpetological pursuits, we have posted the interview here. We hope you find it useful!

Amphibian Careers

Rose U. , young herpetologist 

Dear Dr. Kerry Kriger...

“My name is Rose and I am a sixth grade student from New Mexico. This year, we are studying “Pathways To The Future”, colleges and our dream career choice. I have always dreamed of becoming a herpetologist. I have always loved frogs. One of the projects I am doing is interviewing a person in our field of interest. I would like to ask you some questions:

  • What do you recommend I do to become a herpetologist?
  • How did you become a herpetologist?
  • What inspired you to become a herpetologist?
  • What is your favorite thing about your job?
  • What colleges do you think would be best to go to?

Thank you for your time. I am looking forward to meeting you in Costa Rica this spring!

Sincerely, Rose U.”

Young Herpetologists

Herpetology Career Tip: Spend Time Outdoors

Pathways To The Future: Rose U. interviews Dr. Kerry Kriger about Careers In Herpetology

What do you recommend I do to become a herpetologist?

To prepare yourself for a career in herpetology (specifically with respect to amphibians), you should:

  • Read books about amphibians, such as field guides to amphibians in your part of the world;
  • Spend time on websites like that hold lots of up to date information on amphibians and activities happening around the world intended to protect them;
  • Volunteer for a nonprofit organization such as a local herpetological group or a nationwide nonprofit, and take part in annual Save The Frogs Day events.
  • Meet herpetologists in your community and accompany them to the field to assist with and learn about their research.
  • Study hard in all your math and science classes, especially biology.
  • Join a SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour to get immersed in the world of amphibians, reptiles, ecology and wildlife conservation.

How did you become a herpetologist?

I started with the book Amphibian Conservation by Ray Semlitsch and then spent four years in Queensland, Australia conducting research on the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis for my Ph.D. thesis. I also attended a lot of professional herpetological conferences during that time. When I left Australia, I knew enough about amphibians and what was missing from the world of amphibian conservation to start SAVE THE FROGS!. I’ve been adding to my knowledge ever since.

What inspired you to become a herpetologist?

My first interest was in protecting nature and wild places as I saw a lot of habitat destruction around the world. I didn’t know much about the variety of environmental jobs, but I knew that widlife biology was focused on environmental protection. I sent letters to every wildlife biology professor at the University of Alaska and University of Hawaii. Only one replied, Professor Lenny Freed, a bird expert from Hawaii. He invited me to volunteer for the summer in Hawaii, which I did. I loved it and decided to do a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences. As I enjoy spending time at streams, I started thinking about what lives on streams. I found out frogs were rapidly disappearing, and from that point on I was set on studying and saving frogs.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

I get to spend time with intelligent, dedicated, passionate conservationists; explore swamps, ponds and streams; travel to lots of countries to grow our worldwide amphibian conservation movement; and make the world a better place all at the same time.

What colleges do you think would be best to go to?

I am not sure colleges will be relevant a decade from now, but if they are then what is most important is finding one with a strong wildlife biology and ecology program, ideally with a professor who has a passion for amphibians. Meanwhile, you can get a library card from your local library, ask them what digital resources are available and start reading a lot of science and conservation books on your tablet device. Contact local biologists and nonprofits and volunteer with them. Attend online webinars featuring presentations by conservationists. If you do that, you will be able to get into whatever college you want — or possibly get a job or start your own organization without even needing a college degree.

Herpetology Careers

“I have always felt a connection to frogs. I wanted to be a vet that specialized in frogs until third grade when I learned about Herpetology. Thank you so much for including me in your article!”

Let's Prepare You For A Career In Herpetology

SAVE THE FROGS! has been training the next generation of amphibian conservationists since our founding on 2008. When you become a SAVE THE FROGS! Member, you will gain access to our best educational materials, and access to the top minds in the herpetology world. Your membership supports our worldwide efforts on behalf of amphibians, and we appreciate your support and enthusiasm!

You can apply for a SAVE THE FROGS! Scholarship to cover your membership dues if you require financial assistance.

Postcards - Leah Jay Art

Beautiful frog art from the Amphibian Love Artbook by Leah Jay.