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ONLINE Course: Audubon at Home: Incidental Encounters–Reptiles & Amphibians of Alabama


Barking treefrog by Scott Jones.

August 11 , 6:00 pm 7:00 pm

Pre-registration is required by 12 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, August 10th, and space is limited.

Registration is now closed. Check out our upcoming events here.

*We understand there are economic barriers that many are facing during this time. If you live in Alabama and would like to request financial assistance, please email us.*

Eastern coral snake by Scott Jones.

Alabama’s amazing diversity of flora and fauna includes a combined 166 species of cold-blooded reptiles and amphibians. While we honor the love of birds and birdwatching (they’re warm-blooded reptiles!), our scaly and slimy neighbors deserve their day in the sun. As one of the world’s most biodiverse regions, our native reptiles and amphibians are a testament to the unique beauty and wildness of Alabama. Our state is the home of the world’s largest diversity of freshwater turtles, even more than the Amazon! We also boast several endemic species, including the Black Warrior waterdog and the Red Hills salamander. All of our native species (like the birds) are important and worth protecting. We feel that the more you know about your cold-blooded neighbors, the more interesting and beautiful you will find them.

Common snapping turtle by Scott Jones.

Join Scott and Leah for an exploration of Alabama’s rich diversity of reptiles and amphibians, including a focus on common species, endemics, charismatics, and venomous. We will also discover a little about the evolutionary and ecological associations between birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Our focus is to help you understand a little more about the salamanders, frogs, alligators, turtles, lizards, and snakes you may encounter while birdwatching. We love our cold-blooded neighbors, and we bet you will too.

Note:  Any attempt to harass a wild snake can end in bites or envenomation. We recommend snake removal be handled by trained experts.

Where and when do we meet? This online course meets on four consecutive Wednesdays (8/11, 8/18, 8/25, and 9/1), from 6–7 p.m. CDT. It will be a one-hour online class with some time at the end for questions. 

Cost: Your one-time registration fee of $40 covers the four meetings.* (While you are not required to attend each class, do note that we cannot refund individuals for partial attendance.) We will be recording the webinar and making it available to participants for a week after the class.

Registration: To register, click on the button above. If you’re new to our online system and don’t yet have a username and password, simply click the “X” on the pop up and fill out the basic form. If you do have a login, please use it as this helps us tremendously on our end! You should receive an automated email upon registering.

Please note, you will receive a separate email with the Zoom webinar instructions before the first class (once registration closes). You’ll need the link or webinar ID and password from this email to join the meeting. In the event the link does not work for you, you may need to go to the Zoom website and manually enter the webinar ID and password. Please double check your email and make sure it’s a valid email address prior to completing your registration. We’ve had several kick-backs when sending the Zoom meeting instructions out to registrants, and you won’t be able to join the webinar without this information. Thanks!

Questions? Email the Programs Assistant.

About the instructors: Dr. Scott Jones grew up near Philadelphia in southeastern Pennsylvania. He has been interested in reptiles and amphibians since he was a young boy chasing toads around his childhood home. This curiosity grew into volunteering with a reptile rescue, a high school capstone project on how to become a herpetologist, and eventually graduate work with reptiles and amphibians. Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he studied herpetology and did undergraduate research with amphibians and insects. His next stop was Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia for a Master of Science focused on urban herpetology. From there, Scott attended East Carolina University, where he earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences examining how tadpoles change their body shape in response to competitors and predators. After graduation in 2016, Scott joined the faculty at The University of Alabama in New College and New College LifeTrack. Scott enjoys scouring Alabama for reptiles and amphibians and has branched out to spending a lot of time looking for birds as well. He is passionate about teaching students the importance of nature in their own lives and helping them appreciate it though outdoor experiences. Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Leah Connell fell in love with the small creatures in the wilderness of the half-acre behind her house. She has always had a tender spot for nature. This continued into her college curriculum, taking herpetology and entomology among her other science courses at the University of Georgia. However, it was her ecology class that sent her to pursue a graduate degree. Her graduate research in the swamps of Eastern North Carolina furthered her interest in and respect for the reptiles and amphibians she was studying. Since completing her Master of Science in Biology at East Carolina University, she has turned towards education. From summer camps for the Boys and Girls Clubs all the way through middle, high, and college level courses, Leah has taught science to anyone who will listen. This includes complete strangers she runs into while hiking. She is currently an instructor for New College and the Biological Sciences department at The University of Alabama.


FAQ’s:

I did not receive the email with the Zoom meeting instructions. Please double-check the email address you enter when registering for the online event as that is where the instructions will be sent (once registration closes). You may need to add us to your email provider’s safe sender list in the event it goes to spam. Also, please contact us by the morning of the event so that we have time to address your issue as generally you should have received the email right after registration closes.

The link doesn’t appear to be working. You may need to go to the Zoom website (https://zoom.us) and manually enter the webinar ID and password. Also, wait until just a couple of minutes before the meeting is supposed to begin to try to enter the meeting. It will not work if you try to join the meeting half an hour before it’s scheduled to begin, for instance. You can also check to make sure your computer meets the system requirements by clicking here.

Will this be recorded, and will I have the ability to view it later? We are recording our online courses and offering the recordings to registrants for a week after class night.

Is there a waiting list? We do not have waiting lists for our online events at this time.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Through more than seventy-five years of conservation work in one of our nation’s most ecologically rich states, Alabama Audubon has seen firsthand how diversity strengthens natural communities. We believe that the same principle applies to human communities, which is why our organization is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all Alabamians to learn about and enjoy wild birds, their habitats, and the natural world. One of the best ways to support that belief is by valuing and actively seeking to strengthen diversity among our staff, our board, and our membership. To that end, Alabama Audubon welcomes the whole of our community to our work, and strives to make our programs, classes, and events open and accessible to all.