Welcome to the ninth House of Herps blog carnival, August 2010!

August is more than halfway over, and September is just around the corner … which means that, in the United States, at least, it’s back to school season. Every store smells of office supplies and new backpacks (fifty percent off – this week only!), teachers are busy putting together last-minute touches to their courses and students, from kindergartners to college students, are trying to find every way they can to make summer last for just one more week …

And, of course, the House of Herps blog carnival has gotten into the spirit of things – our contributors this month have come together with a great selection of eleven short classes, all focused on the amazing diversity of reptile and amphibian life. So, I invite you to sit down with your packed lunch and a freshly-sharpened number two pencil, to enjoy the House of Herps 2010 Course Catalog!

Freshman Classes

HERPS 101: UNDERSTANDING URBAN LEGENDS
David Steen leads a class on one of the internet’s most popular giant snake memes. Students will learn the truth behind far-fetched internet rumors, and may discover new insights into the biogeography and distribution of giant boines.
Room 804, Living Alongside Wildlife

HERPS 121: INTRODUCTION TO SNAKE SHEDS
In this introductory class, taught by Amber Coakley, students will learn about the shedding habits of mystery snake species. Special attention will be paid to the quality of the skin’s preservation. The course may include surprise guest lectures from very tiny anoles.
Room  815, Birder’s Lounge

HERPS 142: LIVING WITH UNEXPECTED GUESTS
Stephanie Suesan Smith offers her students an introduction to the Texas Rat Snake, a common urban species. Participants in this class (beautifully enhanced by the instructor’s own photography) will learn about the snake’s behavior, as well as its benefits to his human neighbors.
Room 627, Information Central

Sophomore Classes

HERPS 201: FROGS OF NEW YORK
This class, led by John Beetham, offers a rare glimpse into the amphibian life of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Students will need to purchase their own recordings of frog calls; photographic references, however, will be supplied free of charge.
Room 812, A DC Birding Blog

HERPS 210: INTRODUCTION TO GEORGIA SKINKS
JSK offers her students insights into the behavior and photography of Georgia skinks. Not to be missed, this class includes a valuable discussion of the subtle differences and field marks that can be used to distinguish the various species of five-lined Skink in the American Southeast.
Room 813, Anybody Seen My Focus?

HERPS 235: ALABAMA INDIGO SNAKES
One of three classes offered by David Steen this month, this course offers its students an insight into the Eastern Indigo Snake in the State of Alabama, including the ecology, biology and history of this remarkable animal, as well as comments on its role within the continuously developing human culture of Alabama.
Room 616, Living Alongside Wildlife

Junior Classes

HERPS 301: ADVANCED MUDDLING
Bernard Brown offers a special course in field methods in herpetology, introducing his students to the remarkable technique known as muddling. Students will  find a variety of interesting reptile and amphibian life, including frogs and turtles. An extra pair of shoes is recommended for all students, since things may get a little muddy.
Room 801, Philly Herping

HERPS 310: CHELONIAN ETIQUETTE
Jason Hogle offers his students a rare glimpse of turtle table manners in this short class. Be sure to reserve a spot early, or you may find that the class has filled, and the only seat available will be on another student’s shell.
Room 815, xenogere

HERPS 316: GARDENING WITH SNAPPERS
Rambling Woods offers students a glimpse into the dangers of gardening in snapping turtle territory. The instructor offers an interesting etymological discussion of snapping turtles, tips for sexing belligerent turtles and advice on how (not) to safely remove them from your flowerbeds.
Room 717, Rambling Woods ~ The Road Less Traveled

Senior Classes

HERPS 401: RAINFOREST ECOLOGY
In this remarkable class, Kazimierz Lebowski offers his students a rare and beautiful glimpse of the Costa Rican Rainforests. The course offers glimpses of plant and animal life, including birds, insects, mammals, and, of course, the beautiful and charismatic amphibians of the rainforest floor.
Room 810, Science & Soul

HERPS 435: THE FLATWOODS SALAMANDER
This course from David Steen explores the backwoods of Florida on a quest to find one of the world’s rarest salamanders. Students will learn about the biology of these remarkable animal, as well as current threats to its population.
Room 620, Living Alongside Wildlife

I hope that you’ve found room in your schedule for all of these great offerings — even if you’re the sort of person whose favorite school subject was lunch!

The next edition of House of Herps will be hosted by Seabrooke at The Marvelous in Nature. If you have any submissions, please send them to:

submissions [at] houseofherps [dot] com

by September 15, 2010!

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