Herpetology is the study of the biology of amphibians and reptiles. While we recognize that birds are technically reptiles, we follow the traditional division of vertebrates because the biology of birds is typically covered in ornithology courses. This course will cover all aspects of the biology of amphibians and reptiles including taxonomy; systematics and identification; biogeography; evolutionary biology; ecology; behavior; physiology; morphology; reproductive biology; and conservation. The laboratory portion of the course will concentrate on field collecting and identifying amphibians and reptiles, curating collections of amphibians and reptiles, and a research project involving amphibian and reptile species diversity at a local nature sanctuary.

This class examines the diversity of life on Earth with an emphasis on how climate and environmental characteristics influence the form and function of organisms.