How to Become a Zoologist or Herpetologist

findi

Arachnodemon
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Hi, Frank Indiviglio here. I’m a herpetologist, zoologist and book author, recently retired from a career spent at several zoos, aquarium, and museums, including over 20 years with the Bronx Zoo.
Providing career advice is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work. There are many resources available to aspiring zoologists and herpetologists, but deciding the best path to take can be a confusing process. Today I’d like to provide some guidelines drawn from my experiences and those of my readers and colleagues on how to become a zoologist. And as you’ll see from the face of the little fellow in the photo below, it’s great fun to get started early!
Note: Much of the following information is based on my work in zoos and museums, and the journals mentioned are oriented towards herpetology. However, the basic principles apply to any discipline within the field of zoology. I can also help, or refer you to others who can help, with related fields, such as ornithology, arachnology, etc. Please post any questions you might have below. Read the rest of this article here http://bit.ly/1bIEt60
Please also check out my posts on Twitter http://bitly.com/JP27Nj and Facebook http://on.fb.me/KckP1m

My Bio, with photos of animals I’ve been lucky enough to work with: http://bitly.com/LC8Lbp

Best Regards, Frank Indiviglio
 

dfarks

Arachnopeon
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Jan 12, 2014
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Hi Frank! My name is Danielle.
I'm currently in college studying Animal Science and Evolutionary Anthropology. Not sure what I exactly want to do or where I want to do it, but I have a strong interest in herpetology and entomology. I had an internship at a natural history museum where I was able to deal with live bugs and arachnids and herps and teach the public about them, which was pretty perfect.
I love hearing success stories from people who were able to make a living doing what they love! Gives me hope for the future, so thanks for the post. I will certainly be back with questions once I get more free time.
 

findi

Arachnodemon
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Hi Frank! My name is Danielle.
I'm currently in college studying Animal Science and Evolutionary Anthropology. Not sure what I exactly want to do or where I want to do it, but I have a strong interest in herpetology and entomology. I had an internship at a natural history museum where I was able to deal with live bugs and arachnids and herps and teach the public about them, which was pretty perfect.
I love hearing success stories from people who were able to make a living doing what they love! Gives me hope for the future, so thanks for the post. I will certainly be back with questions once I get more free time.
Thanks, Danielle..I've been lucky; glad you enjoyed....sounds like you are on the right track; museum internships and volunteer work are very useful..interesting, chance to make contacts and great resume builders; if your close enough, might be worthwhile to look into AMNH...they use volunteer guides, but perhaps volunteering or interning in entomology or herpetology is possible as well; I've seen notices of seasonal jobs there as well, caring for and explaining the live butterfly exhibit; let me know if you need anything, enjoy, Frank
 

Spiderkid

Arachnosquire
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Sep 29, 2012
Messages
50
Hey Frank, my name is Tony. I'm a senior at a suburban highschool outside of New York City, and I'm considering a career in herpetology/entomology, especially focusing on conservation. Being right by NYC, I've reached out to several different zoos, aquariums, and shelters, but all of them either aren't accepting volunteers at the moment, are looking for someone with graduate experience, or require that volunteers be over 18 (I'm 17). I'd gladly take any position offered to me- I just can't seem to find any! If you could point me in the right direction, it'd be greatly appreciated!
 

BobGrill

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Lots and lots of tough math courses. Hence why I was unable to go through with it as I have a bad learning disability in math.

Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2
 

findi

Arachnodemon
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Aug 31, 2009
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Hey Frank, my name is Tony. I'm a senior at a suburban highschool outside of New York City, and I'm considering a career in herpetology/entomology, especially focusing on conservation. Being right by NYC, I've reached out to several different zoos, aquariums, and shelters, but all of them either aren't accepting volunteers at the moment, are looking for someone with graduate experience, or require that volunteers be over 18 (I'm 17). I'd gladly take any position offered to me- I just can't seem to find any! If you could point me in the right direction, it'd be greatly appreciated!
Hi Tony,

Sorry for the delay. The Bx Zoo's reptile dept would be ideal...might be good to show interest now, ask about a waiting list etc so that you can start at 18. I'm a bit out of touch with current requirements of different orgs, but nature centers are generally more open to younger volunteers than are zoos..many in westchester and LI; Alley Pond and cranberry lake both have good size nature centers, a search should turn up many others. Russ Burke at Hofstra University uses vollys to monitor diamondback terrapins; this month is height of nesting season...he would be a good person to speak with even if older vollys are used.: http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/nytts-upcoming-events-volunteers-needed-for-jamaica-bay-terrapin-conservation-project.92460/; also wothwhile joining the NY Turtle and Tortoise Society...they sponsor several conservation events each year, good for your CV; Wild Bird Fund in Manhtn uses volunteers...mainly birds, but some herps as well. Sorry for the poor typing...eye operation recently, still patched, best, Frank
 

Widowman10

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If you want to get any type of degree in biology or zoology, you're going to have to pass a ton of math courses, no matter what college you attend.
I'm almost done with my master's in entomology and so far I've only had to take calculus (and it was for non-math majors). I tested out of stats b/c of a high school credit, so I guess that would have been 2 classes, not counting the algebra that I think nearly everyone has to take anyway... It's really not too bad, don't let it scare you :D
 

dementedlullaby

Arachnobaron
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I'm thinking of going back to school for marine biology specifically. I think I have to take out loans though, boo!
 

Widowman10

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I'm thinking of going back to school for marine biology specifically. I think I have to take out loans though, boo!
one of the best ways to get a degree without paying nearly as much is by transferring credits. my local university (university of colorado) has a list of classes that they will accept for transferal from the local community college. so you can pay 1/4 of the cost and take the classes off the list from the community college, and then when you've exhausted nearly all the classes, transfer them to the university and finish up your courses there. it will most likely save you more than half of your original tuition cost. just a thought from someone who paid his way through multiple degrees with a crappy job :D
 

The Snark

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one of the best ways to get a degree without paying nearly as much is by transferring credits. my local university (university of colorado) has a list of classes that they will accept for transferal from the local community college. so you can pay 1/4 of the cost and take the classes off the list from the community college, and then when you've exhausted nearly all the classes, transfer them to the university and finish up your courses there. it will most likely save you more than half of your original tuition cost. just a thought from someone who paid his way through multiple degrees with a crappy job :D
An on the ball adviser can help out a lot there, if you can find one.
No sympathy, Widowman. Try doing 2 years of the grind by working 12 hr shifts at an ambulance company.
 

Anonymity82

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I'm almost done with my master's in entomology and so far I've only had to take calculus (and it was for non-math majors). I tested out of stats b/c of a high school credit, so I guess that would have been 2 classes, not counting the algebra that I think nearly everyone has to take anyway... It's really not too bad, don't let it scare you :D
Just curious what you plan to do with the entomology degree?
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
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An on the ball adviser can help out a lot there, if you can find one.
No sympathy, Widowman. Try doing 2 years of the grind by working 12 hr shifts at an ambulance company.
yeah, the right adviser can work wonders!
oh man, i have a friend who does those shift doing ambulance work. he's a beast! don't know how he works all the time like that... much respect! :D

Just curious what you plan to do with the entomology degree?
ha, not much right this minute. working for a defense contractor, so i might not do anything for some time, but we'll see!
 

Anonymity82

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yeah, the right adviser can work wonders!
oh man, i have a friend who does those shift doing ambulance work. he's a beast! don't know how he works all the time like that... much respect! :D



ha, not much right this minute. working for a defense contractor, so i might not do anything for some time, but we'll see!
Well, I wish you all the luck!
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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I'm thinking of going back to school for marine biology specifically. I think I have to take out loans though, boo!
You might want to check out Humboldt State University. They have an outstanding marine biology department.
 

antinous

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I'm thinking of going back to school for marine biology specifically. I think I have to take out loans though, boo!
If you can get to the US for it, UCSB, UCSC, SCU Monterey Bay are pretty good schools along with Humboldt.
 

The Snark

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If you can get to the US for it, UCSB, UCSC, SCU Monterey Bay are pretty good schools along with Humboldt.
Right. Thanks for the reminder. I've heard CSU Monterey is outstanding and has a reputation for innovative classes.
 

Spiderkid

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Wow, I just saw that reply. Thanks, I'll definitely reach out to some of the people and places you mentioned, the Wild Bird Fund is looking especially promising.
 

findi

Arachnodemon
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Wow, I just saw that reply. Thanks, I'll definitely reach out to some of the people and places you mentioned, the Wild Bird Fund is looking especially promising.
Great...good luck, let me know how all goes. , Frank
 
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