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Old 02-25-03, 04:45 PM   #16 (permalink)
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There are about 1/2 a dozen or so universities in the US that offer herpetology degrees, you can find a list of them at the center for north american herpetology

http://www.cnah.org/index.asp

Sounds like Matt fits the bill as a herpetologist
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Old 02-25-03, 05:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Sweet, thanks JRiley!! I'll have to check those out.

Kate
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Old 02-25-03, 07:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Steve Erwin..an expert?!?!?!

Thanks for the great laugh!
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Old 02-25-03, 08:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Let's NOT start this debate again.

Kate
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Old 02-25-03, 10:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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hey










<------------------
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Old 02-25-03, 10:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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from what i know, herpetologists have a scientific background, whereas herpetocultrists keep and breed herps. so if u have a scientific degree and can routinely open up snakes to see what theyve eaten ur an ologist, if uve kept the for 100 years and bred them a million times ur a culturist
cheers
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Old 02-26-03, 08:55 AM   #22 (permalink)
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But by the same token, scientific background is another vague term. I keep careful nots on activity patters of certain species, I mark where each species is located with exact GPS coordinates, I perform Herpetological Surveys for a government agency, But i dont have my degree.

BTW: I missed the Steve Irwin debate?!?!! Oh well, I got most of it out my system in about a 4 page article on another forum. I still yell at the TV when I see him
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Old 02-26-03, 02:18 PM   #23 (permalink)
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There was a huge 4 page debate about it, and I think it's safe to say that the members are 50/50 on this subject, so we don't need to get into it again lol!! It just became annoying. Oh well

Maybe we need to make a >new< definition of a Herpetologist, but I think even doing that would be hard... Oh well!! Cool stuff on the things you do BW, very interesting.

Kate
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Old 02-27-03, 10:08 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by BWSmith
But by the same token, scientific background is another vague term.
If you have a post secondary education and earned a degree in one of the sciences, I (meaning my opinion) consider you to have a scientific background. i.e. you took college level courses from 'experts' in their field, learned some principles and applied them using the scientific method.

There's an organization here in North Carolina called CCARI, the Central Carolina Amphibian and Reptile Initiative (conservation of herps). It's co-ordinated by a biology professor at Davidson College who teaches herpetology classes. He obviously has a scientific background. Any joe blow can call in species sightings if they can answer the questions on the species submission form (details as to location, specifically etc). The Joe Blow in question doesn't have to have a scientific background to do "scientific things".

I'm not trying to take anything away from you Brian, just stating my opinion.
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Old 02-27-03, 11:23 AM   #25 (permalink)
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No offense taken J. But I have also met many "experts" that didn't know their butt from a hole in the ground. I find it ironic that in a college full of "experts" I was asked to teach a class on venomous species. Granted i have had alot of college, but did not complete my degree due to financial problems. Does that make me less knowledgable? Perhaps. But by the same token, acadamia is a world all to its own which rarely has bearing on real life (I know, Bold statement). I was asked to aid in a study of Northern Water Snakes a couple years ago. The study was to prove that Mercury levels were getting to a critical level in the area. They captured and disected hundreds of the snakes to find no mercury. Not really impressed with the "experts" so far. But of course there are exceptions such as Wolfgang Huster and Dr Bryan Greg Fry to name only 2. I have a great deal of respect for them and what they do. I guess my point is that just because someone has a degree does not qualify them to be called something like a Herpetologist. In my mind, it is a title you earn by contributing vital information in a logical and sound fashion. I do think that we use scientific methods more often than we think though. One example is when I began testing the LaCrosse Snake Proof Boots, I had to look at it very logically. I created a controlled environment, used several species and multiple strike locations. The methods and notes would make any "expert" proud. So much knowledge has been gained from "Joe Blows" making precise observations and taking careful notes. As far as captive husbandry is concerned, probably 90% of information is from "Joe Blows". These people who contribute are the ones i consider herpetologists because they have studied the animal to come up with viable solutions for various situations. Again, historically, the term Herpetologist has been more of an honorary title and there are a couple different definitions. I think that both definitions are viable and i have no more respect for someone with a degree than someone with practical knowledge and non-lab research or observations.

Again just my 3 cents.

This is turning into a good debate.
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Old 02-27-03, 11:57 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Sadly, this is true. There are many, many that are book smart and common sense stupid, I have to work with several every day

And the debate isn't about knowledge, it was scientific background But I agree with most of your comments, except the bold one. The problem is, there's no 'middle men' capable of taking highly focused research (sugar synthesis in cells of E. Obsoleta) and applying it at a 'more general' level, to say that snakes cannot digest the milk in the guts of pinkie rats they eat, or something similar.

I have a biology degree, but by no means do I consider myself to be a biologist or a scientist. Nor do I consider myself to be smarter than those without a degree, unless proven otherwise

I just balk at your last statement. Unless you have a complete control environment set up, someone can always shoot holes in your theory, saying you didn't account for this variable or that one. Lord knows I got ripped by my profs lots of times for stuff like that. Much like the debate Brett and I had on feeding mice versus rats. I don't think anyone currently has the definitive answer on that. There's a big difference in a layman saying I dropped a 50 gallon drum filled with gasoline on a little campfire and it went out, therefore gas puts out fires, know what I mean?
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Old 02-27-03, 12:04 PM   #27 (permalink)
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You are right, even the most controlled environment, people try to shoot down anything.

Actually, I dont think this debate HAS a definate direction. It started out as a simple question, then went on to symantics, now I have no idea where it is headed. But it an interesting ride
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Old 02-27-03, 12:18 PM   #28 (permalink)
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LOL, I'll agree with that! Science is just wierd - truth = cannot be disproved...
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Old 02-27-03, 02:15 PM   #29 (permalink)
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cool looks like i have a very interesting and informative forum going on. bwsmith i suppose by my standards you are a herpetologist. well what i think we need to do is set a definition of a herpetologist. a reference we can use from now on. i did miss that whole steve erwin forum, darn! well i think he is a pretty weird herper, but a good one. after all, he does have a zoo. im not looking for a steve erwin debate. so lets work together to set the definiton for herpetologist! any ideas guys?
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Old 02-27-03, 02:41 PM   #30 (permalink)
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lol I'm not going to try to set a definition... it's like trying to define "family" , everybody's situation is different and it's impossible to find one that suits everyone. It's not like defining "table"...!

Yea, I'm going to his zoo in a year, I'll let you know what it's like!

Kate
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