Amphibian Academy


Zoo Med Amphibian Academy Scholarship

We are extremely grateful for the support of Zoo Med in initiating the Zoo Med Amphibian Academy Scholarship. This year, the $3,000 scholarship is supporting Justin Claude Rakotoarisoa from Association Mitsinjo in Andasibe, Madagascar to attend the Amphibian Academy in Toledo. Justin has served as the Conservation Officer at Association Mitsinjo for more than eight years, and is currently the Lead Technician at the amphibian captive breeding facility, where he is implementing captive breeding programs for some of Madagascar’s most threatened amphibians species.

Justin Claude Rakotoarisoa
Justin Claude will take the knowledge and expertise he gains from the Academy back to the Mitsinjo Center in Madagascar that will help he and his colleagues to better serve amphibians there.

For over 36 years Zoo Med Laboratories has been designing and manufacturing products for reptiles, amphibians, birds and aquatic pets. Their products include naturalistic terrariums, UV lighting, T-5 HO lighting, heat emitters, specially formulated foods, humidifiers, cage substrates, and various other terrarium and aquarium accessories. They are proud to support responsible and ethical keeping of these species by hobbyists.

Zoo Med


Serving Amphibians

Amphibian AcademyDeveloping Amphibian Conservation Expertise

We are pleased to announce a new capacity building program with a novel and holistic approach to amphibian conservation training for both in situ and ex situ program development. This new program is called Amphibian Academy: a broad perspective training opportunity that will benefit people from diverse backgrounds who desire to help save amphibians. A key difference between this effort and earlier endeavors is that the emphasis is on the individual student so that graduates will be poised to address the needs of threatened amphibians. Our mission is simple: train amphibian conservation biologists so that they can best Serve Amphibians.

The Amphibian Academy has been developed under the umbrella of the Amphibian Ark and the Toledo Zoological Society. It is a week-long course with robust conservation emphases. The first school took place 20–28 April 2013 at the Toledo Zoo, Toledo, Ohio USA. The amphibian conservation and breeding programs at the Toledo Zoo are internationally known and the collection is extremely diverse – an ideal environment for training amphibian conservationists. Local field opportunities are utilized for teaching purposes. Centrally located, Toledo is a friendly city with reasonably priced accommodations and food. Plans for the 2014 school will be announced soon! Costs to attend are not excessive.

The course includes lectures, hands-on practical exercises, and fieldwork. The full list of topics is available in the Amphibian Academy Course Topics document. Most of all there are ample opportunities for students to be personally mentored by globally recognized and successful amphibian conservationists to help them address their specific program’s focus and needs. The students can rely on the faculty members to remain as their mentors and professional contacts throughout their careers. The hands-on activities are designed for students to “learn by doing” in small groups with an instructor, thus providing an optimal learning opportunity. The faculty for the course includes leaders in the fields of amphibian husbandry, medicine, research, reintroduction, and conservation. As amphibian decline knows no borders and is a significant global concern, we invite a diverse group of students from all countries.

The vision for this training course is to Serve Amphibians. If this motto is in alignment with your conservation interests, this course will provide you with a unique opportunity to develop the appropriate skills for making a difference. Some scholarship opportunities will be available for deserving individuals with limited resources. There will also be a few short-term internships available to qualified students after the course.

Check back soon for registration details.

Tuition costs US $750 and the process for obtaining financial support and internship opportunities will be announced shortly.

For registration information and process, contact AArk Education Officer, Rachel Rommel (, or Luis Carrillo ( and Andy Odum (

Amphibian Academy Trainers

  • Kent Bekker
  • John Chastain
  • Ron Gagliardo
  • Timothy Herman
  • Robert Hill
  • Robert Johnson
  • Mike Lannoo
  • Joe Mendelson
  • R. Andrew Odum
  • Allan Pessier
  • Jennifer Pramuk
  • Rachel Rommel
  • Kevin Zippel
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