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Course Objectives


The goal of this course is to provide training to individuals or organizations on reptile and amphibian biology, ecology and survey methods to inform future survey work in the province of Ontario.

Learning Objectives

  • Ability to identify Ontario’s reptiles and amphibians.

  • Understanding of reptile and amphibian ecology and phenology as it relates to detectability and survey timing.

  • General understanding of reptile and amphibian habitat use, as well as species-specific habitat preferences.

  • Knowledge of appropriate survey methods for Ontario’s reptile and amphibian species, including the advantages and limitations of each method.

  • Understanding of key considerations for assessing the presence/absence of reptile and amphibian species, including search efforts.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will be able to develop and conduct surveys for reptiles and amphibians.

  • Participants will be able to review proposed survey methodologies for appropriateness.

  • A certificate of completion is issued at the end of the course.


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YMCA Camp Kitchikewana


Accommodations are rustic but comfortable.

Accommodations are being provided by Camp Kitchikewana, a YMCA camp on Beausoleil Island. The cabins have bunk beds which accommodate 3-4 people comfortably in the same room, with enough extra space for personal belongings. All beds have mattresses, but you will need to bring bedding/sleeping bag and a pillow.

All cabins have electricity, porches, and storage space for personal items


Camp washrooms are separate buildings that have running water and flush toilets, and hot showers are also available in select washroom buildings on site.  

Camp Kitchikewana will provide meals and potable drinking water. 


Steering Committee & Instructors
Joe Crowley, M.Sc.

Ontario Herpetologist

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Ori Urquhart, M.Sc.


Blazing Star Environmental

Course Coordinator
Maureen Jackson
Maureen Jackson


Blazing Star Environmental

Course Instructors | Instructors vary from year to year, depending on course location and instructor availability
Josh Feltham

Professor, Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences;
Coordinator, Ecosystem Management Program;
School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences
Fleming College

Photo Credit: Kevin Chan

Jeff Hathaway

Scales Nature Park

Photo Credit: Amanda Bennett

Other Course Instructors (past and present)
Kelsey Moxley

Field Projects Manager

Scales Nature Park

Ali Argue
Karine Beriault

Management Biologist
Parry Sound District
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry


Graham Cameron

Management Biologist
Bancroft District
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry


James Paterson

Research Scientist

Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research

Ducks Unlimited Canada


Megan Rasmussen

Terrestrial Ecosystems Science Specialist
Resource Advisory Team
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry


Jeremy Rouse

Management Biologist
Parry Sound District
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry


Dave Seburn

Freshwater Turtle Specialist
Canadian Wildlife Federation


Shaun Thompson

District Ecologist (retired)
Kemptville District
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

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