What events can young herpers attend to get information that they understand?
Question: With all the big herp conferences around the U.S., are there any that feature something for people my age (15)? The presentations I see listed are mostly very scientific in nature, which is fine if you’re already in college. I’m still deciding which direction to go with my interest in herpetology and am wondering if a meeting exists where I can mingle with like-minded young herpers who won’t all talk over my head. The reptile shows in my area have animals and supplies, and the vendors are very knowledgeable, but they have limited time to spend with a young person who may not be interested in purchasing. Is there a better place for me to learn?
John Lambert, Lansing, Mich.
Answer: I’m aware of two significant symposia taking place in 2019 that hope to attract younger audiences by offering incentives to young, serious-minded herp enthusiasts. The I.H.S. (International Herpetological Symposium) is being held June 19 through 22 in Belize. Details can be found online at internationalherpetologicalsymposium.com. This annual herp conference is now in its 41st year, and for the fourth consecutive year, it is offering a chance for young people to attend the meeting and expand their herp horizons fairly inexpensively.
The other big meeting is the Midwest Herpetological Symposium (hoosierherpsoc.org/pdf/2018sympflier.pdf), which is hosted by a different regional herpetological U.S. herp society each year somewhere in the midwestern U.S.