As cold weather moves in and the amphibians, reptiles and turtles of Kansas move underground, the state's herpetologists are getting ready to come out for a weekend of learning and socializing at the annual meeting of the Kansas Herpetological Society.
One such herpetologist -- those who study amphibians, reptiles and turtles -- is the adjunct curator of herpetology at Fort Hays State University's Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Joseph T. Collins.
This will be the 29th annual conference and will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2 and 3, at Nichols Hall on the University of Kansas' west campus in Lawrence. Events will also take place at the Lawrence Prairie Park Nature Center and the Union Pacific Depot.
The meeting theme for this year is "Conservation and Natural History of the Kansas Herpetofauna." Professional and amateur herpetologists, as well as members of the public who enjoy learning about and conserving the reptiles, amphibians and turtles of Kansas are invited to come.
The meeting will feature academic lectures, awards, presentations and a live-animal exhibit. A fundraising auction and the election of KHS officers will also be on the agenda.
"KHS has a long history of active work documenting, protecting and promoting these animals in our state," said Suzanne Collins, KHS president. "Many of us are out in the field or in the classroom for much of the year. The annual meeting gives us a chance to learn what others are doing in the study of reptiles, turtles and amphibians."
Registration for both days of the meeting is $10 per person, $5 for students, payable at the door starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
"We enthusiastically welcome anyone -- from professionals to families -- who has an interest in herps and wants to learn about them and help with their conservation," said Collins.
More information on the Kansas Herpetological Society is available at www.ku.edu/~khs/.