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Miller fosters love for herpetology

Sophomore+Jonas+Miller+holds+a+snake.+He+has+been+interested+in+herpetology%2C+the+study+of+reptiles+and+amphibians%2C+from+a+young+age.
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Miller fosters love for herpetology

Sophomore Jonas Miller holds a snake. He has been interested in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians, from a young age.

Sophomore Jonas Miller holds a snake. He has been interested in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians, from a young age.

Photo courtesy of Jonas Miller

Sophomore Jonas Miller holds a snake. He has been interested in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians, from a young age.

Photo courtesy of Jonas Miller

Photo courtesy of Jonas Miller

Sophomore Jonas Miller holds a snake. He has been interested in herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians, from a young age.

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Sophomore Jonas Miller has been interested in the niche field of herpetology since a very young age.

“When I was five, I would always find little snakes and other creatures in my backyard and since then I was always really interested,” Miller said.

For Miller, there are multiple reasons why he is interested in this sort of field.

“There’s no one real answer, it’s just something I’ve always had a passion for and it sparked my interest. It was something of a childhood hobby, and it’s kind of just stuck with me,” Miller said.

There are many aspects of this field that are very interesting to Miller, but he likes interacting with the animals best.

“Right now my favorite part of herpetology is the hands on experience of it. Going out and finding them and interacting with them, learning more about the physical characteristics of the animal and how they behave,” Miller said.

Herpetology is a less known subject within the wide field of animal study, but still plays a very important role.

“Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians. Not many people know about it or immediately think about it when talking about animals,” Miller said. “It doesn’t show up very often in statistics, because people don’t usually visit places because of the areas herpetological culture, usually they go to see big animals or cool birds, not as often snakes and turtles. Herpetology isn’t quite as high on the list as most of the other forms of biology. It is important in other areas though, like parks who want accurate representations of their biological diversity.”

Many of the animals Miller deals with can be dangerous, but for Miller, the risk is all part of the experience.

“Yes, there is a risk. When you get to the point when you’re picking up venomous snakes, you have to be really careful with your fingers and toes, but it’s still a part of what it’s all about and I still find it fun,” Miller said.

As much as herpetology means to Miller, it isn’t a hobby that he can turn into a career.

“Herpetology isn’t really a big money making area, so most of the time you just have college professors and people with a degree in herpetology with a bigger degree in something else. An example is someone like a park ranger who minored in herpetology,” Miller said.

However, having a background in herpetology and studying the subject is a good thing to have in the wider scope of careers similar to it.

“I want to get a degree in herpetology, but it’s not going to be my sole endeavor. I want to go into the park service with some sort of degree in herpetology,” Miller said.

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