Kory Roberts (AKA: kaptainkory)
I thought I would provide a little background about myself and what, eventually, would lead me to create this website.
I grew up in Huntsville, Arkansas, and spent my summers flipping rocks in search of creepy-crawlies. My Dad had done his share of snake-catching when he was a youngster, but my interest and fascination exceeded his.
Even when I was young, I wanted to be a herpetologist (and yes, I knew what that word meant!). But at the same time, my "hobby" was much misunderstood by many around me. I always thought to myself, "People who say they like to fish don't always have to justify why they like to fish. But why is it when I say I like looking for snakes, people wonder why? Can't I just like something for the sake of liking it?"
I was a bit of a crusader even then, and took it upon myself to educate others about snakes: their importance, their beauty, why we shouldn't kill every single one we see just because we can, etc.
Other interests took the forefront for a few years, but eventually (after I had earned a Bachelor's degree--not in the sciences), I had the opportunity to live out a childhood dream of actually becoming a herpetologist (or at the least a field research technician). For the next five years, while I was also working toward a Masters of Arts in Teaching (General Science / Biology), I got the chance to work with Dr. Steven Beaupre at the University of Arkansas whose focus is on Timber Rattlesnake physiological ecology. During the summer of 2006, I returned to the Beaupre lab to continue my work with Timber Rattlesnakes through the Arkansas STRIVE program.
Although I no longer take an active part in professional snake research, I consider myself a "professional snake educator". Along with numerous other speaking engagements, for the past several summers I have taught herpetology to 11 and 12 year olds at the Arkansas Audubon Ecology Camp.
This website started off rather modestly as a place where people could ID snakes (they likely killed), but has since grown into a thorough educational service, a photographic library, a community of herpers, and a partnership with professional herpetologists. It served as a platform for re-establishing the Arkansas Herpetological Society in 2004.
As my "day job", I am a public school science teacher. After teaching 7th grade science for several years, in 2008 I transitioned to the high school level. I currently teach biology and pre-AP biology at Rogers High School in Rogers, Arkansas.
I hope this has given you a better sense of who I am and why I am here.
Publications and Presentations
Awards and Recognition