The organization now known as the Missouri Herpetological Association (MHA) started life as a specialized “sub-gathering” of the annual Missouri Academy of Science meeting. The first official meeting was held at Reis Biological Station in the fall of 1988 and an annual meeting has been conducted every year since at various locations around the state.

It has always been a goal of MHA’s founders that the presentation environment provides a relaxed but semi-formal setting for students to present the results of their research to a familiar audience of peers and senior herpetologists. Meetings consist of several short (usually 15-minute) presentations about a wide variety of general herpetology and research topics. Although most topics are directly related to Missouri research, this is not a requirement and there are usually a few presentations that have nothing to do with the state. If necessary, a short business meeting follows the presentations. All meetings and locations have been archived and events after 2002 have been documented with information and photographs.

An annual newsletter is produced to document the proceedings of each meeting, provide a publication outlet for presentation abstracts, and to publish short notes about Missouri herpetology. Part of the newsletter is the summary of articles published on Missouri herpetology during the previous year. A comprehensive list can be found in the bibliography publication. These references can generally be viewed as an addition to the references listed in the 1987 edition of Johnson’s The Amphibians and Reptiles of Missouri.

While herpetoculture is among the interests of several members, the focus of MHA is almost exclusively concerned with academics and conservation. Among the future goals of MHA is to become a conduit for public information and education.

Interested in joining the MHA? Look no further. Since the MHA remains an informal organization, there are no membership dues and no monthly meetings. Show up at the annual meeting (check back here for information), request a newsletter, join our Facebook group, or contact a representative of the organization.