The Alaska Herpetological Society


Officer Bios


David Zabriskie

David is the Deputy Refuge Manager for Selawik National Wildlife Refuge in Kotzebue, AK. He has worked for the USFWS for 15 years throughout the US with 4 years in AK. He is from Florida and that is where his passion for herps started as a kid. He wandered through wetlands, ditches and the occasional old field looking for and catching anything and everything. He collected many snakes and turtles and cared for them in aquariums. Now he travels the world looking for wildlife and herps taking only pictures and memories. Photography has become a passion for him and getting the in situ shot is very rewarding.

As President, he hopes to raise awareness and money for several long term AHS projects. Increasing membership and conducting outreach to help expand the message. A message that emphasizes how important our herpetofauna are in Alaska!



Don Larson
Vice President


Don is a PhD student in the Biology and Wildlife Department at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  He grew up on the Muddy Mississippi in Wisconsin and spent much of his childhood wading through ponds and streams trying to catch frogs and dragonfly nymphs.  He moved to Fairbanks in 2006 to complete his undergraduate degree.  After graduating with a B.S. in biology, he became a graduate student at UAF.  Don is interested in parasites, frogs, and how the two interact during winter.   Wood frogs harsh Fairbanks winters by freezing solid for over 7 months every year by packing their cells with so much sugar that they taste nearly as sweet as a sip of Coke, not that you should ever lick a frog.  Aside from his research Don can often be found hiking nearby trails, skiing, and canoeing the Tanana River.


Joseph Robertia

 Joseph Robertia grew up within spitting distance of the Everglades in old Florida, raw and rugged, a time when native wildlife still outnumbered new human residents. Like too many folks, Joseph’s parents were filled with an irreconcilable fear all things that slithered, but as often happens with patterns of inheritance, occasionally a generation is skipped. Snakes, as well as other reptiles and amphibians, were to Joseph’s childhood what pigeons and panhandlers are to New Yorkers, just an everyday part of his existence. As he grew, so did his reverence for what so many others found revolting.

As an adult he has worked in numerous zoos and served as a former zoologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society studying numerous species in captivity and the wild including Grand Cayman blue iguana; Burmese star and black mountain tortoises; Madagascan radiated, flat-tailed and spider tortoises; American alligators; Aldabra tortoises; and Cuban crocodiles. Most recently, he took part in the country-wide annual census of Morelet’s crocodiles in Belize.

For the past 16 years he has also worked as a professional outdoor writer/photographer. He has twice won the American Association of Zookeepers Excellence in Journalism award, as well as several Alaskan Press Club awards, including Best Outdoor Story. His first book, Life with Forty Dogs, was published in 2017 by Alaska Northwest Books. When not working, he enjoys travel, backpacking/camping, and mushing sled dogs with his wife, Colleen, and their daughter, Lynx.


Joshua T. Ream



Joshua recently completed a doctoral program at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks in the field of ethnobiology. His passion for this discipline has been evident through various academic research initiatives. Joshua has a B.S. in Animal Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University (minor in Wildlife and Fisheries Science) and a M.S. in Biology from Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. His masters thesis research involved the reintroduction of the Alligator Snapping Turtle in coordination with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Joshua's recent research interests have involved an analysis of the nature and extent of local herpetological knowledge in rural Alaska. Joshua has been studying Alaskan herpetofauna for several years, he has worked on amphibian related projects with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and he has served as an intern for the Northwest Section of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC). He is currently employed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a Subsistence Resource Specialist. Joshua is excited to serve as the Treasurer of the Alaska Herpetological Society and he foresees a bright future for the organization!






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