In order to keep the Madison Area Herpetological Society running smoothly, there has to be people leading it. This is what our Board Members do. Each one runs a particular part of our organization in order to keep us moving in the right direction. These individuals are dedicated to educating the public and we appreciate all of the time they put in to help our cause. Below is contact info for each member, and a short bio. If you are interested in any position, elections are held at the last meeting of the year. If you’d just like to help out, feel free to contact a board member and find out how you can get involved!
Ryan founded the Madison Area Herpetological Society in 2010. He wanted to share his love of reptiles with all around him and help educate people on their proper care. Before then, Ryan had done school shows and worked in a pet store educating young kids about the wonders of the reptile world and how to keep them properly. His love of reptiles started when he was only 4 years old as he was always chasing and catching frogs, salamanders, and garter snakes. Ryan has been keeping reptiles since he was 7 years old and has been actively breeding them in captivity for the past 6 years. Ryan graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and is a Project Engineer by day, and reptile enthusiast by night. As time goes on his love for these animals and spreading education continues to grow!
Vice President *
Rebecca first got into reptiles while she was in college, she wasn’t allowed to have pets so she started looking for one she thought she could convince her landlord to let her have. She wasn’t able to convince her landlord to let her have a reptile while in college, but in October of 2010 she got her first ball python. Her reptile collection has since snowballed and she now has over 30 snakes and close to 20 geckos. She currently breeds ball pythons and crested geckos, but in the future will be adding fat tail geckos and boas to that list. Outside of reptiles, she works full time as a computer programmer.
Aaron’s interest in reptiles has grown recently over the last year. It began when he had an opportunity to take in and rescue a female bearded dragon, Zoey, from a friend. A few months later, while at a local reptile show, Aaron met MAHS and had his first experience handling snakes. He immediately fell in love, and adopted the Snow Cornsnake, Plisken, that had been the first snake he’d ever held. From then on Aaron has been a very enthusiastic and integral part of MAHS. What he lacks in experience, he makes up for in dedication and his willingness to learn. While at the moment, he only has a few reptiles, that will likely change, as he has definitely caught the love for these awesome creatures.
Event and Education Coordinator*
Eric graduated in December 2010 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology with an emphasis on herpetology. He has always been interested in all animals, but particularly reptiles and amphibians, since the age of 5. For him, it all started when he found his first garter snake at a petting zoo in Wisconsin, which kicked off his interest in reptiles. From there, he had always wanted a snake of his own, and for his 6th birthday, finally got one. After that, he began frequenting reptile sections of bookstores, local pet stores, and reptile shows. One thing simply lead to another for him. Although he has many reptiles and amphibians that he likes, his greatest interest and passion first and foremost are for big snakes (such as Burmese pythons and Reticulated pythons), as well as many medium sized species such as carpet and blood pythons, boas, and much more.
Kid’s Herpetological Society Coordinator*
Angel has been interested in reptiles and amphibians since a very young age, however, her parents never allowed her to keep any; causing her love for them to subside. After meeting Ryan, her husband, that passion quickly came back and has grown every day since. Her reptile passion lies with turtles, tortoises, and rare colubrids. Angel is a stay at home mother. She has a 4 year old son, Zakk, a 2 year old daughter, Naomi, and twin baby girls, Lily and Adelise, (born in November of 2013) all of which keep her very busy. Both older kids love reptiles, which is something you’ll find with everyone in the family.
Rebecca Wyman and Ryan McVeigh
Member at Large*
Sara Viernum is a field herpetologist. Her journey as a herpetologist really started while she was working on her BS in Wildlife Biology in Kentucky where she sent many nights road running for northern/southern intergrade copperheads. She then spent two field seasons studying the natural history and habitat selection of the green salamander in Alabama while working on her MS in Biology/Herpetology, and has been involved in work all over the US. She always runs towards a snake instead of away. She is currently a Wildlife Biologist and Herpetologist for an environmental consulting company. In her spare time she runs the herpetology page The Wandering Herpetologist. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her amazing husband and their lovable milksnake, Nyarla The Crawling Chaos.
Member at Large*
News Team Member
Austin has been interested in reptiles since he was a kid. This started because when younger his mom took him to the zoo all the time and his favorite was the alligators. When he got older his dad would take him out to the local lakes to catch frogs and turtles. Austin is attending UW –Whitewater for a major in Biology with an emphasis in Field Ecology, and a minor in Chemistry. Austin hopes that when he graduates he will get a job out in the field getting hands on with animal. It has been in the last few years where he has been allowed to keep reptiles so his collection grew. He is keeping animals from the ball python to tarantulas and a few things in between. He is hoping to get into breeding ball pythons, crested gecko, dart frogs, tarantulas, and a few other things.
* Board Member Positions