Joe Ehrenberger: Founder, Lead Venomous Snake Instructor
About: Joseph Ehrenberger’s career as an ecologist includes a broad diversity of skills and experiences, with an emphasis on wildlife and habitat assessments. His portfolio includes assisting with husbandry and breeding of rare species in the U.S., Dominican Republic, and Grand Cayman. His field experiences concentrate on general wildlife and habitat assessments, as well as special-status species surveys (e.g. Greater sage grouse, Lesser prairie chicken, Mexican spotted owl, Indiana bat, Swift fox, raptor nest monitoring, Ricord’s iguana, and plants such as the Ute’s ladies tresses and Colorado butterfly plant). His habitat work includes restoration for Preble’s meadow jumping mouse and Kremmling milkvetch, as well as rangeland noxious weed management, mountain pine beetle control, and energy development mitigation. Most recently, he conducts focused surveys throughout Colorado for amphibians and reptiles, including rattlesnake management projects and safety training for governments and the private sector. He has authored numerous technical publications and agency documents. Furthermore, his coordination of volunteers has proven essential to species and habitat monitoring programs.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Teaching from Virginia Tech and his Master’s degree in Ecology from Indiana State University
Venomous Snake Handling Experience: Joe was a Senior Keeper at Indianapolis Zoo, an AZA-accredited institution. As a Senior Zookeeper he worked with a wide variety of venomous (e.g. adders, cobras and relatives, rattlesnakes, and a variety of arboreal vipers and rear-fanged species) and nonvenomous snake species from around the world. His experience also includes husbandry of arboreal pit vipers and rattlesnakes at Indiana State University. He has also conducted research on Prairie Rattlesnakes their natural habitats. This research included tracking, PIT-tagging to determine hibernacula and provide management recommendations to agencies. In recent years, Joe traveled to Central and South America working with native herpetofauna, including venomous species like Bushmasters, Fer de Lance, Neotropical rattlesnakes, and Coral snakes. He is also experienced with Gila monsters and Mexican beaded lizards, both of which are venomous lizards. He provides snake safety training to agencies and industry staff.