Fossil Prep 2021 - Passport in Time

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South Dakota - Nebraska NF
Closed! Fossil Specimen Preparation 2021

SDSMT_museum,_Rapid_City.jpg by Raymond Bucko, SJ from Omaha, NE, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Geology Museum at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

June 7-11; 14-18; 21-25, 2021 (project will not include weekends)

Volunteers must commit to 1 entire session; may participate in more

If you have never joined us in either the field or the lab during our “dino” project, you are in for a real treat! Many of you may have walked around your local or national Museums of Natural History; you may have even seen folks working on fossils. This summer, however, you will get the opportunity to work in an authentic paleontology preparation lab, but be on the other side of the viewing windows! Our PIT project’s summer sessions will be located in the Foster Paleontology Lab, Museum of Geology, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. Nebraska National Forest staff, along with the Museum of Geology Lab Preparation Manager will train and work with everyone who is selected – no experience is necessary – and you will come away with not only some great memories and stories, but with a handful of new skills! Fossils we will work with range from Late Cretaceous marine reptiles, fish, and petrified trees, to terrestrial mammals and dinosaurs. Weekends will be 'off the clock,' which will give you great opportunities to visit anywhere in the Black Hills and plains of southwestern South Dakota! Please note however, that we will only be recruiting until we hit our target numbers, so apply today – see you this summer!

Advisory: Strict COVID-19 protocols will be followed, including the wearing of masks, social distancing, etc. Additionally, given current national and global circumstances, some aspects of the project may be subject to change. The project leader will notify all selectees should this occur.

Number of openings: 33 (11 per session; lab can only accomodate 11 people, plus staff, at a time)

Special skills: Fossil Preparation requires a lot of patience. Progress is slow and deliberate, and the ability to receive constructive & instructive assistance, to ask questions, an ability to work with tools (while looking through a lighted magnifying lens) is a must! Previous paleontological laboratory experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 15 years old; applicants under the age of 18 must apply with a parent or guardian; guardian MUST submit a separate application and plan to attend

Facilities: Volunteers may stay in the university dorms at own expense (includes shared laundry facilities and kitchen); rooms available are by reservation: Private ($70/night) – 4 twin beds; in-room private bath; Standard ($30/night) – 2 twin beds; shared bath facilities ‘down hall,’ one for men (5th floor), one for women (4th floor); must provide own bedding and bath linen; reserve room(s) by 17 May, 2021; Rapid City is a full-service community with hotels/motels, camp grounds, B&Bs, RV parks, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/camping equipment/bedding, meals, and daily transportation to and from the laboratory

Nearest towns: Project based out of the Museum of Geology, James E. Martin Paleontology Research Lab, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City

Applications due: Ongoing until filled

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