Fossil Search and Rescue II 2017 - Passport in Time

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Current Projects > 2017
South Dakota - Custer NF
Fossil Search and Rescue II

Dscn4163.jpg by Barb Beasley, FS Paleontologist
Applying a plaster field jacket to Duckbill dinosaur skeletal elements.




SD-4339
July 12-18, 2017 (including weekends)

Must commit to entire session

Have you wanted to find and excavate dinosaurs and other plants and animals that lived over 75 million years ago? Well, here's your opportunity: PIT volunteers and FS staff will be scouring the bare ground at the Late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation once again this summer!! We’ll be hunting for fossils, scientifically documenting them, and then excavating and collecting these precious resources. The terrain here is rugged, and is full of steep slopes that can be treacherous (hard on the back and knees at times!). So, participant be warned: this area is beautiful, but it ain’t for sissies! Excavation of fossil specimens will require participants to be able to sit for long periods, and will require a great deal of bending while we apply plaster and burlap to encase recovered specimens. We will provide all training in (or will hone) the proper paleontological excavation skills, and we will definitely get our hands dirty while using our “specialist equipment:” things like hammers, chisels, paintbrushes, etcetera. Specimens will be housed at the Paleontology Research Lab located on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Campus in Rapid City.

The fossils we collect should be plentiful and very diverse, so there will likely be something to tempt even the most discerning volunteer’s interests! During your time “off the clock,” there are also a lot of interesting and beautiful places to visit while in the Black Hills, so we hope to see you this summer!

Number of openings: 20

Special skills: Field training and equipment provided; volunteers must be physically capable of bending, sitting, standing, and/or kneeling for long periods each day, and in a variety of weather conditions (mostly hot!); previous excavation, pedestrian survey, fossil identification, and/or other paleontological field and/or laboratory experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 13 years old; under 18 with a responsible adult

Facilities: We will be (tent or small RV (pop-up/trailer)) camping in a remote prairie covered in trees, but with top-notch amenities: a caterer (optional) for a fee of $15/day/person, large basecamp tent, hot water showers, outdoor toilets, solar generator for power, cell phone coverage, and all of the supplies needed to conduct work; drinking water will NOT be provided, so please plan accordingly; no hook-ups; Buffalo is a full-service community with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/personal camping equipment, food (if not using the catering option), water, and daily transportation to camp (if opting to stay off-site)

Nearest towns: Redig, ~ 5 miles; Buffalo, 25 miles; Camp Crook, 45 miles

Applications due: June 5, 2017

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