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Vertebrate Paleontology Volunteer Program

Volunteers assist paleontology faculty, staff and graduate students on paleontological research projects. Volunteers are essential in helping us collect the data we need to answer questions about Earth’s ancient past.


Vertebrate paleontology volunteers are currently collecting data to help address scientific questions about ancient ecosystem compositions, ecosystem response to climate change, effective sampling techniques and geographic distributions of extinct species.

Morph Interactive Metrics Volunteer Activities

  • Recovering bones and teeth from small animals (lizards, gophers, fish, mice) from screen-washed sand and gravel
  • Molding and casting small teeth for imaging by a scanning electron microscope
  • Assisting on the installation of facilities for large fossil preparation
  • Helping mechanically clean and prepare fossil bones from large animals, including turtles and dinosaurs
  • Monthly potluck dinner with research presentations from OSU Center for Health Sciences paleontologists 


Schedule and Training

Our volunteer days in the vertebrate paleontology labs are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays throughout the year. 


Typically, volunteers work either a morning (8:30 a.m. to noon) or afternoon shift (1 to 5 p.m.) but are welcome to work multiple shifts. Start and end times for shifts are flexible to fit volunteer schedules. 


No previous experience is required. Volunteers are provided the training needed to identify fossils and rocks and use lab equipments as well as laboratory safety training.  


“Every time I come here I learn something new.” – Marshall M., volunteer since 2012


Become a Volunteer

Contact our volunteer coordinator to set up an interview or to find out more.

Holley Flora, MS

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