Paleontology Field Internship

Interns will assist the Laramidia Project team in ongoing, field-based reconnaissance and excavations in the Late Cretaceous Kaiparowits and Wahweap formations of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and to maintain a positive attitude and high level of excellence and professionalism in adverse working conditions. This internship is for undergraduate, graduate, and beginning professionals. Interns will receive a stipend for the term of the internship.

Interns will engage in a variety of fossil excavation and camp management tasks. They will receive their directives from project leaders and work on teams with Museum staff and volunteers. Interns will be expected to engage in strenuous physical labor including pick axing, shoveling, and heavy lifting (up to 50 lbs). Interns will be expected to work in adverse working conditions at approximately 6,000 feet elevation, in various temperatures (20 to 90 degrees Farenheit) and precipitation (rain, snow, and sleet) conditions. The terrain is extremely steep and remote, with daily hikes of more than 5 miles.

A total of two five-week positions and two 2.5-week positions are being offered, with commensurate stipends. Please indicate in your cover letter whether you prefer:

(1) a five-week term between September 1 and October 7 or or (2), a 2.5-week term between October 20 and November 7


Fossil Site Tasks
Field interns should have a working knowledge of geology, paleontology, or a related field. Field tasks will be related to locating and excavating large fossil vertebrate localities, vertebrate microsites, paleobotanical localities, measuring stratigraphic sections, and geologic sampling, and will involve:

  • Pickaxing and shoveling (up to 8 hours per day)
  • Sample-bagging and lifting (samples may weigh 50+ lbs.)
  • Rock sawing and jackhammering (up to 6 hours per day)
  • Prospecting for new localities
  • Quarry mapping and note taking
  • Field specimen cataloging
  • Plaster jacketing
  • Daily tool clean up


Site Responsibilities/Gear

  • Participation in camp cooking and cleanup
  • Active in camp management and operations
  • Appropriate hiking boots/shoes (required)
  • Sun hat/glasses
  • Camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag, and pad)
  • Internal frame backpack of at least 2,500 cubic inches max volume
  • GPS, hand lens, rock hammer
  • 4L of water bottles


Responsibilities to Team

  • Positive attitude at all times
  • Attend breakfast (7 a.m.), dinner (7 or 8 p.m.) and post-dinner meetings
  • Communicate all on-site issues with project leaders
  • Represent the Museum in a professional and positive manner at on-site and off-site functions
  • Create a welcoming atmosphere for other volunteers, visitors, and staff by being friendly, informed, and   enthusiastic
  • Understand the training materials and be informed and updated on on-site activities
  • Adhere to any excavation procedures and/or policies developed by the Laramidia Project team


Physical Working Conditions

  • On-site work will be strenuous in terms of physical work and working conditions. Interns working at excavations must be in good physical condition, or know their limitations and only agree to volunteer within those limitations
  • While working at the site, interns must be able to stand, walk, and dig for long periods of time in various weather conditions


Physical Effort Required

  • Physical activity required by handling objects up to 50 lbs. occasionally and/or up to 30 lbs. frequently
  • Hiking distances of 5 miles regularly and greater than 10 miles occasionally over extremely rough and variable terrain that includes desert climates (heat, cold, wind, rain, snow), exposure on cliffs and steep slopes, and limited access to facilities (showers, toilets, phones)

Application Deadline
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How to Apply
Complete an online Intern Application

Submit a cover letter and CV to:

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