The Paleontology Certification Program

There are 107 trained volunteers working at the Snowmastodon Project dig site this summer.  So, how did they get the skills necessary to dig up Ice Age fossils? The Denver Museum of Nature & Science offers an internationally recognized program called the Paleontology Certification Program, which gives amateur scientists an opportunity to professionalize their skills. The program educates students in the principles of paleontology and geology, including the origin and evolution of life, classification of fossils, and formation of rocks, as well as in the ethics and methods of paleontological lab work, fieldwork, and research.

Depending on your specialization, you may work in the Museum's state-of-the-art earth sciences lab or in the field, where teams of staff and volunteers collaborate to conduct cutting-edge research on dinosaurs and other prehistoric life. Many program graduates have undertaken their own primary research and have published their results in scientific journals.

For more information on how to enroll, contact the Museum's Adult Programs Office at 303.370.6303 or

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Project Updates

Get caught up on everything that happened in the field, learn what scientists are doing to preserve the bones, and find out the latest discoveries from our team of experts.

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Discovery Timeline

See how this amazing discovery unfolded, from the first fossil to the last day of the dig.


Digging Snowmastodon

Order Digging Snowmastodon: Discovering an Ice Age World in the Colorado Rockies, a first-person account of the historic Ice Age fossil find, today!

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