Earth Sciences Labs
The Department of Earth Sciences oversees several labs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The Schlessman Family Earth Sciences Laboratory is located within the Prehistoric Journey exhibition on the third floor of the museum and is visible to Museum guests. When exploring the gallery, guests have the opportunity to engage with volunteer preparators as they clean, stabilize, and conserve fossils collected by Museum researchers and staff. Additionally, the Museum houses two behind-the-scenes labs in the Avenir Collections Center—one used for fossil preparation of large specimens, such as horned dinosaurs and giant turtles, and the second used for molding and casting of vertebrate fossils.
The earth science labs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science are unique; in addition to lab staff, nearly 200 skilled volunteers prepare fossils and rock samples! Volunteers attend a training course to learn the basic methods and materials used in professional fossil preparation and are then part of the team that prepares specimens for Museum research, collections, and education. As a result of the many hours of volunteer time dedicated to the earth science labs, the Museum is able to prepare hundreds of fossils every year.