This is a hands-on experience in which participants learn what it is like to be a paleontologist. You will learn first-hand paleontological field techniques, fossil preparation, mapping, Earth history, and hopefully gain a new excitement toward the sciences.

Below is some information on the general weather, working conditions, meals, schedule, and camp.

*Temps represent average daytime highs and nighttime lows for JULY. (source:

*Temps represent average daytime highs and nighttime lows for JULY. (source:

Work Conditions:

Working on the dig usually entails long periods of hiking and sitting. Also, the badlands are generally hot, dry, and sunny during the day. Keep that in mind when considering this dig. In order to break up the day we try to both prospect and work on excavations each day. The field day usually depends on the weather. If it is abnormally hot we may cut the field excavation short for the day or, in the event of rain, we may choose to go on a museum trip. Excavations often require the use of heavy machinery, sharp tools, etc. for proper removal of specimens.  A safety overview will be provided at the beginning of the dig.  You must acknowledge the natural dangers of working in a remote, arid environment, (local wildlife, dehydration, severe weather, etc.). Further info can be found in the Sign Up section. 


Lodging and transportation to sites from camp is provided. We supply for every two participants one large Sibley 400 bell tent with 134 ft² of floor space, but feel free to bring your own gear if preferred. Campers and RVs are also welcome. Along with tents, we also provide cots and access to electrical outlets. There are a limited number of RV electrical hook-ups available and places nearby to empty and refill tanks.

Camp facilities include: field lab, kitchen, showers, restrooms, volunteers' tents, and our field office. If camping concerns you, don’t be alarmed! The camping experience is one of relative comfort. You will get a shower every day, there are modern restrooms at camp, you have access to electrical outlets, and camp is within walking distance of Marmarth if you want to go for an evening in town.

Please inquire if you will be needing any other arrangements.

Tentative Daily Schedule: All activities after returning to camp in the afternoon are optional.

6:30 am - Breakfast

8:00 am - Leave for field

4:30 pm - Return to camp

6:00 pm - Dinner

7:00 pm - Prep lab/ Guest Speaker

9:00 pm - Prep lab closes


Breakfast will be served at camp or local Cafe and sack-lunches will be provided for the day. Evening meals are usually akin to a barbecue. We provide all the food and utensils necessary. Meals are prepared by our staff, but you may be asked to help with some of the clean-up. Vegetarian preferences and food allergies can be accommodated with advance notice.


Marmarth, ND

Marmarth, ND

Typically we meet in Marmarth, ND at the cafe and mini store (gas station) or at camp at 4:00-5:00 pm, the beginning of each dig week. Note: Cellular service is spotty and we may not be able to give directions to camp.


For an additional $100.00 charge, we will pick you up (ONLY) at the Rapid City Airport in Rapid City, SD on the Sunday of the beginning of each dig week. HOWEVER, your plane MUST ARRIVE BEFORE 1:30 pm and DEPART NO EARLIER than 1:30 pm for the return flight. Please contact us if you have questions about this before reserving any flights.