GEOL 471/571  Field Paleontology


Two Weeks, Two Credits


Application Deadline: Rolling registration until filled

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Field Paleontology is a two-week experience that is designed to introduce students to the procedures of preserving and documenting fossil discoveries.  We emphasize the fact that fossils are information so the geologic context of fossils as well as the distribution of fossils at a given site is meticulously recorded.  Topics covered include field stabilization and excavation of fossil material, recording stratigraphic data, quarry mapping techniques, reading and interpreting topographic maps, proper documentation, and fossil systematics of each site.  Students taking the course for undergraduate credit will be graded based on their field notes, daily observations, and participation in field activities.  Graduate students will be required to conduct a follow-up research project the following fall semester. 





June 18 - 29

Join us in the scenic badlands near Dickinson, ND, where we’ll search for prehistoric rhinos, hell-pigs, oreodonts, deer, and numerous other animals that lived in the region between thirty-five and twenty-five million years ago.  Team up with scientists from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and the North Dakota Geologic Survey to participate in important survey operations on the beautiful prairie region of western North Dakota. 

Cost: $2000 undergraduates, $2250 graduates.  Cost includes meals. Cost DOES NOT include lodging.

Students are responsible for transportation to Dickinson and for arranging lodging in Dickinson, Bismarck, or nearby areas.



CAMP FULL Please contact  Dr. Pagnac to be waitlisted

July 23 - August 3

Eighty-million years ago, during much of the Age of Dinosaurs, South Dakota was covered by a shallow inland seaway.  Join us to help document fossil discoveries; including marine reptiles, pterosaurs, gigantic fish, sharks and baculites; while surveying along the Missouri River.  Enjoy the beautiful South Dakota prairie, where we will be working in the gorgeous cliffs of the Niobrara Formation, and the rolling hills of the Pierre Shale.  Explore cutting-edge survey techniques, project development, budgeting, and proper documentation. Led by Dr. Darrin Pagnac.  Camp is based out of Chamberlain, SD, with camping, dining and lodging services readily available.  Additional facilities are available in nearby Oacoma.

Cost: $1600 undergraduates, $1850 graduates. Cost DOES NOT include meals or lodging.. Students are responsible for transportation to Chamberlain and for arranging lodging.

A few lodging options in Chamberlain SD include:

American Creek Campground:

Best Western Lee’s Motor Inn:

AmericInn Chamberlain:

For more information contact:

Dr. Darrin Pagnac

(605) 394-2469




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