GEOL 471/571  Field Paleontology


Two Weeks, Two Credits


Application Deadline: December 31, 2016

Register Online



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. 





Enjoy the beautiful South Dakota prairie, where we will be working in the gorgeous cliffs of the Niobrara Formation, and rolling hills of the Pierre Shale. Learn the fundamentals of mitigation paleontology in the Cretaceous Pierre Shale. Explore cutting-edge survey techniques, project development, budgeting, and proper documentation. Intended for individuals with an interest in the monitoring paleontology in the field. Based out of Chamberlain, SD.

Dates: TBD

Cost: $1,600 undergraduate and $1,700 graduate students


Cost doesn't include meals and lodging. 



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.  Led by Dr. Darrin Pagnac and Dr. Clint Boyd.  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, $1700 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




Back to main page