Volunteering in the Field 2016-2017

The Division of Vertebrate Paleontology has at least one fossil collecting session per year that uses volunteer assistance. This will generally be during the drier and cooler times of the year, either spring or fall. Age limits and physical requirements will vary depending on the conditions at the particular fossil site we are working.


We are currently working at a large-scale, extensive excavation at the Montbrook fossil site. The Hemphillian Montbrook Site is about a 40-minute drive south of Gainesville, near the town of Williston in Levy County.

The Montbrook Site is very productive and almost all volunteers will find some fossil specimens on their first day. The most commonly found fossils are bones from the shell of freshwater turtles and vertebrae, spines, scales, and skull bones of fish, including gar, catfish, snook, and drum. Fossils of alligator, birds, and mammals are also found, but less frequently. For more information about the Montbrook fossil site, visit: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/museum-voices/montbrook/

We will be working at the site from October 1 to December 18, 2016 and from January 14 to May 21, 2017. Work at the site will occur from Tuesday through Sunday, with a few exceptions for some weeks. Volunteers from 15 to 17 years of age will be accepted but must be accompanied by an adult sibling (18+ years old), or a parent or guardian. Otherwise, volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Volunteers must be physically fit enough to work outdoors for several hours and be able to walk up and down irregular slopes. Volunteers can work just a single day, a few days, or a regular schedule one or more times a week.  There is no limit to the number of times a volunteer can work at the site.

To volunteer for the Montbrook Fossil Dig, download an application form with more information (including which days we are digging at the site) by following this link: Montbrookdigapplication2016-2017.pdf. Send in the filled-out form using the directions on the back or second page of the form. If you have any questions about volunteering at the site, please email Rachel Narducci or Richard Hulbert. Note that the current application form does not include dates for May 2017.  These will be added in January 2017.

The last digging day for the Fall season is Sunday, December 18th. After a break for the holidays and the begining of the Spring semester, we will begin digging again, 6 days per week, on January 14th.

Spaces are no longer available for the following digging days

Wednesday, December 7th

Thursday, December 8th

Friday, December 9th

Saturday, December 10th

Sunday, December 11th

Tuesday, December 13th

Wednesday, December 14th

Thursday, December 15th

Friday, December 16th

Saturday, December 17th

Sunday, December 18th

(Please do not sign up for these days on the application)

There is no cost to volunteer. But if you wish to contribute money to help us maintain our annual volunteer fossil digs and to process and store the collected fossils, you can use this secure link https://www.uff.ufl.edu/OnlineGiving/FundDetail.asp?FundCode=008465. Donations through the UF Foundation are tax deductable.



VP Curator Jonathan Bloch and volunteers at the Montbrook site in December 2015