Volunteering in the Field
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 doing fossil digs at two locations in the spring of 2016, at the Montbrook and Thomas Farm sites. 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. You can choose to dig at either one of the sites, or both! The Montbrook Site is easier digging for volunteers, but both sites are very rich in fossils and almost all volunteers will find some on their first day. Both sites date from the Miocene Epoch; Thomas Farm is early Miocene, about 18 million years old, while Montbrook is late Miocene, about 5 million years old.
The new Hemphillian Montbrook Site is about a 40-minute drive southwest of Gainesville, near the town of Williston in Levy County. We will be working at the site from January 16 to May 13, 2016. We are currently reserving places for persons interested in working with us at the dig. Those who are not current museum volunteers should download this application form with digging schedule (pdf format). Those who are current museum volunteers should look at the digging schedule and email Richard Hulbert with dates they wish to dig (no application form needed). The following days are currently full and no more volunteers are needed: February 21.
VP Curator Jonathan Bloch and volunteers at the new site in December 2015
The Spring 2016 Volunteer Dig at Thomas Farm will run from April 4 through 8. We will begin accepting applications from present and past volunteers in late February and from new volunteers in early March. Those who are not current museum volunteers should download this application form with digging schedule (pdf format) and follow the directions on the second page to turn it in. Current volunteers should email Richard Hulbert with dates they wish to dig (no application form needed). Spaces are currently available for all five days.