Dinosaur & Fossil Class Experience

Paleontology Preparator Training and Certification Program

We are excited to offer a Paleontology Preparator Training and Certification Program in Spring of 2021. This program will meet over five sessions, which will take place once a month and will provide training in dinosaur fossil identification, excavation, preparation, preservation and curation. Participants may choose to register for a single session that interests them most or may register for the series at a discounted rate and receive their Paleontology Preparator Certification once passing an end-of-course written exam.

The five sessions will be taught by Dr. Jared Wood, director and curator of the Dinosaur Science Museum, who was featured in the 2019 documentary "The Dig" and will cover the following topic(s):

  • January: Learn how to identify soil layers and bones as you gain an overview of upper Cretaceous dinosaurs, excavation techniques and tools and use of GPS equipment.
  • February: Find out how paleontologists stabilize, jacket and transport fossils.
  • March: Discover what “small bones” are and learn techniques to properly process them. 
  • April: Discover what “large bones” are and learn techniques to properly process them. 
  • May: Learn how photography, casting and 3D-printing of bones are important elements of paleontology and gain a better understanding of museum curation.
Ages 6-12Ages 13 - Adults
January 10
February 14
March 14
April 11
May 9
January 24
February 28
March 28
April 25
May 23

This is a rare opportunity to learn the science and process of dinosaur excavation and preparation! Ordinarily, a person would have to attend a dig and travel to Wyoming to receive this experience, but for the first time ever, we are bringing the dig to you! Whether you are a child interested in paleontology, a high schooler taking biology, a college student looking to build your resume or a retiree seeking a new hobby, this course is for you!

The five-part series is just $199 or $50 per session and will run from January - May 2021 on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University. Classes are being limited to 10 individuals per session and will be segmented to group individuals by age. The courses will run Sunday afternoons from 2-5 PM.

students per class



Per class session


when you bundle all 5 sessions


Commonly Asked Questions


How do I recieve my Paleontology Preparator Certification?

At the end of the course, you will have the option to sit for the Paleontology Preparator Certification Exam at no additional cost to your course fees. To pass, you will need to answer 70% of the questions correctly.


How old do I need to be in order to take the course?

The course is designed for individuals ages 13 and above. Children under 12 are welcome with an accompanying adult (parent does not have to pay unless they want to take the exam). A Junior Training Award will be given to children under the age of 10 if they complete the course. Children under the age of 10 will not have to sit for an exam.


News & Events

“The Dig” Dinosaur Research Project in Need of a New Field Station

Southwestern Adventist University hosts The North American Premiere of The Dig

Southwestern Adventist University To Host North American Premiere Screening of The Dig

Southwestern Adventist University Inspires Pathfinders in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Dinosaur Research Draws World-Wide Acclaim, Inspires New TV Series

dinosaur, taphonomy, bones


dinosaurs, museum, film, research


Dinosaur Science Museum