Paleontology Certification Program to Launch in Spring 2021

Paleontology Certification Program to Launch in Spring 2021

Tim Kosaka

Southwestern Adventist University’s Dinosaur Science Museum is set 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 a 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.


Courses will run Sunday afternoons from 2-5 PM, course dates are listed below:

Ages 6-12                                                         Ages 13- Adults

January 10                                                           January 24

February 14                                                        February 28

March 14                                                             March 28

April 11                                                                April 25

May 9                                                                   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, the museum team is bringing the dig to north Texas. This experience will provide resources for children interested in paleontology, high schoolers taking biology, college students looking to build their resume and retirees seeking a new hobby!

The five-part series is priced at $199 total or $50 per session with courses held once a month fromJanuary to May 2021 on the campus of Southwestern Adventist University. Groups will be segmented based on age. With classes limited to 10 individuals per session, advanced registration is recommended.

To register for the program, click here.

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