Carthage students have the opportunity to volunteer in the dinosaur prep lab. You will be able to work on real dinosaur fossils from the Cretaceous.

The lab is in the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha, Wis., and is open to public view through its large bay windows. Previous lab or field experience is not required!

Semester commitment

We ask that you commit a few hours each week on a regular schedule on a semester-by-semester basis. We expect punctuality and clear communication.

Skills learned

You will learn lab health and safety, the use of small hand tools, air abrasion, air scribe, assembling fragments, record keeping of tasks and time, opening field jackets, and making lab jackets. You will learn how to handle delicate fossils and how to use glues and consolidants safely.

The training sequence

You’ll start on a bag of dinosaur bits, cleaning and piecing fragments together and using small hand tools, glue, consolidants, and the air abrasive unit. Once those key skills are mastered, volunteers then move on to fragments of turtle shell to clean and assemble. Next, depending on availability, volunteers might do another complicated bag of fragments or prepare a bone in a field jacket.

Fossil lab

The lab includes bay windows and opportunities for public engagement. The lab has an air abrasion unit, a fume hood, a sink, tables for large fossils, and storage for hazardous materials. The lab space can hold up to three people at a time. The main tools are pneumatic and are powered by an air compressor in an adjacent room.

Fossil collections

The fossil lab opens into the fossil collections, where prepped and unprepped fossils are stored. The collections are temperature and humidity controlled; this is where your completed fossil projects are stored.

Other opportunities

The Dinosaur Discovery Museum has opportunities for exhibit development, gallery docents, and educational programs that are available to undergraduate students.