Fossil Preparation Courses

Fossil Preparation Courses



Once dinosaur fossils are excavated, what happens then? Most people don’t realize this is when the hard work really begins! Finding and excavating a dinosaur represents about 20% of the total time before the animal is ready to exhibit. Preparing the fossil in a controlled environment is extremely important before the specimen is ready for research. This is where the Dino Lab comes in. It is the official repository for all specimens collected by the Judith River Dinosaur Institute (JRDI). The lab is about 7,000 square feet of
space with state-of-the art preparation equipment. Many scientists and preparators wished they had a facility such as this to work in! The Dino Lab prepares fossils recovered by JRDI teams.

To join us for a Fossil Preparation Course please read all of the information, complete and sign the application form below.

Note to Parents:
We have hosted many high school and college students over the years, producing over a dozen students who are now involved in paleontological careers. It is not necessary for a parent or guardian to attend. We’ve handled minors for years and have parent references upon request. However, minimum age for kids is 16. Sorry, we cannot make an exception no matter how mature the child due to insurance liability requirements.

If you plan for a child age 16-17 to attend, a parent or guardian must complete the application form listing each child and their age.

Upon completion of the form below, you will be redirected to an option to pay deposit by check or by credit card.

    Name and Email of person completing this application and payment.



    Fossil Prep Participants:






    Day Phone*

    Cell Phone*




    Zip/Postal Code*



    Select Fossil Preparation Course Date(s)*


    Full payment: $895.00 per person
    50% min payment: $447.50 per person

    Number of Participants*

    50% Deposit Enclosed with this Completed, Signed Application*


    Participant Rules and Responsibilities

    Dinosaur exploration and excavation can be physically demanding. It is important that you indicate here any disabilities, physical limitations and/or preexisting medical conditions that we should know about, including, but not limited to: respiratory or heart conditions, rare blood type, asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, allergies to dust, pollen, etc., and any instructions for unusual medications.

    If you have medical, religious or personal diet restrictions please indicate here: (NOTE: We can make reasonable accommodations but you are responsible for special dietary needs. We cannot guarantee to be able to meet all needs when in the field.)

    1. The undersigned, as a participant in the course, will adhere to the highest standards of social and scientific behavior as deemed by the staff of the Dino Lab. Dino Lab staff reserves the right to require withdrawal, at any time of any participant whose behavior or health jeopardizes themselves, the welfare of fellow participants, or the fulfillment of the course goals. Refunds are not issued in these cases.

    2. The undersigned has read the information concerning the course and accepts any risk thereof. The undersigned also hereby agrees for the undersigned’s dependents, heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, to release and hold harmless the Dino Lab, its respective staff, officers, employees, agents, or representatives from any and all damage resulting from participation in the course.

    3. I, the undersigned, indemnify and hold harmless the Dino Lab, its staff, officers, employees, agents, or representatives from any loss, liability, damage or costs that may be incurred due to the acts or omissions of any participant in the course.

    4. The undersigned further states and affirms that they are aware of the fact that the course, even under the best of conditions possible, may be hazardous; that he/she assumes the risk of any and all loss of, or damage to, property and/or bodily injury, including death, however caused, resulting from or arising out of, or in any way connected to the course; that he/she is of legal age and is competent to sign this Participant Rules and Responsibilities statement (for 16 -17 year old, this must be signed by a parent or guardian); and that they have read and understood all of the provisions herein contained.

    5. All minors without a parent or guardian in attendance need to supply a medical release form including current insurance information signed by a parent or guardian.

    7. The undersigned releases to the Dino Lab, all rights to use their likeness promotionally if photographed or videotaped during participation during the course.

    8. The undersigned will not duplicate, or allow to be duplicated, any images, handouts, materials, videotape, etc., or use for commercial purposes, any images collected as a participant of the program without the express written permission of The Dino Lab.


    Conditions and Policies

    1. This fully completed application together with the 50% deposit does not guarantee your acceptance in the course or the date of choice. You will be contacted by email to inform you of your acceptance or what dates are available should your week already be filled. Please note that the remainder of your fee (the $895 less the 50% deposit you submit with this form) is due in full by March 1st – without exception.

    2. Families are especially welcome and encouraged to attend. All individual applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the time of signing this application. Applicant’s age 16-17 are welcome with consent of a parent or guardian.

    3. Dino Lab reserves the right to decline application for any reason.

    4. REFUND POLICY: In the event that you are unable to participate, the deposit is refundable only if notification is received by January 1st . Refunds are not transferable to other programs or courses. If the Dino Lab cancels any course a full refund will be issued. If circumstances beyond the Dino Lab’s control delay the course (i.e., due to weather) the associated costs due to such delays will be their own responsibility.

    5. What is included with fee: Instruction, lab tools, transportation to Dino Lab, lunch. All lab material and equipment will be provided. You are welcome to bring your fossil specimens for preparation during the course.

    6. What is not included in your fee – your transportation from home to Billings, MT, accommodations and meals (other than lunch) while in Billings.

    7. The Dino Lab accepts no responsibility for travel (or its arrangement) to and from Billings, MT to attend this course.

    8. Personal property (baggage, etc.) of the participants is the sole responsibility of the individual participant.


    By signing here or having your name listed above, it is understood that all signed or listed have read and will comply with the rules of the Dino Lab Fossil Preparation Course at the Dino Lab.

    Your Full Name*