Paleonet: Summer 2015 Field Position in Western Colorado

Julia McHugh jmchugh at
Mon Feb 2 21:22:41 UTC 2015

The Museum of Western Colorado – Dinosaur Journey in Fruita, Colorado (USA) is seeking a Paleontology Field Assistant for Summer 2015. Primary duties include fieldwork at excavation sites, working with volunteers and museum visitors, and preparing paleontological specimens.

This is a seasonal/temporary full time position (35hrs/week) that will be primary field-based. The successful candidate will work with a team to excavate fossils in established quarries, primarily within the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation – including the Mygatt-Moore Quarry and Fruita Paleontological Area. The Paleontology Field Assistant will be responsible for recording data relevant to each site, including map coordinates and fossil identifications. The Paleontology Field Assistant works under the guidance of the curator of paleontology, paleontology field coordinator, museum staff, and assist museum volunteers and paying tourists in excavations. Other duties may include work in museum collections, assisting on paleontological/geological-themed museum trips for paying tourists, and work in the paleo lab. This position is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience in basic quarry mapping, field exploration & collection techniques, communicating science to the public, collections management skills, and to become familiar with museums’ role in resource protection. 

This position is based out of Fruita, CO – located 10 miles west of Grand Junction on Interstate 70.  Housing (at no charge) may be provided in a camp trailer. A personal vehicle is not required; however, applicants are advised that a personal vehicle or bicycle will help accessing services in Fruita (less than one mile from the museum), such as groceries, doctors, and other amenities. Public transportation is also available in the Fruita/Grand Junction area.

This position is for 16 weeks starting mid May 2015 and continuing through the middle to end of August. Exact start and end dates are negotiable. This is a full-time position (36 hrs/wk) with a salary of $10.00 per hour.

Work is primarily performed outdoors, often under adverse weather conditions, including extreme heat, biting gnats, wind, and thunderstorms. Participants may be required to hike in rough terrain in a hot, dry climate sometimes carrying heavy loads up to 40 pounds. Quarry work requires long periods of bending, stooping and working in cramped positions. Work may be conducted in remote areas of public lands.

Required Skills: 

·         Bachelor’s degree in paleontology or geology, preference will be given to applicants with some graduate school experience.

·         basic knowledge of fossil resources and their protection on federal lands 

·         good handwriting and a working knowledge of computers


Familiarity with paleontology, especially of the Late Jurassic Period, is helpful but not required. 


How to apply:

Send a cover letter, resume or CV, and the names, email addresses and phone numbers for two references to: Julia McHugh - Email: jmchugh at; or, hard copies may be mailed to:


Julia McHugh

Museum of Western Colorado, Dinosaur Journey

550 Jurassic Court

Fruita, CO 81521 USA


Deadline for applications is March 13, 2015.


For more information regarding this position, contact:
Julia McHugh - Email: jmchugh at; Phone: (970) 858-7282.




Julia B. McHugh


Curator of Paleontology

Museum of Western Colorado

P.O. Box 20000

Grand Junction, CO 81502-5020

(970) 858-7282 / (970) 858-3532 fax

Follow us on Twitter! @DinosaurJourney



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