Student Field Research Opportunities

The Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory has an active field program in Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments of western North America. Field research and fossil collecting are routinely conducted by faculty, staff and graduate students. Many opportunities exist for undergraduates to gain field experience as well.

We encourage field studies as an integral part of graduate thesis and dissertation research. Many graduate students have written master’s theses and doctoral dissertations with large components of original field research. Field research has taken our students all over the American west and well into Mexico. A large proportion of the specimens in the VPL collections were collected by students for graduate research projects.

Graduate students and undergraduates are integral to faculty research field programs. One such program is now being carried out in Triassic and Jurassic sediments of the Southwestern U.S., where graduate students and undergraduates help to discover and excavate remains of early dinosaurs, the oldest turtles in North America, ancient amphibians, and other important research specimens.