Paleontology Technician – Cedar City, UT

Paleontology Technician

Southern Utah University

Cedar City, UT


  • Schedule: M-F 8-4:30, or 7-5:30 M-Th
  • Housing: No Housing Available
  • Dates: 05-01-2023 – 08-31-2023
  • Agency: Bureau of Land Management
  • Location: GSENM (Kanab UT)

The successful intern’s primary workload will be to assist in field surveys as part of an ongoing Monument Management Plan directed inventory of important fossil resources for management and research purposes. Methods for field surveys consist of hiking pre-determined target areas while closely examining Late Cretaceous age rock outcroppings for fossil materials (with an emphasis on vertebrates such as dinosaurs). When sites are located, they will be documented using standard format field forms, GPS, and digital photography and assessed as to significance via surface testing. Significant sites found during the inventory (or previous inventories) would require collection/excavation which will be done under close supervision by the Monument Paleontologist. The intern may at times assist crews from partner institutions in excavation work. The work environment and terrain conditions may be extreme (e.g. heat, cold, thunderstorms, steep badlands). Lifting of loads up to 50 pounds will be common during excavations and lab work. Camping in remote backcountry settings (vehicle-based) for up to four days is also necessary.


This position requires hiking predetermined target areas to examine rock for fossil materials. It conducts surface testing with standard format field forms and equipment, collection and excavation (done under supervision of the Monument Paleontologist), and assists crews from partner organizations in excavation work. Duties will also include office and lab-based work such as report writing, collections management, specimen preparation, and curation and research. Office and lab-based work involves mechanical removal of matrix from bone specimens and the use of stabilizers and glues to enhance their stability for exhibit or curation. Use of pneumatic tools and hand tools for removal of hard matrices like sandstone will be routine. Record keeping for specimen preparation and inventory will involve keeping worksheets updated and excel files current. Some public interpretive opportunities such as leading site or lab tours may also arise on a limited basis. Work in the lab and on excavations will be supervised by an agency mentor, most specifically, the Monument’s Paleontologist. Fieldwork is conducted largely in the interior of the rugged and remote Kaiparowits Plateau.


This opportunity is suitable for youth working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree in geology or geo-science related discipline. The position will require time outdoors and fieldwork that is often under somewhat rigorous physical conditions. Intern should also demonstrate through actual work experience the ability to work well independently. A good pair of ankle supporting hiking boots is necessary. Gear for backcountry camping will be provided by the agency. Living Arrangements: Intern must provide own living quarters. Kanab is a rural community with limited services available.


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