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2018 Paleontology Field Study in Montana and Wyoming
Members-only trip

A joint project of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute

digging for fossils 

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a paleontologist? Now you can experience it for yourself as part of a special members-only experience and trip this summer! Academy members are invited to join us for an exciting adventure-filled week prospecting for fossils and exploring the culture and history of the Bighorn Basin of Montana and Wyoming.

Academy and BBPI paleontologists will lead members into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where we will collect Jurassic and Cretaceous terrestrial fossils, including dinosaurs. In the evenings after we dig, we’ll prepare and label our fossils and learn about the geology and paleontology of the area from Academy educators and the museums’ paleontologists. Any fossils found during this trip will go back to the Academy for further study.

Before our trip, participants will get a chance to attend a special reception at the Academy, meeting our paleontologists and the BBPI team members who will be in the field with you. You’ll get to go behind the scenes in our fossil collection and see what the team collected in 2017. We’ll also get you ready for the trip, covering what to expect and bring. We’ll get you set up with your field notebooks, guide, and some Academy branded field gear.

During the trip, we will discover the natural history, human history, and culture of one of the most beautiful habitats in North America. There will be early morning bird walks and evening campfires. We’ll tour the incredible Beartooth Pass—with an elevation of 10,947 feet, it’s the highest paved highway in the Northern Rocky Mountains—and enjoy the spectacular sunset while sipping hot chocolate. We may even spot a mountain goat! And on Friday, after our last day in the field, we’ll celebrate with dinner and the famous pig races at the Bear Creek Saloon.

After we return and the fossils come back to Philadelphia, participants will be invited to join us behind the scenes for exclusive access as we open the jackets of the fossils you found on your trip! Finally, we’ll host a special event at the 2018 Members’ Night to celebrate your discoveries as part of the team!

Don’t miss out on this special members-only opportunity. Spaces are limited—reserve your spot today!

Click here to download the trip packet and learn more!


Sunday, July 29–Saturday, August 4, 2018


Must be at least 13 years old by July 1, 2018
(13–17 must be accompanied by an adult)
Good physical condition
Proof of health insurance
Completed registration forms (download here)


Room and board are provided by the Yellowstone-Bighorn Research Association (YBRA) field station in Red Lodge, Montana. YBRA is a comfortable facility with typical collegiate field camp cabins. Lodging is dormitory-style, with men’s and women’s cabins as well as family options.


$2,000 per person

Fees include registration, food, lodging, collecting tools and equipment, transportation between basecamp and the Billings airport, transportation from basecamp to and from all field sites, and all instruction and educational materials.

NOTE: Fees do not include transportation to and from your home to Billings, Montana. Member participants are responsible for booking all air travel to and from Billings, Montana.

For more information about the experience, please contact Timshel Purdum at 215-405-5071 or

To reserve your spot, click here.

Please contact the Academy Membership Office at 215-299-1022 or with any questions.

Trip Dates:

Sunday, July 29–Saturday, August 4, 2018


$2,000 per person

Payment Schedule:

  • 20% non-refundable deposit of total due up front to hold your spot
  • 50% of remaining balance is due May 25, 2018
  • Final Payment (and registration deadline) is June 15, 2018
  • No refunds after June 15, 2018