This summer, paleontologists at the Gray Fossil Site and Museum will be busy with fossil excavation and preservation tasks, and they are looking for volunteers to help.
On Saturday, April 30, the museum will host a volunteer campaign where attendees will learn about ongoing operations at the site and how they can get involved this year. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Gray Fossil Site, overseen by the Don Sundquist Center of Excellence in Paleontology at East Tennessee State University, is all that remains of a five-million-year-old ecosystem that once housed a variety of plants and animals. old.
Since the site was discovered in 2000, volunteers have been invaluable contributors to the museum’s work of collecting, cleaning and sorting the site’s thousands of fossils, from tiny plant seeds and fish bones to enormous skeletons of rhinos and behemoths.
The museum needs volunteers now more than ever to support the crucial process of extracting fossils from the sediments and storing them in the museum, museum officials said. This year’s volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in the field as well as inside the lab. Volunteer positions will begin in May.
After the drive, volunteers can apply by filling out an application form on site or online. No previous experience with fossils is necessary to apply.
Applicants can be as young as 16 and minors will need a guardian’s signature to apply. Volunteers can work three or more hours per week on a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, but positions are limited.
The Gray Fossil Site and Museum is located at 1212 Suncrest Drive in Gray.