Position Title: Paleontology Assistant
Park Unit: Dinosaur National Monument
Location: Jensen, Utah
Number of positions available: 2
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 12 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 10/07/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $565.00
Relocation Allowance: $400.00

CURRENT NUMBER OF APPLICANTS: Under 75 (This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first.)

The SIP intern will clean the Carnegie Quarry Fossil Wall surface, including (but not limited to) fossils and rocks, which is located in the Quarry Exhibit Hall (QEH). Primary areas of emphasis for this position are the cleaning fossils and rock surfaces of dust, lint, smudges, and debris. Fossils will also be repaired, as needed, and inventoried. Fossil digitization will also take place through the use of photogrammetry.

Due to the angle of the quarry wall, fall protection is required for anyone climbing on the quarry wall above four feet. The quarry has been equipped with a system to accommodate a team of two workers on a rope system. Applicants should be comfortable working with a rope system (on site training provided) and with working on high (up to 60 feet), slopping and uneven surfaces. The Quarry Wall is located on a fossil bearing sandstone that tilts 60 degrees and is traversed via ledges, so good balance is necessary. The SIP intern will be working in direct view of the QEH visitors, and may need to spend time communicating with visitors about their work. Opportunities may also exist to apply the participant’s specialized skills to related projects that have potential to benefit the monument’s paleontology program.

The position will contribute toward the conservation, management, research, and interpretation of the fossil resources which define the purpose of Dinosaur National Monument.

The project will allow for 2 12-week interns to be hired to work with the DINO paleontologist to accomplish a set of tasks:

1) Document and inventory all 1500 fossils on the Carnegie Quarry face using traditional techniques, as well as utilizing photogrammetry for long term monitoring needs. Any fossils will be evaluated for their current risk and assigned a treatment plan as needed.

2) The regional safety office was contacted, and we were informed that the existing backpack style vacuums with HEPA or ash filters on them that DINO has, along with a half-face respirators/masks, would protect staff during cleaning from hanta virus risks, and was approved for use. Due to the angle of the quarry wall, we meet OSHA fall protection requirements for general industry, ensuring that fall protection is required for anyone climbing on the quarry wall above four feet. The quarry has been equipped with a system to accommodate a team of two workers on a rope system, and DINO has three staff certified to conduct the training of these systems. This will eliminate the need for a crane or other motorized systems to gain access to the fossils on the quarry face.

3) Developed a long-term systematic program for monitoring the quarry face and it’s preservation. We will also establish a cleaning process that adheres to all safety standards and guidelines.

The Quarry Exhibit Hall is the main destination for approximately 95% of the monument’s 320,000 annual visitors, which this program will directly impact.


  • The development of a long-term systematic plan for stabilizing and monitoring the quarry face and it’s preservation, including an establish cleaning process that adheres to all safety standards and guidelines;
  • Preparing inventory records and database records;
  • Creating digital imagery of fossils.

A degree of independence and latitude is allowed in the development of this plan, based on interns’ past educational experiences. Preparation of abstracts and presentations for professional annual meetings will be encouraged for participants planning to attend with the park’s involvement and permission.


Applicants should be advanced undergraduate or graduate students whose educational background and career objectives are in paleontology or museum studies. Applicants must have completed basic undergraduate course work toward a degree in geology, earth sciences, or biology, with an emphasis in paleontology, or with an academic background emphasizing museum studies or fossil conservation, have strong leadership and team building skills, and the ability to work with a diverse workforce. Preference will be given to students who demonstrate ambition to pursue paleontology as a career. Previous experience in fall protecting/rope use/rock climbing is desirable. Experience with fossil stabilization, conservation of paleontological objects, fossil preparation, and/or photography will be useful. Excellent writing skills and physical hand writing skills are required. A hand writing sample will be required prior to your arranged interview. The participant should be able to work well independently or on a team, and be able to safely work in the abovementioned environment.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (“Green Card holder”). Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required. The applicant must be available to participate for 12 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

Natural Environment
: Dinosaur National Monument straddles northwest Colorado & northeast Utah. The area is high desert, 5000 feet in elevation, with summer high temperatures of 100F, lows of 50F, and 10% humidity. Housing/work area is located in Jensen, Utah. The nearest city is Vernal, Utah which is 25 miles west of the park.

Physical Work Environment: Much of the work will be conducted in the Quarry Exhibit Hall, although some work may take place in an office, lab or field setting. Green River Resource Center, the Quarry Exhibit Hall & the museum collections (located in Vernal, Utah) are usually air conditioned. Some work spaces are not air conditioned and may require working outside or shaded areas for prolonged periods of time. Some work will be conducted by hand, and will often be messy and require the use of glues and plaster, which can be harsh on the skin. PPE will be provided and the intern will be required to take a mask fit test and at times required to wear an air filtration mask. Strict use of a fall protection system and rope/harness will be enforced while utilizing the quarry wall, for which on site training is provided.


  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. Park provided housing is in a 3 bedroom HVAC house furnished as a dormitory (with 2-5 roommates) incl. all amenities (stove, utensils, pots, pans, frig, washer and dryer, bathroom with shower, etc.). Depending on park staffing rooms may need to be shared (2 persons/room, no mixed sexes). Housing is in the housing area of the Green River District (Jensen, Utah) so intern will be in the community of permanent and seasonal staff. House is located 50 yards from work office.

paleontology, dinosaurs, fossils, geology, Jurassic

This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications, or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first. Once you begin applying for a position, the application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return later to complete it. Applicants can apply for up to five Scientists in Parks Intern positions per winter. You need to complete a separate application for each position in order to be considered. You should receive a confirmation email after successfully submitting an application. Sometimes institutional email filters/settings can redirect or block emails related to the application. We recommend watching spam, junk, and promotional email folders in case your service delivers messages there. Please visit How to Apply for additional resources and information about applying (i.e., learn what materials to have ready for applying, find a worksheet that previews application questions, etc.)