Paleo Lab Volunteer
Research & Collections
NOTE: This position's primary duties are carried out at the Fair Park campus.
The Paleo Lab Volunteer will assist museum paleontologists with cleaning and preparation of fossils and maintenance of the Paleo Lab.
Paleo Lab volunteers are involved with the handling of ancient, fragile, and often irreplaceable specimens of scientific importance. As such, they are expected to treat all fossil material, as well as lab equipment, with great care and respect. Lab volunteers will learn appropriate fossil preparation techniques, operation of equipment, and long-term specimen curation methods. While working, Paleo Lab volunteers are "on exhibit" and visible to the public, so appropriate behavior and appearances are necessary.
Skills and Abilities
Paleo Lab volunteers must be able to work with various fossil preparation tools, including small-needle picks, air scribes and other appropriate hand-tools. Ability to perform detail-oriented, manual work on delicate objects is a plus. Must be willing and capable to work with a variety of adhesives and chemical solutions in a dusty, loud environment.
- Orientation: 4 hours
- Orientations held monthly
- Sign up for orientation of choice at initial interview
To be determined by the Fossil Preparator.
Schedule to be agreed upon and determined at the discretion of the Fossil Preparator.
A minimum of two hours per shift. Once weekly for a period of one year is encouraged. The Paleo Lab is available for volunteer shifts from 9am-4pm Monday through Friday ONLY.
18 and older
The Paleo Lab working environment is often noisy, very dusty, and often involves the use of various solvents, adhesives, sharp tools, and heavy rock specimens. Volunteers should be prepared to use hearing protection (either ear plugs or over the head ear "muffs"), and dust masks, which will be supplied by the lab. Contact lens wearers should either wear glasses on days they work in the lab, or wear lab safety glasses or goggles while in the lab. Closed-toed, fully enclosed footwear is a must. No sandals, flip-flops, crocs, flats, or other footwear that leave the top or sides of the foot exposed.
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