Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

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Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.    
Sam Ewig

Undergraduate Credit

receive 4 semester hours of college credit from  Southwestern Adventist University


Each summer, typically in the month of June, Southwestern Adventist University conducts a Field Research Project in the Lance Formation of eastern Wyoming. The undergraduate course, GEOL 240, The Dinosaurs, is designed for non-science majors who would like to satisfy a general education requirement in laboratory science by engaging in a real science research project. The program consists of a balance of instruction in technique, practical experience in excavating fossil dinosaur remains, overview of dinosaur life, and general science concepts and principles.

As part of the total exposure, "field trips" are planned to museums, natural phenomena, and scenic sights in the Black Hills of South Dakota and the surrounding region.

Four semester credits of lab science college/university credit may be earned during the four week experience.

2025 Expedition

Saturday, 0 through Saturday, 0

Class activities will begin Wednesday morning, January 4 and run through Thursday, -2.

only 133 days until the adventure begins again!

GEOL 240 - The Dinosaurs (4 hours)
Prerequisite: GEOL 112 or permission of instructor.
A field course covering the taxonomic relationships, environment and fossil record of the dinosaurs.  Includes extensive training in field methods of vertebrate paleontology and participation in the dinosaur research project.  Taught for four weeks in Wyoming.  Field fee covering the cost of transportation, room, and board.  3 lec 1 lab (Summer)
The Bulletin 2017-2018 Southwestern Adventist University

Eligible students include:

  • recent high school graduates
  • Southwestern Adventist University students
  • current students at other colleges and universities
  • persons who have earned college or university credit in the past
  • anyone with a college or university degree

If you are already a Southwestern Adventist University student, then
 You will need to submit a project student application and register with your advisor for GEOL 240.

If you are not already a Southwestern Adventist University student, then
 You will need to submit both a project student application and a university application to Southwestern Adventist University.

An admission decision is made after the following are received:

a project student application  [click to submit on-line]
a university application  [print, fill out, and mail]
official High School transcript (if necessary)

The Southwestern university application and High School transcript should be sent to:
Office of Admissions
Southwestern Adventist University
100 W Hillcrest Dr
Keene, TX  76059

Deadline for all application materials:   May 1

You will be notified by approximately May 10.

The position in the course will be secured by:

documentation of a current tetanus vaccination or booster
documentation of a negative TB skin test (within six months) or chest X-ray (within 3 years)
documentation of a current meningitis vaccination if you are 21 years old or younger
a $100 non-refundable deposit paid to Earth History Research Center  

The medical documentation can be FAXed to the University:  (817) 202-6753.

The documentation and deposit needs to be received by May 20.

The deposit will be applied to the fees when you begin the course.

All participants must fill out and sign four Participant Forms before working in the quarry. While these are available at the site, they can also be downloaded, printed, filled out, and brought with you.

In the case for minors, these forms will need to be signed by a parent or guardian. This may mean the signed forms will need to be brought with you.

participant forms

Financial Information


 tuition (paid to Southwestern) $1184  
 site fees, food, transportation  deposit   $100    
 remainder   $1198  $1298  
TOTAL:   $2482  
 text   est $70  

You will need to make arrangements to register through the Records Office at Southwestern Adventist University and make a complete payment to Southwestern for the tuition.

Payment for tuition should be made to Southwestern Adventist University and must be made in cash, check, or credit card (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover) prior to May 15.
Tuition may be paid after you have registered for the course GEOL 240 or EDSC 545 at the Southwestern Adventist University's Cashier Office (817-202-6299).

Payment for the deposit and fees and expenses should be made to Earth History Research Center and may be made in cash, check, or PayPal (ID: ehrc@swau.edu) no later than departure from Keene or arrival on site.

The transportation cost includes the local transportation as well as the initial transportation from Keene, TX to the site and return. The total for the site fees, food, and transportation is to be paid by all students receiving credit regardless of his or her transportation details.

The remainder of the fees beyond the initial deposit should be paid to Earth History Research Center by June 1.

The Field Note Book is available in camp and is included in your fees.

financial details


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