Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

        Participation    Graduate credit
Site Map   
Participation What to Expect What to Bring Costs Application Forms Course Materials

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.    
Mark Van Doren

Graduate Credit

Come to hear what the dinosaurs can teach you!


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 university graduate credit may be earned during the four week experience. This course does not satisfy any requirement for the graduate programs offered by Southwestern Adventist University.

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!

EDSC 545 - Dinosaurs for Teachers (4 hours)
This class is designed for teachers who need science credit for an advanced degree in education.  Content covered include developing a working knowledge of geology, consideration of all of the major dinosaur groups, detailed understanding of the Upper Cretaceous fauna of the Lance Formation, issues in each science and origins, and acquiring "hands-on" experience in how science works.  Lab work will include learning excavation techniques for fossils, and excavating dinosaur bones from quarry sites, and contributing to the on-going scientific investigation of the taphonomy of dinosaurs.  The class is taught in Wyoming during the month of June.  2 Lecture, 2 Lab.
The Graduate Bulletin 2017-2018 Southwestern Adventist University

Eligible students include:

  • anyone with a college or university baccalaureate degree

You will need to submit both a graduate project application and a university application to Southwestern Adventist University.

An admission decision is made after the university receives:

a graduate project application  [click to submit on-line]
a university application  [print, fill out, and mail]

The Southwestern university application 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 tetanus and meningitis documentation can be FAXed to the University:  (817) 202-6777.

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) $1740  
 site fees, food, transportation  deposit   $100    
 remainder   $1198  $1298  
 field note book $5  
TOTAL:   $3043  
 text   est $70  

*  Southwestern Union Conference Teachers should check with the Union Office concerning the appropriate tuition charge.

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 charge by May 15.

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

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.


© 2001-2024 by Southwestern Adventist University and Earth History Research Center