Learning More About Dinosaurs

Learning Paleontology

What are some examples of certification programs offered?

There are several certification programs. For example, the Denver Museum of Natural History in Colorado has a Paleontology Certification Program for adults (17 years of age and older). It is offered to people who want to learn more about paleontology and develop skills in the collection and preservation of fossils. Established in 1990, the core certification program includes a series of required courses. These courses provide an introduction to the history of life revealed through the fossil record, as well as knowledge of the theories and techniques in paleontology. After obtaining the basic certificate of competency, which requires completing the mandatory classes, passing a final exam, and approval by a museum committee, the student can continue studies in fossil preparation or field work. After hands-on laboratory courses and a final exam, the student obtains a lab specialization certificate; or, after additional related class work, six days of actual field work, and a final exam, the student can obtain a field specialization certificate. Some students may want to pursue both areas of interest. Classes are usually held in the evenings, with field trips on the weekends. For more information about this program, contact the museum (or check out their Web site at:

Another group that offers a certification program is the Utah Friends of Paleontology. This group offers a certification program for volunteers that prepares them to work with professional paleontologists and to teach others in the community about the field. You can find out more about this group by contacting:

State Paleontologist

Utah Geological Survey

P.O. Box 146100

Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6100

Phone: (801) 537-3311


Web site:


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