Exploring a Career in the Paleontology Field

ReBecca Hunt-Foster is the Monument Paleontologist and Museum Curator at Dinosaur National Monument and Mathew Carson is a Senior Paleontologist at Paleo Solutions, Inc.

Paleontological resources are considered to be non-renewable natural resources that provide direct evidence of ancient life. Paleontologists study these fossil remains and work in a variety of career paths, including academia, museums, secondary education, non-profits, as well as on public lands or as mitigation paleontologists. This webinar will feature two presenters representing mitigation and federal paleontology careers. Speakers will provide information on the typical daily activities, how to prepare for a career in this field (including curriculum, résumé, and interview tips), common career trajectories of the profession, and where to find these career opportunities.

Mitigation paleontologists work on a variety of land, transportation, and energy development projects focusing on the documentation, recovery, and preservation of paleontological resources that are threatened by ground disturbances associated with such development projects. With increased development throughout the western United States, the need for qualified paleontologists in the paleontological mitigation industry has increased steadily over the past twenty years, with employment opportunities expanding in the private environmental consulting industry. Federal paleontologists often work for the National Park Service (NPS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), or the Forest Service, and are tasked with a wide varieties of duties. They work to manage and protect fossils using scientific principals and expertise, coordinate and facilitate research, planning and activities with a variety of academic, museum, and educational partners, and increase awareness about the scientific and educational values of fossils.


Previously recorded on Wednesday, 24 April 2019 1pm–2pm ET