Tate Dinosaur Digs | Casper College, Wyoming

Tate Dinosaur Digs

2018 Tate Museum Dinosaur Digs

Thanks for your interest in joining the Tate Geological Museum on one of our popular 2018  summer Dinosaur Digs. 

The goals of Tate Geological Museum Dinosaur Digs are to offer fun, educational experiences to the public while building up the museum’s collections for display and/or research.  Registration will be through the museum and CEU credit will be available upon request.  The fee  includes six nights of lodging, six dinners, five field lunches, five breakfasts at the hotel in Lusk or Medicine Bow, snacks and drinks/water, and all ground transportation from Casper.  The price includes a double occupancy room.  There is an extra fee if you want to room solo.  

A non-refundable deposit of $450.00  is required upon registration to hold your place. The balance of the fee is due no later than 60 days prior to the start of the dig.

The minimum age for participation is 16  (16 and 17-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult participant.)  We take about 7 or 8 people on each dig.  

Schedule 2018

The 2018 digs are all sold out.  Call or email (contact info below) if you would like to ask about being on the wait list.  Or send an email if you would like us to send you an email when the 2019 schedule is finalized (usually around Christmas or New Year's).  

We will be doing four dig weeks this summer, the first one on June 18-22, the second one July 9-13, the third July 23-27 and the fourth September 17-21. These dates are all Monday through Friday.  Participants should be in Casper on the Sunday evening before so we can get started first thing Monday morning.  The trip includes hotel stays in Casper the first (Sunday) and last night, as well as hotel stays in Lusk or Medicine Bow the rest of the week.  Fossils collected remain property of the Tate Geological Museum, although participants are usually allowed to bring home a few samples of bone. Additionally, a museum volunteer photographer typically documents the dig and shares photos with participants.

June 18-22 and July 23-27 will be at the Meadow Ranch in eastern Wyoming, digging in the late Cretaceous Lance Formation.  We have been collecting on this ranch for twelve years and still have a lot to do there.  There are a number of sites we may work during the week.  There are a few bone beds, sites with all sorts of bones mixed together.  There are several Triceratops sites we may explore.  The final decision of what we will work on will be made later… I am open to the ideas of participants.  We may also find some time for prospecting.  The fossils here are for the late Cretaceous, about 65-66 million years old. 

July 9-13 and September 17-23 we will be will be returning to the Morrison Formation at Como Bluff, near the town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming.  The fossils here date to the Jurassic Period and are about 140 million years old.  We may continue to explore and collect at the NASA site which contains a sauropod and a camptosaur...so far.  Last summer we found a group of three medium sized vertebrae on the surface near the NASA site that deserve to be explored.  We may also dig at other sites on this ranch.  This ranch is part of the historical Como Bluff that was collected by Cope and Marsh in the early days of dinosaur exploration.  Numerous historic quarries are on this ranch.  

The trips are run by the Tate's field operations and prep lab manager, JP Cavigelli.  JP's expertise has led to his participation in numerous paleontological expeditions throughout the West as well as in Niger, Mongolia, and Tanzania. JP's recent projects include leading the excavation and preparation of Lee Rex, the only Tyrannosaurus rex found in Wyoming that will stay in Wyoming.

Fee Includes

Accommodations in Casper are included on the Sunday  evening prior to the dig and the Friday  evening after the dig at the Ramkota Hotel. The hotel offers a free shuttle to and from Casper-Natrona County International Airport. The cost of a dig also includes hotel accommodations in either Lusk (Covered Wagon Hotel) or Medicine Bow (Virginian Hotel), depending on the dig site.  The Covered Wagon Hotel in Lusk offers continental breakfast. The hotel’s indoor pool and hot tub are always welcome after a hard day in the field. The Virginian Hotel in Medicine Bow is more rustic… sit down restaurant breakfast and no pool.  All hotel accommodations are double occupancy. Same sex roommates are assigned as necessary. Single occupancy, based on hotel room availability, can be arranged at extra cost of $250.  Any hotel rooms that differ from this arrangement are not covered in the cost of the dig.  Simple, delicious lunches in the field are provided daily, as are dinners each night in town. Cost is $900 for all digs. Booze is not included in the cost of trips.  Dig fees also include all transportation from Casper to the dig site and back to Casper at the end of the dig.  


Participants are required to sign a Release Form. 

Print out these forms, fill them out and send with your payment to :

Tate Geological Museum- Summer Dinosaur Digs
Casper College
125 College Dr.
Casper, WY 82601

For more information please call 307-268-3008 or email J.P. Cavigelli at jpcavigelli at caspercollege dot edu.