Tate Dinosaur Digs

2019 Tate Museum Dinosaur Digs

Thanks for your interest in joining the Tate Geological Museum on one of our popular  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, 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 between seven and ten people out on each dig, so spots fill up fast.

Schedule 2019 

We will have five Dinosaur Digs this summer:

June 16-21… Sorry, this dig is full. 

July 8-13… Sorry, this dig is full.  

August 4-9… Sorry, this dig is full.

August 18-23

September 8-13… Sorry, this dig is full.  

These dates are all Sunday evening through Friday , except the July 8-13, which is Monday through Saturday.  Participants should be in Casper on the Sunday (or Mon July 8) evening for dinner, then we get started first thing Monday morning.  The trip includes hotel stays in Casper the first  and last nights, 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.

July 8-13 and August 18-23 will be at the Meadow Ranch in eastern Wyoming, digging in the late Cretaceous Lance Formation.  We have been collecting on this ranch for thirteen 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.  Friday evening July 12th we will attend the Legend of the Rawhide Pageant in Lusk.  This is small town America at its finest, with a hoe-down. (That is my personal review.  See this page for more comprehensive review of Rawhide).

June 16-21, August 4-9 and September 8-13   we 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.  Our primary goal this summer is to explore more of a Diplodocus site we found last summer.  So far we have found a good portion of the skull and part of the tail.  There are other sites we may explore as well, including a microsite.  This ranch is part of the historic Como Bluff that was collected by Cope and Marsh in the early days of dinosaur exploration.  Numerous historic quarries are located on this ranch.

(For those interested, the Denver rock and mineral and fossil show is the weekend before and after the last dig, Sept 13-15.  In Denver, of course).

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, Alaska’s North Slope 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 (Monday for the July 8-13 dig) evening prior to the dig and the Friday (Saturday for the same)  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 $950 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@caspercollege.edu