Bighorn Basin Dinosaur Project's 2016 Field Expedition

New Jersey State Museum
Menlo Park, California
DOI: 10.18258/6379
Funded on 3/03/16
Successfully Funded
  • $24,707
  • 1692%
  • Funded
    on 3/03/16

About This Project

Since 2001 the New Jersey State Museum has conducted field research in the beautiful and rugged Bighorn Basin of Montana and Wyoming. The 2016 Field Expedition is inviting backers to become field assistants to help us find, collect, and document Jurassic, Cretaceous and Paleogene fossils - especially DINOSAURS! To participate each backer must contribute $1460 which includes lodging and food. 2016 expedition priorities include excavating a 66 million year old Triceratops, and a 145myo Allosaurus.

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What is the context of this research?

Every field season involves searching for, finding, documenting, and excavating fossils, but this year, for the first time, we have two major excavations that must be completed simultaneously. We will continue a difficult excavation of a young, 66 million year old Triceratops at Johnsonops Hill. We'll also open what could be a major excavation in the famous 145 million year old Morrison Formation, where we have to excavate portions of an extremely rare sauropod dinosaur, an Allosaurus, and maybe - just maybe . . . much, much more! Every season is different, and almost every day there are surprises - you just never know what we'll find.

All specimens are eventually prepared and studied, helping us to better understand these amazing animals and their ancient ecosystems.

What is the significance of this project?

Excavating these dinosaur skeletons will provide us a treasure trove of information about the individual animals themselves - how they lived, and how they died. They'll also tell us about their species in general and their relationships to other species in the region, across the continent, and even throughout the world. All of this information will give us better insight into the region's ecosystems, and may help us better understand the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.

Even after our studies are complete, these specimens will help us engage countless visitors through exhibits, demonstrations, and educational programming, at both the Academy of Natural Science of Philadelphia and the New Jersey State Museum, for generations to come.

What are the goals of the project?

Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to work along side, and as, real field paleontologists. Join the Bighorn Basin Dinosaur Project's 2016 Field Expedition, but beware! This is not a vacation! You will be part of a decades-long research project to collect and study the ancient organisms and environments that existed here so many millions of years ago. You will be professionally trained on site to identify, excavate, and prepare real fossils. There also will be opportunities for you to 'prospect', or look for new field sites in surrounding areas.

We have a few known field sites, including 2 major excavation to complete this season, but we never know what we'll find or where. Regardless, our ultimate goal is to find, identify, and preserve these national and natural treasures.


Please wait...

There will be 3 expeditions this year.

Week 1: (July 10-16) SOLD OUT!

Week 2: (July 17-23) SOLD OUT!

Week 3: (July 24-30) 1 out of 20 spots left!

Meet the Team

Jason P. Schein
Jason P. Schein
Assistant Curator of Natural History, New Jersey State Museum


B.S., Geology, Auburn University M.S., Geology, Auburn University
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Team Bio

All 2016 participants of the dig are listed as researchers on the project, so feel free to reach out to them with questions. You can also ask the team questions on the Discussion Page. PLEASE leave questions and comments - we'd love to answer them and start a discussion!

Jason P. Schein

I am fundamentally a natural historian at heart. In nature, both past and present, I find the source of all the inspiration, fascination, and knowledge imaginable. My primary paleontological interests lie in the Late Cretaceous marine and terrestrial ecosystems of North America, including, paleoecology, paleogeography, taphonomy, extinction dynamics, faunistics. My background in geology fuels additional interests in sedimentology, and in recent years I've also developed interests in functional morphology and Pleistocene (Ice Age) megafauna. Finally, I also enjoy sharing my love of nature and paleontology. In addition to teaching geology and paleontology at the university level, I teach natural history and paleontology to children vising the New Jersey State Museum, and field paleontology to students and adults on summer expeditions in Montana and Wyoming.

Additional Information

Previous Campaigns:

The Paleontology Field School

Help us Excavate a Bonebed in Wyoming's Bighorn Basin

Check out the Bighorn Basin Dinosaur Project on Facebook and YouTube!

Project Backers

  • 24Backers
  • 1,692%Funded
  • $24,707Total Donations
  • $1,029.46Average Donation
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