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

Project Results

2016 was a pivotal year for our crew.  Thanks to the success of our campaign, 20 people joined our field crew over 3 weeks, helping us to explore new areas outside of our traditional field sites.  We excavated parts of an important, rare species, and enjoyed some great press for it.  We had time to prospect those new areas too, finding enticing hints of fossil riches to come.  Most importantly, these successes drove us to take the next big step into the future.  

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
Founding Executive Director, Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute


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

Very simply, I want to do nothing more than surround myself with nature and learn everything I can about it in the short time I have on this planet. I am a natural historian at heart.

I studied geology at Auburn University and paleontology at Drexel University. My publications range a variety of subjects from giant sea turtles to the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. I am most fascinated by the Late Cretaceous marine and terrestrial ecosystems in North America because it allows me to combine my loves of paleontology, nature, the outdoors, and the history and grandeur of the great American West.

I've participated or led expeditions in Argentina and across the United States. As the Founding Executive Director of the Bighorn Basin Paleontological Institute, I now lead annual summer expeditions in the Bighorn Basin in Montana and Wyoming. The BBPI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to paleontology and earth science research, education, and outreach.

Suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is where I call home. I fill my "free" time by hunting, fishing, writing, and learning. I love sharing my love and knowledge of the natural world with my family and being a Dad.

Visit to learn more about our organization. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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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