About Us

Welcome to the field blog of the Paleontology Research Lab at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, a global leader in science communication, citizen science, and collections-based research. Our team of paleontologists, students, and volunteers conduct annual expeditions to collect dinosaur and other vertebrate fossils from North Carolina, the southwestern USA, and a variety of locales abroad.  We also serve as a science communication hub, bringing our research and expeditions live from the field through our blogs, photos, and videos.

We are committed to sharing our science.  Our glass-walled lab is on exhibit to more than one million visitors a year, putting active research on display.  Our staff and students give behind-the-scenes tours to thousands of people annually and “Meet-The-Scientist” talks live in the Daily Planet Theater at the NRC weekly.  We also live stream back to the museum from the field to give you real time updates on our expeditions.

Come to the Daily Planet Theater to talk with us live from our expeditions between May and December each year. You can check the museum’s Daily Planet schedule to meet one of our scientists.

For more information on live sessions with the team contact: christopher.smith@naturalsciences.org

Come interact with us!

PARTNER IN OUR DISCOVERIES: DONATE TO OUR RESEARCH & EXPEDITION FUND!

The Paleontology & Geology Research Lab chats with museum visitors, live from our field sites.
The Paleontology Research Lab chats with museum visitors, live from our field sites.

In 2013 we were part of a multi-institutional team awarded a Math & Science Partnership grant from the National Science Foundation to develop discovery-based lesson plans for middle school students and public science projects from our research. Learn more about Students Discover, our partners, and our fabulous teachers.

NC middle school teachers learn about our Fossil Shark Tooth citizen science project 2015
NC middle school teachers learn about our Fossil Shark Tooth citizen science project 2015

We’ve also been working hard to improve publicly accessible natural history specimen data and provide STEM opportunities for student populations historically underrepresented in paleontology thanks to a 2016 award from the National Science Foundation’s Collections in Support of Biological Research Program.  To learn more about our new citizen science program FossilPhiles visit https://fossilphiles.wordpress.com/.

WANT TO KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE LAB?

The fossils we bring back from our field expeditions are removed from their plaster jackets and prepared live in the Paleontology  Research Lab at the NRC. If you visit the lab you can observe our staff and volunteers hard at work preparing our newly collected fossils for scientific research.

The lab staff posts blogs about fossil preparation and other cool lab projects HERE.

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View of the Paleontology Research Lab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
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Live expeditions from the ZannoLab at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences & NC State University

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