GEOL 491: Field Paleontology

Hosted by: Elevation Science Institute / Montana State University-Billings

June 29, 2024 - July 13, 2024


This course is designed to provide extensive field-based opportunities for students to interpret the paleoecological conditions present in the Bighorn Basin region during the Mesozoic Eras of geologic time. Students will spend their days searching for, collecting, excavating, and documenting fossils, fossil localities, and geological evidence for the paleoenvironmental conditions that existed in this region many millions of years ago. Most field collecting and instruction will focus on the Jurassic Morrison Formation, with potential additional opportunities to work in the latest Cretaceous Lance Formation. Students also will learn about the larger-scale regional geology, stratigraphy, and paleogeography. Throughout the course, you will work alongside paleontologists and graduate students with various backgrounds and fields of expertise. Informal evening classroom sessions will provide interactive instruction and hands-on activities.


3 Credit Hours

Application Deadline



Tuition - 450
Other course fees - $3,900

Other Important Information

Registration is open until Mark 29, 2024, but the course always fills up months before that. Availability and wait-list options are available on the website. Don't wait to sign up! Every year we have to turn people away!

Contact Info

For more information, contact Jason Schein ( or Dr. Rick Schmidt (