Call for Volunteers at the Gray Fossil Site!

This summer, paleontologists at the Gray Fossil Site & Museum are going to be busy with the tasks of excavating and preserving fossils, and they’re looking for volunteers to help out!

On Saturday, April 30th, the museum, located in Gray, TN, will host a Volunteer Drive where attendees will learn about the ongoing operations at the site and how they can participate this year. The event will be held from 10am-12pm.


The Gray Fossil Site is all that remains of a five-million-year-old ecosystem that was once home to an amazing variety of ancient plants and animals. Since the discovery of the site in 2000, volunteers have been invaluable contributors to the museum’s work of collecting, cleaning, and sorting the site’s many thousands of fossils, from tiny plant seeds and fish bones to massive rhino and mastodon skeletons.

The museum needs volunteers now more than ever to support the crucial process of getting fossils out of the sediment and into museum storage. This year’s volunteers will have the opportunity to participate out in the field as well as inside the lab. Volunteer positions will begin in May.


A volunteer cleans fossils in the preparation lab.
Volunteers have the chance to work alongside paleontologists in the lab on the tasks of cleaning and restoring fossils.
A volunteer's hand holds a small fossil bone over the sediment screens.
Volunteers are often the very first people to see new fossils in the sediment or to handle new fossils in the lab.

After the drive, volunteers can apply by filling out an application form on-site or online. No prior experience with fossils is necessary to apply. Applicants can be as young as 16 years old, and minors will require a guardian’s signature to apply. Volunteers can work three or more hours per week on a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities, but positions are limited, so now’s the time to join!

Follow this link for more information about volunteering, and follow this link for more information about the Gray Fossil Site itself. For any further questions, contact Shawn Haugrud at

The Gray Fossil Site & Museum is located at 1212 Suncrest Drive in Gray, TN.