Dinosaur Excavation and Taphonomic Research Project

2024 Expedition

Depart from SWAU: Thursday morning, May 30

Arrive at the Hanson Research Station: Friday morning, May 31

Excavation and classes begin: Monday, June 3

Last day to dig: Tuesday, June 25

Depart from the Hanson Research Station: Thursday morning, June 27

Arrive back in Keene: Friday morning, June 28

Only 84 days until the adventure begins!

"The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living."

Jules Henri Poincare'

For several summers Southwestern Adventist University in collaboration with Earth History Research Center and the Hanson Research Station has been conducting an on-going dinosaur excavation and taphonomic research project in the Lance Formation of eastern Wyoming.

Excavation, recovery, and preservation of the fossil remains is a year-around endeavour involving teachers, students, and researchers.

The actual quarring is conducted on a private cattle ranch. The bones are located in an extensive and rich bone bed containing the disarticulated remains of several upper Cretaceous dinosaurs as well as a few articulated partial specimens. The genera found in roughly decreasing order of abundance:

The project is innovative in its use of digital techniques, including:


The Dinosaur Project is located on a private cattle ranch in eastern Wyoming. The closest town is Newcastle, Wyoming.

The Black Hills in South Dakota are visible from camp, and within easy driving distance from the site are a number of natural wonders, parks, and museums.


The project operates out of a fine camp, Camp Cretaceous, built and maintained by the Hanson Research Station. The facilities include a building with electricity and water, and, therefore, hot water, showers, and toilet facilities as well as kitchen and meeting room. We also have a satellite Internet connection, primarily for project use, but also permits participants to make limited contact with the 21st century.


A brief history of the project throught the years.


The Dinosaur Project welcomes a broad cross-section of participants.

A major goal of the project is to learn answers to scientific questions.

But perhaps the most important goal is to provide an educational experience for students, teachers, and other interested people who feel comfortable with a Christian lifestyle and are open to considering ideas of origins other than the traditional evolutionary paradigm.

Any Interested Person

The project welcomes any interested person to experience the opportunity to find and excavate a fossil that has never before been seen by any human. You may come for a day, two days, a week, or any time including the entire four-week season.


College/University Students

Four semester hours of university undergraduate laboratory science credit from Southwestern Adventist University may be earned during the four-week excavation season by any college or university student including those that have just graduated from High School.


Or any college or university student is welcome to come for non-credit experience for a few days up to the entire four-week excavation season.


High School Juniors and Seniors

There is a special program for interested and qualified High School juniors and seniors (students who have completed their sophomore or junior year but have not yet graduated from High School) to earn four semester hours of university laboratory science from Southwestern Adventist University during the four-week excavation season.


Or any motivated and mature high school student is welcome to come for non-credit experience.



Elementary, secondary, and university teachers may earn four semester hours of undergraduate university laboratory science from Southwestern Adventist University during the four-week excavation season.


Four semester hours of graduate Education are also available for teachers.


Or any teacher is welcome to come for non-credit experience.