Volunteers started Friends of Dinosaur Ridge and have been our lifeblood ever since!
In 1989, a group of volunteers, including local politicians, state employees, geologists, and paleontologists banded together to form the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge. Organized originally to stop the looting of the unique resources along Dinosaur Ridge, this group also had a vision of sharing their collective knowledge about the area with their neighbors.
Since its inception, the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge has grown to host over 230,000 visitors each year. As an organization with a small staff, volunteers are essential to fulfilling our mission of education and preservation. Please help us continue the legacy of education and preservation by donating your time and talents!
View more volunteer videos and testimonials and learn which Dinosaur Ridge volunteer role fits you best.
Current Volunteering Opportunities:
Outdoor Greeter – Greet visitors at our Main Visitor Center exhibit hall Trek through Time. Volunteer greeters/docents will welcome visitors from a safe 6-foot distance outside of the building (or inside behind a plexiglass shield if preferred), tally the number of people, explain social distancing and capacity rules, and answer general questions about Dinosaur Ridge. Volunteers also assist with sanitizing touchable surfaces in the exhibit hall at the end of their shift. Volunteer one or more shifts a week on a regular schedule or as you are available. Four-hour shifts are available every day of the week and weekends. Training and detailed information about our exhibit Trek through Time is provided.
Please note: To protect both volunteers & visitors, Dinosaur Ridge currently has strict COVID-19 safety measures in place. All volunteers will be required to complete a background check and COVID-19 Safety Acknowledgement, and wear a mask. (A cloth dinosaur-print mask is provided!)
Bring fossils and geology alive by being a volunteer educator or tour guide at Dinosaur Ridge!
Do you enjoy working outdoors with children ages 3-18, or public family and adult groups? In a typical year, over 16,000 school children and hundreds of public visitors participate in our guided education programs and tours at Dinosaur Ridge and Triceratops Trail. For many students from low-income schools this is an exciting trip to the "mountains" to experience the awe and wonder of our unique site. Our scheduled group tours and programs are generally 60-90 min in length and take place on weekdays, but there are also opportunities to lead longer walking tours on weekends. Groups range from schools to senior centers, and have between 6-30 participants/guide. New guides are trained by shadowing experienced guides to learn how to engage participants in observation, discovery, and understanding the fossil sites and geology found on Dinosaur Ridge. Guides may work alone with smaller groups or with several other guides for larger tour groups, but it’s up to you and what you’re comfortable with.
Our school tour times are usually Monday-Friday, 9:30 am-1 pm (depending on the type of tour), outdoors, mainly March-October, and allow for a flexible volunteer schedule.
Friends of Dinosaur Ridge participates in a variety of Outreach Events offsite at community festivals, fairs, and school events. Volunteers are needed to represent the organization at a booth featuring replica fossils, brochures & flyers about FODR, and occasionally an educational activity, We provide you with a well-stocked bin of materials, banner and tablecloth for to take to the event to be our ambassador!
Friends of Dinosaur Ridge also hosts several special educational and fundraising events during the year including Scout Days and Dinosaur Discovery Days. During these events, volunteers answer questions and give short interpretive demonstrations at different sites along the Dinosaur Ridge Trail. There are also hands-on opportunities at the Main Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center where helpers assist visitors with easy-to-learn track painting, gold panning, fossil sifting, metal detecting, orienting visitors, parking, crowd control (as needed), and event set-up and tear-down. Training is provided the day of the event for all hands-on stations. This is a great opportunity for small groups and businesses looking to volunteer group time.
We love having a team of volunteers to greet and orient visitors in our Exhibit Hall called Trek Through Time! Docents answer general questions, give short tours (if desired), and tally visitor numbers. Help with a 4-hour shift on a regular day of the week, every two weeks, or cover open shifts as needed. Training is provided.
Learn a fantastic new skill! You can learn how to cast replica fossils for use in educational projects at Dinosaur Ridge and for sale in the Dinosaur Ridge Gift Shops. Training is provided.
We have a variety of projects that always need doing around the site!
From making sluice bags, to trail maintenance, general landscaping, and painting, we have an endless supply of interesting tasks for volunteers to do year round. We also have opportunities for groups, Scouts (especially Eagle Scout projects), and families. Let us know your availability and interest, and we can meet with you to find a project that fits your needs!
Dinosaur Ridge is always open to considering collaborative, forward-thinking individuals to serve on its Board of Directors.
A Director will be involved with the direction, governance, and finances of the organization. This will include approving the mission, vision, and policies of the organization; selecting and supporting the Executive Director; approving the annual budget; being involved with fund-raising activities; and serving actively on at least one board committee (finance, governance, education, preservation, development or marketing/outreach).
Volunteer Training Classes:
Please click on our Volunteer Training Schedule for details on upcoming trainings. Please note, volunteer trainings require RSVPs at least 3 days in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org to guarantee a spot and sufficient materials.
Volunteer of the Month
In April of 2019, Dinosaur Ridge began recognizing our wonderful volunteers by showcasing the contributions of one volunteer each month. Get to know our wonderful volunteers in the links below and then come meet them for yourself at Dinosaur Ridge!
Something we haven’t mentioned?
Do you have a skill or are you interested in something not listed above? Let us know and we can try to develop a volunteer position that is right for you, or find that special project that matches your skill!
For more information about volunteering with Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, please email email@example.com or call 303-697-3466 x107.