Come Join Us!

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 250,000 visitors each year. As an organization with a small staff, volunteers are essential to fulfilling our mission of education and preservation. 

We embrace and encourage our volunteers’ differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our volunteers unique.

Each year, more than 100 volunteers donate 8,000-10,000 hours to protect and preserve Dinosaur Ridge and educate the public about this National Natural Landmark. 

Volunteer

Please help us continue the legacy of education and preservation by donating your time and talents!

(Note: For most roles, volunteers must be 16 years or older to volunteer. See exception below)

Volunteer & Service Opportunities

Exhibit Hall Docent

Welcome and orient visitors to our Exhibit Hall, answer questions, offer information and guidance about the exhibit, and tally visitor information.  Visitors come from all over the world and bi-lingual volunteers are encouraged to apply!

Audience: Visitors of all ages

Training & Skills: Training provided; customer service experience, cheerful disposition; an interest in geology and paleontology, bilingual in another language is a plus. Ages 16 & up

Schedule & Hours: Flexible four-hour shifts are available seven days a week

Location: Indoors, Main Visitor Center

PreK - 3rd Grade Program Guide

Do you enjoy inspiring curiousity in young children ages 3-8?

We are looking volunteers to assist education staff with our outdoor preK – 3rd grade science education programs.  Assist with leading groups of young children to wonder and learn about dinosaurs, rocks and minerals!

Audience: Ages 3-8 with their group leader in groups of no larger than 20 at a time.

Skills & Requirements:  Ages 18+. Experience with young children, teaching or public speaking experience preferred but not necessary. In-depth training is provided. We are also looking for Spanish-speakers to help us translate and deliver our programs in Spanish!

Schedule & Hours: Onsite program assistance 6+ hours a month. Most programs are held between 9-3pm on weekdays.

Location: Outdoor spaces at Main Visitor Center and dinosaur tracksite on the Ridge

Educator & Tour Guide

Bring fossils and geology to life for school children and special adult tour groups. Lead outdoor education programs and tours using interactive, science-based methods to observe, discover, and interpret the natural wonders found on Dinosaur Ridge. Bilingual in Spanish?  We would love to your help to expand our programs into Spanish.

Audience: Children 3-18 and Adult Groups

Training & Skills: In-depth training provided; experience with children, public speaking or teaching preferred. Bilingual in Spanish (or another language) is a plus, but not required. Ages 18+

Schedule & Hours: Weekdays 9-3

Location: Trails and outdoor spaces at our Main Visitor Center

Garden & Landscaping Volunteers

Garden Assistant:

Do you enjoy gardening and volunteering outdoors? Assist with regular weekly weeding/watering and assist with planting and larger landscape maintenance projects on an occasional basis.

  • Schedule & Hours:  3-4 hours once a week between 8am-5pm, March-October.  Volunteer any day of the week that works for your schedule. Additional occasional hours for larger group projects. (4-6 hours/day, 2-3 times per year).
  • Skills & Requirements:  Gardening & landscape maintenance experience. Physical ability to stoop, dig and lift 20-30 lbs. Willingness to work outdoors in varied weather conditions. Ages 16 & up ( or 14 & up with an adult guardian)
  • Location: Outdoors at the Main Visitor Center and Discovery Center Grounds.

Garden Lead Volunteer:

Do you enjoy designing and maintaining flower gardens and landscaped areas?  Do you enjoy working with and coordinating a team of volunteers to accomplish projects?  Dinosaur Ridge is looking for a volunteer to take the lead in designing and maintaining our gardens and grounds including:

  • Creating an annual garden design and plan on a limited budget.
  • Creating and overseeing a weekly/daily watering and weeding schedule for garden volunteers to maintain the landscaped areas.
  • Working with maintenance team to help reduce their workload in maintaining the grounds.
  • Coordinating our Spring/Fall clean-up including shrub and tree trimming at both locations with the assistance of the staff Maintenance Lead, Director of Volunteers and other volunteers.
  • Designing, organizing and supervising corporate volunteer group projects with the help of the Volunteer Director and Maintenance Lead (2-3 times per year). These projects are typically a full day’s work wth 4-6 hours of planning.
  • Schedule & Hours:  A flexible schedule of 6-10 hours per week with onsite service between 8am-5pm any day of the week primarly between March-November.
  • Skills & Requirements:   Gardening & landscape maintenance experience.  Friendly people management skills including coordination, delegation and one-on-one training. Physical ability to stoop, dig and lift 30-40 lbs. Willingness to work outdoors in varied weather conditions. Training will be provided by our current Garden Lead. Ages 18+
  • Location: Outdoors at the Main Visitor Center and Discovery Center Grounds. Planning time can be served remotely.

Outreach & Special Events Volunteers

Dinosaur Ridge participates in a variety of Outreach Events offsite at community festivals, fairs, and school events. Volunteers represent the organization at educational booths featuring replica fossils, dinosaur models and educational information and occasionally assist with an educational activity for kids. We provide you with a well-stocked bin of materials, banner and tablecloth for to take to the event to be our ambassador!

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,  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. Ages 16+ (younger volunteers may volunteer with a parent or guardian).

Fossil Caster

Learn how to cast plaster replica fossils used in educational programs at Dinosaur Ridge and for sale in our Gift Shops.

Hours: Monday-Sunday during business hours (but currently training is only provided weekdays)

Training & Skills: Hands-on training provided; attention to detail, willingness to get hands dirty! Ages 16+ (younger volunteers may volunteer with a parent or guardian)

Location: Casting Room, Main Visitor Center

Jr. Camp Counselor (Ages 14-18)

Junior counselors are volunteers between the ages of 14 and 18 who gain valuable experience in what it takes to create a fun, educational environment for camp participants ages 5-13. Gain new leadership skills, earn volunteer credit in support of your school or college application goals, and enjoy time outdoors at the site of our National Natural Landmark.
Note: all Jr. Counselors must be available for 2 weeks of camp either during Spring Break Camp (March 20-24) or Summer Camp (weeks need not be consecutive). There may be an opportunity to volunteer for more than 2 weeks (please ask).   See our Camp page for dates and details. To apply, please complete our Jr. Counselor Application.

Board of Directors

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 includes 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).

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Office Volunteer

Use your technology and organizational skills in data entry, writing, and editing to assist Dinosaur Ridge with special events, programs, and office projects.

Hours: Flexible shifts, Monday-Friday and occasional work from home

Training & Skills: Office skills as needed

Location: Indoors, Main Visitor Center

Other Volunteer Projects & Group Opportunities

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 both our needs and your interests!

Do you have a group that is interested in helping with an outdoor project such as landscape maintenance, building or painting outdoor structures, trail cleanup etc. Contact us at volunteer@dinoridge.org and we’ll find a project!

Community Service

Dinosaur Ridge provides opportunities for court-mandated or other required community service.  Community service volunteers generally assist with facilities or landscape maintenance projects. Please send an email outlining your required hours, availability and skills to our Maintenance Lead at Kody.Desch@dinoridge.org

Questions?

Contact us with your questions regarding volunteer opportunities:

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