Carmel Church excavation dates set

We’ve scheduled our next Carmel Church excavation for this summer. As we’ve done in the past, we’re using this excavation as a training exercise to teach people how to excavate fossils, so we’re inviting you to take part in this summer’s excavation. You can choose from three 1-week sessions:

July 17 – July 23
July 24 – July 30
July 31 – August 6

There are more details available on our field trip page, but here are some key points:

— Rates are $800/person, but there are discounts for VMNH members, booking in pairs, etc. A portion of the fee is tax deductible.

— The fee includes your hotel room (double occupancy) and meals for the week.

— For safety and insurance reasons, all participants must fill out a VMNH volunteer form, a liability waiver, and undergo site safety training.

— No children under 13, and minors must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

— All specimens are collected for the museum; this isn’t a personal collecting trip.

You don’t have to have any prior training in excavations to take part in the trip; we’ll provide the tools you’ll need and train you to dig, identify specimens, and make field jackets. One of the nice things about Carmel Church is that you’re almost guaranteed to find something!

If you’re interested in participating in the trip or have any questions, please contact me by email.

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3 Responses to Carmel Church excavation dates set

  1. Anonymous says:

    One suggestion – switch to wet paper towel as a separator for your jackets! Every professional preparator will tell you that a paper product as separator is vastly superior to aluminum foil. It conforms better to the surface and acts as a cushion.

  2. Alton Dooley says:

    We use paper towels or toilet paper on most of our excavations, but we’ve found we can’t use it at Carmel Church.

    For years we struggled with the Carmel Church jackets, as about 50% of them never set up properly. We tried different types of plaster, different mixing ratios, different water sources, and all kinds of variations. It was especially confusing to us because our jacket success rate in Wyoming was about 100%.

    Eventually we opened one of those soft jackets, and we found that the paper and the inside of the plaster had turned yellow. As it turns out, the sediment at Carmel Church is quite wet, and full of sulfur. Apparently the paper wicks sulfur out of the sediment and into the plaster, preventing it from setting.

    Once we realized that might be the problem we tried switching to foil. Since then our jacket success rate is near 100%.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow – thats really interesting; I’ve never heard of such a problem! Crazy things happen in the field. Certainly good rationale for not using paper products – I stand corrected! Have you tried putting some sort of plastic barrier between the paper and plaster? May be more trouble than its worth, but would make for an interesting experiment.

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