Discover North Dakota's prehistoric past with Pioneer Trails Museum's Paleontology Tours

May 3—BOWMAN, N.D. — Explore the prehistoric past of North Dakota with the Pioneer Trails Regional Museum's Paleontology Tours. The museum's staff will take visitors on a fossil road trip to the Hell Creek Formation, known for its significant discoveries of the last-known dinosaurs — including the Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and Edmontosaurus.

The museum's staff will take visitors on a fossil road trip, where they will travel to dig sites located in the vicinity of Bowman, in western North Dakota, to search for fossils that are millions of years old. After a morning of fossil hunting, participants will return to the museum to see their discoveries in the paleontology lab where they can learn about the process of bringing a fossil from the field to display.

"We will take you back to the age that the dinosaurs lived and died, exploring the land 66 million years ago in the Hell Creek Formation. These rocks reflect the swampy and humid environment that dinosaurs once lived in. Today, the rocks are abundant in fossils big and small," Darrah Steffen, Paleontology Curator with The Pioneer Trails Regional Museum, said. "Whatever we find — teeth, scales, bones, fragments, and shell pieces will help us continue to reconstruct the story of western North Dakota as it changed over the eons."

The paleontology field tours are scheduled throughout the summer season from June to August, with a morning session in the field and an afternoon session in the lab. Fossils found on the tours can generally be identified by the museum's field staff throughout the day.

The museum is also looking for summer interns to work in its paleontology department, helping with field tours, creating virtual engagement, display design and construction among other responsibilities. The internships are open to all students with a genuine interest and knowledge of paleontology, especially those aspiring to further their experience outside the classroom.

The internship offers a $5,000 stipend for approximately 11 weeks of work, with flexible start and end dates. The museum will also provide assistance with housing and gas reimbursement, specialized training, and education and interpretive program training among other benefits.

The Pioneer Trails Regional Museum has a thirty-year history of serving rural North Dakota as a hub for history, archaeology, genealogy and paleontology. The museum has established programming taking visitors to numerous paleontologic field sites, including the various pioneer trails that run through the area. In recent years, the museum has been working towards re-establishing the paleontology field programs.

The museum's departments are active in archaeological, genealogical and paleontological research as well as collections relating to local history. According to the museum's mission, the institution aims to preserve and conserve historical artifacts and fossils while providing educational, cultural and research opportunities to the region's schools, individuals and organizations.

For more information on the Paleontology Tours, interested parties may contact the museum at or (701) 523-3600. Those who are interested in applying for the internship may contact the museum at or (701) 523-3600.