Paleobotany Lab Preparator

Do you like fossil leaves? Do you have experience and patience for doing exacting, detailed, work requiring good hand/eye coordination? If so, apply to be a “Leaf Whacker” volunteer, our group of paleobotany lab preparators at the Museum. We prepare 40-70 million year old fossil leaves collected everywhere from the Green River Formation in Colorado to the Winthrop Formation in Washington State so that they can be stored in our new state-of-the-art collections facility and readily studied by researchers. Leaf Whackers use air scribes to remove excess matrix and expose delicate leaf fossils. Following the application process, all prospective Leaf Whackers must attend an initial orientation and training to become Leaf Whacker Certified and participate. Further on the job training will be provided.

Required Skills 

  • Fine motor skills
  • Excellent hand/eye coordination
  • Experience handling delicate objects
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to follow instructions to ask for clarification/instructions if necessary
  • Patience
  • Strong interest in paleobotany and/or paleontology a plus
  • Commitment to improving preparation skills


All new volunteers must attend a madatory orientation/training. No previous experience in fossil identification necessary, but useful. On the job training will be provided and volunteers will be able to consult with paleobotany staff while prepping.


Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. Must volunteer two shifts per month.


Age Requirements
Available to applicants 18 or older.


How To Apply
To apply please complete the online Adult Volunteer Application. If you have any questions please call the Volunteer Services Department at 303.370.6490.

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