Dinosaur Institute - Proyecto Dinosaurios | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Staff and volunteers prospect for Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous fossils in the dramatic landscape of Utah.
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Meet the Students of “Proyecto Dinosaurios”

Learn more about the students and their research projects. Learn more >

Professional Development

Cal Paleo 2012 Conference.
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Field Expedition Photos

Excavation and exploration across the American West

Enrichment Experience Photos

Travels during “Proyecto Dinosaurios”

Exploring Across North America

Discovering the many facets of geoscience through visits to geologic sites. Learn more >


Proyecto Dinosaurios

Community colleges are key targets to mitigate the severe underrepresentation of minorities in the geosciences. Proyecto Dinosaurios is a summer internship program that aims to build a network of cooperation between community colleges in the greater Los Angeles area and the Dinosaur Institute, and to use the appeal of dinosaurs to engage underrepresented undergraduates in geoscience research. This year, Proyecto Dinosaurios is funded by the Ahmanson Foundation.



Expose minority (primarily Hispanic) American students to the scientific activities of graduate students, professional paleontologists, and supporting staff, both in the field and in the lab.  Help students recognize career and schooling options within the geosciences.  Encourage students to transfer to a 4-year college and continue on to graduate studies.  Create awareness and familiarity of the process of scientific endeavor — increase understanding about the nature of science.


Recruiting undergraduates for a summer of all aspects of paleontological research – field work, lab preparation, and curation.
Augment student experience with a series of workshops relating to fossil preparation, curation, illustration, and graduate studies.
Expose students to the diversity of geologic sites of the American West. 


“Proyecto Dinosaurios” creates awareness about the professional possibilities within the geosciences and encourages students to pursue majors and graduate programs in paleontology or other disciplines within the earth sciences. Over all, “Proyecto Dinosaurios” provides a summer of hands-on experience in most aspects of the paleontological endeavor.


“Proyecto Dinosaurios” also includes a component of fieldwork. This is designed to give participants the opportunity to experience and learn how paleontology is done in the field using appropriate tools and methodology. This includes understanding the local geology, prospecting, GPS data collection and safe recovery of fossils. An important objective is to have the participants work side by side with professional paleontologists and see how fieldwork is done. All the fossil sites will emphasize vertebrate localities from the Triassic through to the Pleistocene. An additional objective is to experience the joy of discovery. The instructors and assistants will coach the participants on what to look for and the best method for discovery, documentation and collection of fossils.