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 close to 100,000 visitors each year. Help us continue the legacy of education and preservation by donating your time and talents. If education and interpretation interest you, a great volunteer opportunity is right around the corner!
School/Group Interpretive Tour Guide
Brings fossils and geology alive by being a volunteer tour guide at Dinosaur Ridge. Throughout the year, over 10,000 school children take fully guided tours of Dinosaur Ridge or Triceratops Trail with a trained guide. Most of these tours are given free of charge to schools who have 50% or more students receiving free and reduced lunch. These groups range from schools to senior centers, and have between 10-250 participants. Tour Guides lead these groups on a tour of Dinosaur Ridge and interpret the geology and paleontology located here. Guides may work alone with smaller groups or with up to five other Guides for large groups. Training provided. Great experience for interpretation and education! This opportunity is usually Monday-Friday, outdoors, mainly March-October, and flexible.
The Backyard Bones: Cretaceous Crime Scene Dinosaur Dig Program requires a facilitator that leads small groups of 20 or fewer on a hands-on program using the Dinosaur Dig pit at the Visitor Center. This program is targeted toward younger students and other chaperoned groups of 2nd grade or younger. Training provided.
Exhibit Hall Docent
Interpretive Specialists will get a chance to work in the Trek Through Time, the exhibit hall located at the Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center. Specialists will greet visitors, collect fees, and give short presentations in different areas around the Exhibit Hall. Training provided. This opportunity is available 7 days a week, year-round. Shifts are divided into a morning shift (10-1) and an afternoon shift (1-4), work once a week, once a month, or as needed.
Discovery Day Specialist
From May through October, on the 2nd Saturday, the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge host monthly special events called Dinosaur Discovery Days. During DDDays, Discovery Day Specialists answer questions and give short interpretive demonstrations at different sites along the Dinosaur Ridge trail. There are also hands-on opportunities at the Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center where Specialists assist visitors with track painting, gold panning, fossil sifting, metal detecting, orienting visitors, parking and crowd control (as needed), and set-up and tear-down. Training is provided the day of.
Fossil Casting Technicians
Cast dinosaur footprints, claws, teeth, and other small fossils that are sold in the gift shop or used for giveaways at special events. Fossil Casting Techs create these replicas as well as those used in educational programs. Training provided. Flexible opportunity, the casting area is open 7 days a week, year-round.
Community Outreach Provider
Represent the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge at various festivals and events throughout the Denver Metro Area. Duties include setting up an informational booth, facilitating hands-on educational activities (fossil sifting, etc.), distributing flyers and brochures, and answering general questions about Dinosaur Ridge. This is a great way to get free admission to many area events. Training provided. This opportunity is usually on weekends.
Something we haven’t mentioned?
Interested in something not on this list? Let us know and we’ll develop the position that’s right for you. We will train you for each of these positions or provide the opportunity to work with a mentor.
Contact Amber Cain to volunteer.
303-697-3466 x 107
1. Community and School outreach training: Learn how to represent Dinosaur Ridge at schools, gem and mineral shows, and other fairs. Current programs that we will cover in the training are: Attack and Defend, Eggs and Nest, and Allosaurus (which will potentially be the new program). This training is great for all volunteers to attend.
- a. Wednesday, January 15th, 10:30-11:30am
- b. Wednesday, January 15th, 1-2pm
2. Docent training: Stuff, Junk and Whatnot from Erin’s Brain. Erin will choose 3 dinosaurs/fossils from the exhibit hall and go into more in-depth information that you can share to amaze visitors. This training is great for all volunteers to attend, whether you are a docent or not.
- a. Thursday, January 23rd, 10:30-11:30am
- b. Thursday, January 23rd, 1-2pm
3. Tour Guide training: Weather permitting, will be going over the 4 main stops at this training: the bone site, the bulges, the tracksite, and the tidal channel. We will go over the main talking points as well as examples of what a talk would like.
- a. Friday, January 31st, 10am-12noon
- b. Friday, January 31st, 1-3pm
4. Poster and props training: Learn how to best utilize the posters and props that we have for a school tour, outreach, or slow exhibit hall day. Or just figure come and learn about all the cool stuff we have hiding away in the Volunteer Room.
- a. Tuesday, February 4th, 10:30-11:30am
- b. Tuesday, February 4th, 1-2pm
We will have some other trainings scheduled so watch your emails. If you can attend any of the above, please email (amber_Cain@dinoridge.org) or call (303-697-3466 x 107) Amber to RSVP. Is there something not listed above that you would be interested in learning more about? If so, let me know and we will put something together.