Fossil Lab Volunteers | La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Fossil Lab Volunteers

Get your hands dirty!

Want to work alongside a team of paleontologists?

How does it sound to get up close and personal with priceless fossils and artifacts?

The Fossil Lab at the La Brea Tar Pits Museum might be the place for you!

The Fossil Lab, the hub of our research and collections work, is always looking for conscientious, detail-oriented volunteers! Get started with helping us sort matrix (asphaltic and earthen material encasing the fossils), or cleaning and repairing some of the fossil bones found and collected right here at the La Brea Tar Pits. Lab volunteers participate in the day-to-day preparation of fossils from our current excavations. The work they contribute is invaluable.

Is the Fossil Lab a good opportunity for me?

The Fossil Lab is a fascinating place to work, but the tasks are also challenging and meticulous. This is a competitive opportunity, with more applicants than open positions. We are looking for volunteers who are:

  • detail-oriented, patient, and with strong hand-eye coordination
  • cooperative in a team environment, but able to follow instructions closely and work independently
  • able to commit to a set weekly schedule
  • thirsty for knowledge and excited to work with our unique fossil finds!

What you need to know:

  • You must be at least 16 years old to join our volunteer team (parental consent will be required if you are under 18).
  • Volunteer opportunities open up periodically throughout the year, as our projects change, but applications are always welcome.
  • We ask you to commit to a full day of volunteer service (9 am-5 pm) every week (opportunities are available Wednesday through Sunday).
  • We are looking for at least a three-month commitment.
  • Volunteers 18 and over must complete a Live Scan upon joining the program. A California DMV-issued photo identification or driver's license will be required.
  • Once you have been with us for three months, you may become eligible to join the Excavation Team on site in Hancock Park.

APPLY NOW to join our team today!

For more information, contact Volunteer Program Manager Julie McAdam at