Dig With The Experts 2023

Saturday June 3rd, 9 am -4 pm: $90 for members, $100 for non-members.
Sunday June 4th, 9 am – 4 pm: $60 for members, $70 for non-members.
Weekend pass: $130 for members, $145 for non-members, includes a DWTE 2023 t-shirt. Note: weekend passes are listed under June 3rd.

Monday June 5th, 9 am -4 pm; Free day for any Dig participants & members. Limited staffing.

Tool rental kits can be reserved on a first-come first-served basis by emailing sydney@penndixie.org. Tool rental kits are $5/each and must be paid for day-of on site. Very limited quantity.

Join us on June 3rd and 4th for our signature fossil dig — Dig With The Experts! This is our very popular, once yearly opportunity to unearth the best, most complete, and most unexpected fossils at Penn Dixie! We’ll have equipment do the heavy lifting and scientific experts on site to help with locating and identifying the best fossils. You’ll have to do your share of splitting and digging, of course, but you’re guaranteed to find something cool and interesting.

Expert volunteers — including scientists, leading fossil collectors, and experts on local geology — will lead the dig in a freshly excavated section of the Lower Windom Shale and will demonstrate how to find Devonian Period trilobites, cephalopods, fish remains, brachiopods, corals, wood, and a range of other marine invertebrates. Thanks to our experts — all volunteer collectors and paleontologists who travel to Penn Dixie to share their time and knowledge — we are celebrating our 18th dig in 2023!

This program will sell out — please reserve in advance to guarantee a spot. We do not recommend that children under age 10 attend this program due to the technical and safety requirements of splitting rocks. During Dig With The Experts, other areas of Penn Dixie will be open to fossil collectors of all ages and regular tours will be available. There will be a food truck on site each day.

Tickets are electronic and will not be mailed.

Director’s Notes: Regrettably, we are forced to significantly increase the ticket price for this program. In 2016, Penn Dixie spent $1,700 per day for site excavation necessary to generate hundreds of piles of fresh shale. Presently, the cost has climbed to $7,000 per day. An event of this scope requires 2-3 days of excavation work, and so the impact of this cost increase is substantial. And yes – a 300% cost increase in 7 years is shocking, especially for a small nonprofit that relies on donations, grants, and program revenue. However, we felt that the event should continue as it is a unique and fun way to kick off our summer season. We enjoy meeting fossil enthusiasts from around the country and are grateful for all of the experts who travel – on their own dime – and volunteer their knowledge and time to make Dig with the Experts such a wonderful program.

Eldredgeops rana.
Bellacartrightia, found and prepped by Alasdair Gilfillan.
DWTE 2022

Dig With The Experts draws collectors from around the globe for this unique opportunity, which was developed and is currently co-led by our friends from the Cincinnati Dry Dredgers. Bring a hammer, chisel, safety glasses, newspaper, and paper towels to wrap your fossils. Extra water is recommended, plus bring rain gear just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and beverages, as well as a small cart to transport personal items and specimens. Chairs and umbrellas may also be brought to this event.

Additional information:

Penn Dixie Frequently asked questions

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