We’re Hiring!

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Natural Reserve is a top-ranked destination for science enthusiasts of all ages. With a mission of hands-on science education, we encourage our visitors to learn about the natural world in an outdoors setting. Our programs emphasize natural history — including geology and paleontology, ecology, astronomy, local history, and other STEM fields. We serve 18,000 guests annually, including many who travel across the country to dig our fossils and explore our park.

We are hiring part-time educators for the 2023 season!

Educators are the initial connection that visitors have with Penn Dixie. Educators are responsible for introducing Penn Dixie to guests, from admission to departure. The ideal candidate is driven to provide an outstanding learning experience for visitors of all abilities and backgrounds. Educators are expected to be friendly, helpful, and consistently maintain a positive attitude despite the challenge of working outdoors with large groups of visitors. Candidates do not need a formal background in geology or paleontology, but must be willing to learn!

Please note that this position is seasonal and part-time. Educators are needed late April through late October. Flexible start and end dates can be discussed based on an individual’s need (ex. leaving for college).

Essential Functions

  • Provide tours for guests (various group sizes)
  • Demonstrate enthusiastic and welcome behavior at all times.
  • Greet guests, accept admissions, conduct introductions, guide guests throughout the site.
  • Monitor and enforce safety rules.
  • Ensures cleanliness and organization throughout the site, including, but not limited to, collecting, cleaning and sorting fossils, organizing and filling “fossil grab bags”, garbage pick up, light trail maintenance.
  • Provide excellent customer service and be knowledgeable in Penn Dixie’s science, history, and programming (training provided).
  • Explain and promote Penn Dixie programs, membership, gift shop merchandise, birthday parties, and special events.
  • Respond to guest needs immediately, including issues requiring first aid.

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Documentation of U.S. citizenship or proof of eligibility to work in the U.S.
  • Obtain criminal background check clearance.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including weekends, holidays and evenings.
  • Knowledge or interest in science.
  • Proficiency with tablets, smartphones, and various applications.
  • CPR and First Aid certifications (may be provided if employee is not currently certified)
  • Must have your own reliable transportation to/from work.

Experience, Skills and Personal Qualities Required

  • Excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Friendly, positive attitude
  • Comfortable speaking in front of groups
  • Exceptional customer service skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Reliable and punctual
  • Strong teamwork and collaboration skills

Physical Demands

  • Speaking in small and large groups
  • Walking and standing outdoors, sometimes for extended periods
  • Bending/stooping frequently
  • Dealing with highly variable weather conditions
  • Ability to lift/carry up to 40 lbs

The application can be downloaded here: 2023 Educator Application.

Candidates must email the completed application, a resume/CV, and a cover letter to Dr. Holly Schreiber at holly@penndixie.org.

Membership Gift Pack

Give the gift of science!

Your lucky recipients will enjoy one year of Penn Dixie membership and all sorts of goodies for new and returning fossil hunters.

Membership Gift Packs are available with either Family ($74.99) or Individual ($54.99) membership certificates. Shipping included. Membership is not activated until application and gift certificates are redeemed. Certificates are redeemable upon first visit or via mail.

Family Pack $74.99Individual Pack $54.99

Includes:

  1. One year Family Membership – $60 value — with unlimited free admission for two adults and up to four children/grandchildren under age 18 -OR- Individual Membership – $40 value — with member benefits for one adult;
  2. Two Trilobite guest passes — $24 value;
  3. Trilobite bandana — $5 value;
  4. Penn Dixie Bumper sticker — $4 value;
  5. Into The Devonian magnet — $2 value;
  6. Amazing Arthropods gift box — $5 value;
  7. Two tool rental coupons — $10 value;
  8. Penn Dixie koozie (koozie style varies)  — $3 value;
  9. Trilobite patch — $3 value;
  10. Two grab bags containing Penn Dixie fossils — $4 value;
  11. Two Fossil Hunters Club cards to keep track of what you find;
  12. Penn Dixie eNews updates & digital newsletter subscription; and
  13. Savings on special events and in our gift shop.

You’ll receive all of these items — over $120 value — inside a custom-designed, locally screened artisan box that features paleoart by Ernst Haeckel and is perfect for storing your fossil collection. Surprise a friend or treat yourself!

Erie County Earth Science Day

On Saturday, October 1st, join us from 10 am – 3 pm, rain or shine, to learn about Western New York’s natural history, ecology, and resources through interactive exhibits and demonstrations in a family-friendly setting. Experience hands-on learning under the big tent!

2022’s special guests include:

There will also be a special Memory Quest activity on Earth Science Day! Teams of two or more must search around the park to answer questions and collect tokens to solve a puzzle. A keen ear and a sharp memory will help your team to the grand prize!

Thanks to the generous support of Erie County and the Buffalo Association of Professional Geologists, Earth Science Day is FREE to ALL – no registration or tickets are required. All ages are welcome. This event is accessible to those with mobility impairments and we recommend the use of a reach tool for fossil collecting.

2016 Earth Science Day 4
Our famous fossil hunting is FREE on Earth Science Day!

Complimentary fossil collecting trowels will be available to all guests during the event.

Teachers: Please contact us in advance to schedule your group. There is no charge for unguided group tours on Earth Science Day but we request advance notice to help with our parking planning. Guided group tours are available at our usual rates.

This FREE event is made possible by Erie County and the Town of Hamburg. Donations are welcome through the day of the event and will support Penn Dixie’s community education efforts.

Free Admission on October 10th!

In recognition of Indigenous People’s Day, we are offering free admission on Monday, October 10th! The park opens 9 am and closes at 4:30 pm, final entry is at 2:45 pm. The first tour of the day departs at 9:15 am, with tours running every 30 minutes until the final tour at 2:45 pm.

We provide complimentary buckets and trowels to use while fossil hunting, as well as small bags to bring your fossils home in. Many of our visitors solely use a bucket and trowel if they’re planning to surface collect. We have a limited number of tool rentals available for $5 per set. Tools are rented on a first come, first served basis. Each set includes a small sledge hammer, a geologist’s hammer, chisel, safety goggles, knee pad, and bucket.

Registration is not required, but if you would like to guarantee a specific tour time, you can pre-register online.

Rock-it

rocket

Saturday, September 17th. 10 am – 1 pm

Penn Dixie invites rocket enthusiasts and astronomy buffs to join us for Rock-it on Saturday, September 17th, from 10 am – 1 pm! Bring your own rocket to launch with our team of professionals or design and build your own rockets with the help of Moog engineers and support from the Buffalo Astronomical Association. Guests will learn about rockets and how they work, how different-sized model rockets are launched, and learn about the history of space flight.

Rock-it activities are included with admission and FREE for members. No registration is needed. All ages are welcome. Rocket making supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Please note that Scouting Rocks! is also happening on the 17th, which means that Scouts can visit Penn Dixie for free! Some form of official scout apparel/insignia is required for free admission; a full uniform is not needed. Scouts are able to participate in the Rock-it day festivities for free. Non-scouts are welcome to participate at our regular admission rates. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Full details about Scouting Rocks! can be found here: https://penndixie.org/scouting-rocks/

Thank you to Moog Inc. and the Buffalo Astronomical Association for partnering with us for this event.