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!

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.

The Ultimate Director’s Tour!

July 9th, 6 pm – 7:30 pm

A unique opportunity like never before – a tour led by all of Penn Dixie’s Directors! Executive Director Dr. Phil Stokes, Associate Director Dr. Holly Schreiber, and Director of Science Catherine Konieczny, M.S. will lead the group to to several unique areas on site that are not visited on typical tours. This program includes tool rental and specimen id cards, and you can keep all of the fossils that you find!

Please dress in weather-appropriate gear, pack layers, and wear boots. Additionally, we advise that you bring bottled water as we do not have running water on site. There are portable toilets available near the parking lot. In the event of heavy rain or if we detect lightning on site, the program will be cancelled, you will be notified via email and receive a full refund.

Admission is $7 per participant, free for Penn Dixie members. Ages 10 & up. Registration required, members please contact the office at 716-627-4560 for a registration code.

Cancelation policy: Penn Dixie will not refund payments for cancellations made less than 48 hours prior to the program. Refunds will not be available for registrants who choose not to attend a class/program. If you registered for a program that was canceled by Penn Dixie, you will receive a full refund.

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. Some weekend and evening availability necessary.

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.

Dig With The Experts 2023

Pricing and member tickets available on February 13th, non-member tickets available beginning February 20th.

Saturday June 3rd, 9 am -4 pm
Sunday June 4th, 9 am – 4 pm
Monday June 5th, 9 am -4 pm; Free day for any Dig participants & members. Monday will have limited staffing.

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!

Director’s Notes: 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. Children are welcome to attend at the event rate on Saturday, and there is discounted child admission available on Sunday. 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. Tickets are electronic and will not be mailed.

Eldredgeops rana.
Bellacartrightia, found and prepped by Alasdair Gilfillan.
DWTE 2021 participants picking their piles.

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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