Volunteers needed to join dig for dinosaurs in the outback

Published 02 March 2015

Ever wondered what it would be like to join an expedition to uncover the secrets of the prehistoric world?

The University of New England, along with Australian Geographic and the Australian Opal Centre, is offering volunteers the opportunity to join dinosaur and fossil digging expeditions in the opal-rich area of Lightning Ridge.

Following the great success of a similar expedition last year, 40 volunteers will spend six days conducting fieldwork in the outback opal-mining town in August.

UNE paleontologist Dr Philip Bell said that this is an exciting opportunity for anyone with an interest in earth sciences.

“The area around Lightning Ridge is the world’s richest known source of rare opalised fossils,” Dr Bell said.

“At digs like this we have the opportunity to learn more about the ancient land in which we live and the dinosaurs that inhabited the prehistoric past.”

Dr Bell has led teams of researchers and volunteers on digs around the world, and started his own career as a volunteer at a dig in Canada.

The Lightning Ridge digs will be guided by leading experts, including Dr Bell, and will allow volunteers to take part in fieldwork that is usually only conducted by professional scientists. The specimens uncovered during the digs will add to the Australian Opal Centre’s world-class collection.

Two six-day digs will take place in August, and applications to take part are now open.

For further questions, email dig@australianopalcentre.com