Vertebrate Paleontology

Vertebrate Paleontology Services and Policies

As the Washington State Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Burke Museum offers the following public services related to paleontology. If you don’t find a service or policy you’re looking for, contact the paleontology and geology collections manager on the People and Contact page.

 

Specimen Loans

The Paleontology & Geology Department will lend specimens to qualified institutions for exhibition, education or scholarly research. Specimens will not be lent to individuals except under special circumstances and with the approval of the Burke Museum Director.

Loan requests are considered on a case-by-case basis and approval is contingent upon such considerations as the structural stability of the specimens; security; exhibition or research conditions at the borrowing facility; insurance, crating, transportation, length of exhibition or research, and requirements for courier service. For more information, please contact the paleontology and geology collections manager on the People and Contact page.

Visiting the Collections

Access to the Paleontology and Geology Department collections is at the discretion of the curators and collections managers. Requests for access are considered on an individual basis. Access may be restricted or denied (for example, information restriction imposed by donor stipulation). For more information, please contact the paleontology and geology collections manager on the People and Contact page.

Use of Specimen Images

The Burke Museum retains the sole copyright for its holdings and all images depicting its holdings. Photographic images that are in the care of or are the property of the Burke Museum, or photographs, photocopies, or artistic renderings of collection items that are in the care of or are the property of the Burke Museum may not be used for commercial purposes without specific written permission. For more information, please contact the paleontology and geology collections manager on the People and Contact page.

Fossil Identification

If you think you have found a fossil, the Paleontology & Geology Department can help identify it. Please note that we will not purchase your fossil or take it away. If you wish, and your fossil is of scientific interest, you may donate it to the museum. For more information or to make an appointment, please contact the paleontology and geology collections manager on the People and Contact page.

Resource: Online Identification Form

Specimen Donation

The Paleontology & Geology Department considers donations on a case-by-case basis. Of particular interest are fossils from the Pacific Northwest or those belonging to a taxonomic group or geologic age that is not well represented in the collection. Not all fossils are appropriate to donate, especially those without basic locality data or clear ownership details. For more information, please contact the paleontology and geology collections manager on the People and Contact page.

Vertebrate Paleontology Collection Study Grant

This grant provides financial assistance for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to study fossils in the Vertebrate Paleontology Collection at the University of Washington Burke Museum (UWBM). Special consideration will be given to projects related to the fossil record of the Pacific Northwest. Visit the grant information page for more details.

UW Courses and Research

The Paleontology and Geology Department’s collections provide the main reference materials for undergraduate student instruction and graduate student research in paleontology at the University of Washington (UW).

We are dedicated to making the collections resources and our research results available to inquiring minds throughout the world and to training the next generation of natural history scientists and museum professionals. If you would like to learn more about UW paleontology courses and research, visit the UW Paleobiology website.

Volunteer Opportunities

For information about current Vertebrate Paleontology volunteer opportunities, visit the volunteering at the Burke page.

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