Paleontologist Requirements

Apply to be an Eagle Scout Paleontologist

The National Eagle Scout Association (NESA) has a rich history of placing worthy Eagles on expeditions. These unique experiences provide an entry into the world of exploration.

Opportunity Description

Posing with the NESA Explorer Flag

The Judith River Dinosaur Institute (JRDI), established in 1993, promotes the science of paleontology to the general public. JRDI provides the exploration, collection, preparation, and curation of fossils and represents the paleontological part of the Little Snowy Mountain Dinosaur Project. The Little Snowy Mountains Dinosaur Project is the educational and research component for specimens collected through the work of the JRDI. The JRDI is dedicated to the responsible preservation and curation of paleontological findings and works with museums, universities, and private and public land management agencies to identify, research, and protect those sites. The JRDI educational field programs offer a hands-on experience with the methods, techniques, and theories of modern paleontology.

The 2016 field excavation yielded the remains of the 7th stegosaur discovered on the site as well as bones of Montana’s largest dinosaur, a sauropod, and many more bones to be excavated.

The 2017 expedition continued this excavation. The Eagles will arrive in Billings, Montana, on June 30 to participate in field excavation and to work in the lab preserving the fossils. The 5 week internship will be split between excavation in the field in the approximately 7000 square foot Dino Lab where the fossils are studied and preserved. Departure from Billings will be on or about August 7. Notable findings by the JRDI teams include those of Stegosaurus and Brachylophosaurus. 


To qualify as the 2018 Eagle Scout Galapagos Biologist, candidates must:
  • Be an Eagle Scout
  • Be 18 years of age by June 1
  • Major or intend to major in a biological science in college or graduate school
  • Be prepared to blog, speak, write, and be interviewed on behalf of Scouting to report on the trip, what it means personally, and how Scouting prepared you for the experience
  • Either have a current valid passport or obtain one no later than June 1
  • Have medical insurance, complete a BSA Medical form and purchase medical evacuation coverage (suggested policies will be provided)

How to Apply

Eagle Scouts who are qualified and would like to be considered for this wonderful opportunity must complete an online application found here, which includes a 250-word essay. Finalists will be announced and required to submit a 3 minute YouTube video expressing reasons to support their selection.

Applications must be submitted, no later than Midnight Central Standard Time, January 22. The persons selected to be the Eagle Scout Biologist will be notified by March 15.

Important Notes

The Eagle will be responsible for $600 (not including medical evacuation coverage) to defray some costs of the experience payable to the National Eagle Scout Association by May 31.

Logistics and payment for airfare, lodging, food (in some cases the Eagle will need to purchase on-site and be reimbursed), tuition, etc. will be coordinated by the National Eagle Scout Association. 

Dates for this five week trip will be June 30 to approximately August 7.Please see the website for more information.

Click here to apply.