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Center of Excellence in Paleontology

College of Arts & Sciences

Center of Excellence in Paleontology
  • Exterior of Gray Fossil Museum
  • Men digging for fossils
  • Fossilized mastadont tusk
  • Fossils in ground, being measured

     The Center is composed of a large group of researchers, staff, students, technicians, and volunteers from around the globe. All Center members are united by shared objectives and a mission.

The Center and its Natural History Museum at the Gray Fossil Site serve as a gateway to the University through recruiting students, educating the public, raising funds, and producing high-quality research. As part of the educational and research enterprise of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center, Museum and Fossil Site provide accurate and current information about paleontology and natural history research through excavations, discovery, exhibits, and outreach programs. The Center's Museum is the repository for the college's paleontology collections and is responsible for their care and preservation into perpetuity. The collections are used for exhibits, programming and research.

     The Center oversees scientific research at the 4.5 - 7 million year old Gray Fossil Site, an extraordinary fossil locality located in the heart of the Appalachians.

While this site serves as the foundation of the Center's research activities, our projects are highly diverse, ranging from Mio-Pliocene floras and faunas of eastern North America and Eurasia to Ice Age faunas of the Appalachians and Mexico, to the paleobiology and evolutionary relationships of Neogene mammals, reptiles, and amphibians worldwide. Center researchers are highly active in reporting scientific results to local, national, and international audiences through public events, scientific meetings, local news outlets, magazines, and leading peer-reviewed scientific journals.  

     Finally, the Center has been instrumental in developing a paleontology program for ETSU students. 

This includes a number of undergraduate and graduate level classes (in the departments of Geosciences and Biological Sciences), annual field trips, excavation experiences, and research opportunities.  Further, the current graduate paleontology program has fifteen students from all over the country, making it one of the largest and most diverse paleontology programs in existence. 




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