Gray Fossil Site in need of volunteers


Wet screening takes place on the grounds of the Gray Fossil Site, behind the museum. This essential process has relied on volunteer help for 20 years. (Photo credit: Cody Davis via ETSU)

GRAY, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Gray Fossil Site needs volunteers this fall to help paleontologists discover new fossils.

Thousands of fossils are discovered at the site every year, including fossils of rhinos, mastodons, alligators, and more.

However, the process of uncovering these remains has relied on volunteers for 20 years. Volunteers are needed this fall for the task of screening, which is sifting through the ancient pond sediment to separate fossils.

East Tennessee State University, which oversees the fossil site, says this year’s volunteers will screen material from the site’s most productive area, the Mastadon Pit, where fossils of mastodons, rhinos, and alligators have been uncovered.

According to ETSU, volunteers will work in well-ventilated areas outdoors where social distancing can be maintained. Volunteers should be prepared to perform “minor physical labor” and at least three consecutive hours of work. Previous experience is not required, but volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

Those interested in volunteering should visit for more information and to access a volunteer application form, which should be completed

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