• Two

    John Day Fossil Beds

    National Monument Oregon

Visiting Researchers


Thomas Condon Paleontology Center

NPS Photo

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is host to many ongoing research projects; including natural resources, paleontology, and cultural heritage conservation. If you would like visit the monument with the intent of doing research within its boundaries, please review the information below.

Thomas Condon Paleontology Center (TCPC) houses comprehensive and contemporary facilities that offer scholars, educators, and scientists the resources needed to conduct research within the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (JODA). The TCPC offers a variety of services to support and facilitate research including:

  • Digitized catalog of collections
  • Access to curated specimens
  • Available ArcGIS data, regional lithologys and rare Geologic Survey maps
  • Listings of short term housing opportunities (paid for by researcher)
  • Presentation/ lecture room with accompanying A/V hardware
  • Staff library with extensive professional literature

For more general information or questions about the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center or monuments facilities please contact the Park Staff email.


Paleontology Collections and Museum Access Policy:

Access to all museum collection and laboratory areas is restricted to individuals that have requested access in advance and have a legitimate curatorial or professional reason to be in those places. This includes access to the museum collections and accession room, as well as the paleontology lab. Visiting researcher’s access must be requested in writing, approved, and scheduled at least one week in advance by a curatorial staff member at JODA. Requests a month in advance are preferred as this will facilitate scheduling by curatorial staff.

Please use the links below for full documents on JODA’s access policies and practices.

JODA Museum Collections Access Policy

JODA Paleontology Collections Access Policy

JODA’s online catalog of collections is available for public view. There are currently over 100,000 items in collections. Please look through this portion of the website to see if there are any paleontological or historical resources that are of interest for study.

JODA Digital Museum Collections


Research Application and Guidelines:

If you would like to become a visiting researcher at JODA and need to obtain a permit, look below. This includes paleontology, as well as natural and cultural resources. Email each division with questions about the application process or the monument's current research needs. If you intend on sending a fax, please mark the document sent with which division you are reaching; E.g. “attn. paleontology staff.”

Email: Natural Resources Staff

Fax : 541-987-2336

The document below is the first step of the application for access to museum collections and historic documents. Once the document has been filled out, please either send it via email or fax, noted above.

Preliminary Application Form

Visiting researchers must also apply through the National Park Service’s Research Permit and Reporting System. Create an account through the following link and you will be guided through several pages as to the intent of your research, the institution you represent, etc. (https://irma.nps.gov/rprs/Home)

If you intend on using the facilities at JODA, please review the following guidelines as they are standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for the TCPC laboratory and general behavior. The JODA SOP’s also have guidelines for the photography of collections and duplication of historic documents.

JODA collections guidelines

JODA photography usage

Offsite Housing:

There is no researcher housing available within the John Day Fossil Beds, but there are offsite opportunities that can be utilized. The closest town to JODA is Dayville, OR (9 miles East). Dayville is a host to possible temporary domiciles; please contact the general park staff email for a larger listing of housing availabilities and rentals.

Did You Know?

Image of fossilized alder leaves

The fossil leaves found at the Painted Hills represent an assemblage of broad-leaf deciduous trees that were growing on the edge of lakes and streams.