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 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. The Thomas Condon Paleontology Center 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


Digitial Museum Collections

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument'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 Digital Museum Collections website to see if there are any paleontological or historical resources that are of interest for study.

Paleontology Collections and Museum Access Policy

Access to the 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 the Collections Room, Accession Room, and the Paleontology Lab. Visiting researcher’s access must be requested in writing, approved, and scheduled at least three weeks in advance by a curatorial staff member at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. This will allow for adequate proposal review and to facilitate scheduling by the curatorial staff.

Review the Collections Access Policy for the monument's access policies and practices.


Accessing Museum Collections & Historic Documents

Complete the Preliminary Application for Museum Collections and Historic Document Form for access to museum collections and historic documents. Once the document has been filled out, please either send it via e-mail or fax (links below).

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

Guidelines for Handling Museum Collections
Guidelines for Photography of Collections and Duplication of Historic Documents

Research Permits

Visiting researchers wishing to conduct a study that involves fieldwork, specimen collection and/or has the potential to disturb resources or visitors within park boundaries must also apply through the National Park Service’s Research Permit and Reporting System, This includes paleontology, geology, history/culture, modern plants, animals, air, water, soundscapes, etc.

Create an account once you visit the page, and you will be guided through several pages as to the intent of your research, the institution you represent, etc.

Contact Paleontology Staff

E-mail the Research Coordinator
Fax: (541) 987-2336
Please mark the document sent with which division you are reaching: "Attention: Paleontology Staff."
Learn more about the park's paleontology staff.

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 Thomas Condon Paleontology Center is Dayville, Oregon (nine miles). Please visit the Lodging and Camping pages to learn more about offsite housing.

Last updated: December 29, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

32651 Highway 19
Kimberly, OR 97848


(541) 987-2333

Contact Us