The Dino Lab is a facility in the Department of Biological Sciences that provides volunteers the necessary skills and techniques of proper paleontological preparation and conservation and fosters an interest in paleontology and gerontological research.

It also ensures protection and conservation of fossil specimens from the University of Alberta is important in the preparation and cataloging as many specimens for scientific study as possible.


Q & A with Volunteer Preparator, Christopher Harrison

Tell us how you stay connected to campus through volunteerism.

I stay connected through work in the U of A Dino Lab, Department of Biological Sciences as a Volunteer Preparator of dinosaur remains.

Why do you think it's important for grads to volunteer their time?

It is not for me to say, though I have found my volunteer work to be very rewarding.

Do you volunteer for other organizations? If so, where?

Yes, I volunteer with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton as a Court Interface between members of the Alberta Court system and accused members of society attending court on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in Sherwood Park.

What does volunteering mean to you?

Volunteer work enables me to remain active, to create, and to accomplish goals. In addition, I get to meet and interact with interesting people working in a field of which I had no previous knowledge.

What impact has volunteering had on you? On others?

Volunteering has broadened my scope of interest in areas previously unknown to me. As well, volunteering has provided me with an opportunity to provide a service that I believe is beneficial to both parties involved.

Share a story or a memory from your time volunteering.

Perhaps the most memorable and remarkable aspect of the work that I do in the Dino Lab is, as I remove the waste material that surrounds the dinosaur bones, I see the remains of a creature that lived millions of years ago that no one else has seen prior to my uncovering them. I have come to realize that it is a privilege to work on these remains, for such work requires care and respect. It is not a mechanical process, but a craft.