Volunteering in the Invertebrate Paleontology collections of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles provides an opportunity to experience the rich record of past biodiversity of southern California and work alongside professional paleontologists. Our volunteers work together to improve our collections, enrich the experiences of educators and students, and assist visiting researchers. Volunteer to learn new things and share them with others, help preserve and document past biodiversity, spend time in the field, and meet new people with shared interests.

How to become a volunteer?

Explore information and opportunities available through Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s Volunteer Program. Behind-the-scenes opportunities are extremely limited and an initial meeting will be required. We look for volunteers who are detail oriented, patient, and willing to learn new skills, are cooperative in a team environment, are able to follow instructions closely and work independently, can commit to a set weekly schedule, and are thirsty for knowledge and are excited to work with our precious collections.

Volunteers provide critical support for the Invertebrate Paleontology collections. Here, David assists Lindsay (staff) with inventorying LACMIP’s Cretaceous specimens.

Current volunteers


Carolyn has been the backbone of our inventory program, working independently to gather skeleton data on each and every drawer in the collection, and then assisting collection staff in documenting curatorial quality and taxonomic composition of those drawers. She is now assisting with the digitization of literature from the Georg Statz fossil insect collection.


David updated the taxonomy for all LACMIP trilobites — all 706 species! — while inventorying our Paleozoic collections. His work with the trilobites and other Paleozoic invertebrates is ongoing, and he has generously given his time to inventorying collections for the Cretaceous Seas of California project.


Karol is the president of the Southern California Paleontological Society and still manages to find time to help in the Invertebrate Paleontology collections. She has been instrumental in facilitating collaboration between the Invertebrate Paleontology collections and local community of avocational paleontologists. Karol also routinely maintains the LACMIP’s systematic collection and provides invaluable support during outreach events.


Kevin is one of the newest additions to the LACMIP team. He has been helping coordinate the digitization workflow for the Fossil Insects of LA project and is now imaging the type specimens from the Georg Statz collection. Kevin always impresses the IP collections managers with his creativity and passion for learning!


Lidia is our longest serving volunteer, having supported the LACMIP collections since 2010. She is our honorary archivist and librarian, and has been painstakingly conserving the LACMIP’s rich collection of reprints. Lidia also assists with research projects and is currently trying her hand at microfossil picking and fossil preparation.


As the longest-serving member of the Southern California Paleontological Society, Wayne is a life-long friend of invertebrate paleontology. Wayne has been helping with various tasks, including curating specimens donated by SCPS members and creating a detailed taxonomic inventory of LACMIP’s Cretaceous collections.

Former volunteers

Janice (2016)

Paige (2015)