Since opening in 2007, the paleontological preparation laboratory at the Gray Fossil Site & Museum has been dedicated to cleaning, stabilizing, reassembling, and sorting fossils, predominantly those excavated right here at the Gray Fossil Site. The lab focuses on processing material quickly and efficiently using specialized preparation techniques that are reversible and suitable for long-term preservation. Over the years, our preparators have developed novel techniques to allow more stable and more complete fossil reconstruction. Almost all lab activities are visible to Gray Fossil Site visitors.


  • Over 3,000 macrofossils processed each year.
  • Over 90,000 pounds of sediment picked for microfossils each year.
  • Lab operates in close coordination with field work at the Gray Fossil Site.
  • Over 15,000 hours per year logged by students and volunteers in the prep lab and field.

I consider myself a steward for the people of Tennessee. My job is to make sure these resources will be available for the public for as long as possible.” ~ Shawn Haugrud, Lab and Field Manager