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NPS Paleontology Program

The NPS Paleontology Program takes a comprehensive approach to preserving, protecting, and understanding fossil resources. Photo of Ranger / Paleontologist Vincent L. Santucci with skeletons of Late Triassic vertebrates at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.

The National Park Service Paleontology Program provides servicewide leadership, coordination and technical guidance to support the preservation, conservation and stewardship of non-renewable paleontological resources. The Paleontology Program is built upon a foundation defined by the agency's mission, legal mandates, scientific principles, and sound resource management practices. Collectively, the National Park Service preserves fossils within rock strata, in association with cultural resources, in museum collections and on exhibit in at least 260 different parks. The scientific and educational values of park fossils are recognized through policies which support paleontological research and collecting, public outreach and education, and cooperative stewardship through partnerships.

The Paleontology Program is administered through the National Park Service Geologic Resources Division. The NPS Senior Geologist / Paleontologist serves as the Paleontology Program Coordinator in order to integrate program planning and implementation at the national level. The principle program responsibilities are designed to support individual parks, regions and other Washington offices in planning and activities that may directly or indirectly related to NPS fossils. Below are general categories of servicewide activities and responsibilities coordinated through the NPS Paleontology Program:

  • Law / Policy
  • Technical Support / Guidance
  • Scientific Research
  • Curation & Collections Management
  • Interpretation / Education
  • Outreach / Partnerships
  • Interagency Cooperation
  • Resource Protection
  • Inventory / Monitoring
  • Management & Preservation of Data
  • Training / Continuing Education
  • Student Internships / Mentoring


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Vincent SantucciVincent Santucci
Senior Geologist / Paleontology Program Coordinator
Geologic Resources Division
1201 Eye Street, NW (Room 1146)
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 513-7186 (NPS office)
(703) 648-6941 (USGS office)
(202) 359-4124 (cell)
Contact - Vincent Santucci



Last Updated: March 11, 2014