James E. Martin Paleontology Research Laboratory (PRL)

The 33,000 square-foot Paleontology Research Lab (PRL) provides a safe, environmentally controlled location for the Museum of Geology’s paleontological, geological, and archival collections. The PRL also acts as a repository for federal, state, and tribal agencies such as the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Forest Service. The PRL currently holds over 500,000 specimens. 

Collections Include:

  • Mineralogy/Petrology
  • Paleobotany
  • Invertebrate Paleontology
  • Micropaleontology
  • Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Modern Vertebrates/Invertebrates
  • Maps
  • Archives

The PRL also houses several laboratories for the preparation and conservation of fossils, and other forms of research. These resources allow faculty members and students to pursue research experiments such as morphometric analyses, isotope and trace element sample preparation, and phylogenetic analyses. 

The PRL also greatly enhances research-intensive educational opportunities for undergraduate and graduate curricula in the Department of Geology & Geological Engineering, including the only MS degree in Paleontology in the nation.

LEED logo

The PRL was also the first state-owned building in South Dakota to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating from the U.S. Green Business Council.

The James E. Martin Paleontology Research Laboratory is a research component of the SD Mines Museum of Geology.  It is not open for public tour.