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If you are Native American and curious about vertebrate fossils (e.g., rhinos, horses, and bone crushing dogs) and medicine and enjoy being in the “great outdoors”, this scientific expedition is for you. You may be eligible to earn three hours of college credit.

Activities will begin on the OSU-CHS campus and include exploring anatomy, com- paring diseased and normal organs, preparing fossil specimens, reading topographical maps, and learning how to use a compass and GPS units. Participants will be able to interact with physicians and medical students to learn more about healthy lifestyles and medicine. These activities will be followed by a paleontological dig at Black Mesa, Oklahoma and either Utah, Wyoming or California . Native traditions and culture will also be a part of this experience.

Participants will work side-by-side with research scientists from OSU-CHS and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to learn paleontological techniques. Archeologists and Biologists from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and participants may be introduced to protocols for the management of natural resources and the preservation and protection of historic sites as well as possible career opportunities and internships.

Click here to apply today!


Jr. Explorers is for Native Americans K-12. Native Explorers has partnered with scientists and educators at OSU-Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa, OK; the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History in Norman, OK; and the Chickasaw Nation in an effort to broaden its range of impact and further increase the number of Native Americans that study the sciences and/or medicine. Jr. Explorers participate in activities that introduce science in an exciting way that will spark the students’ interest in learning the scientific process and encourage them to “explore” the world around them. Currently, the participants are predominately Chickasaw but we are seeking participation of Native youth and educators from other Nations (tribes). If you are not Chickasaw, but are Native American, we encourage you to inform your tribal leaders and educators about this wonderful opportunity for Native youth. In turn, the tribal leaders and educators can contact us about creating a Jr. Explorers club for their youth.


The Chickasaw Nation Native Explorers Program is a program for Chickasaw students ages 6 to 18 who will work with Kent Smith and mentors from the Sam Noble Museum and participate in activities including earth science, natural science and biomedical science.
For more information please click here.

OU NEF Club (college organization) 

In 2011, The University of Oklahoma approved the creation of a student organization for Native Explorers. If you are a student at OU and are interesting in joining the OU NEF Club, please contact Jeff Hargrave at