In his professional life, BJ Nicholls is an advertising designer; but in his spare time he, along with is wife Lori, is a volunteer fossil preparator at the Natural History Museum of Utah. What does that entail?
Most fossil discoveries require a tremendous amount of preparation work after a specimen is excavated. Fossils are typically brought back to preparation labs with little of the fossil exposed. We’ve been trained to remove the surrounding rock (called matrix) and to stabilize fossil bones that are often in very poor condition.