Nicole photoPaleontology is the study of plant and animal life of past geologic time, including its evolutionary history, and its paleoecological interrelationships. This area of study does not include prehistoric human remains and their associated cultural artifacts (e.g., stone tools, pottery), which are the domain of archaeology.

The mission of the CDOT Paleontology Program is to collect, preserve and facilitate the scientific study of important fossils and associated geologic and paleontological data that might otherwise be damaged or destroyed by CDOT construction and maintenance activities.