Staff Bios

David Bailey started out as a volunteer doing historical walking tours for the Museums of Western Colorado in 1987. He accepted the position as Curator of History in 1992. In that capacity he has led numerous bus and van tours, historic hotel trips, and historical and architectural walking excursions. Bailey has also served as a documentary film consultant, working with National Geographic, History Channel, Travel Channel, and the BBC. He enjoys historic preservation, public history, exhibit design, and researching western Colorado history. In 2005, Bailey became Director of the Western Investigation Team (WIT), a joint historical and scientific research group with Colorado Mesa University. Bailey now offers educational trips that are based on research conducted the WIT group. 

David Bailey


Peter MacMillan Booth, Ph.D., comes from a fifth-generation Western family. He was born in Denver, grew up in south Texas, spent most of his adult career in Arizona and Oregon, and now makes Grand Junction his home. Peter graduated with his B.A. from the University of Texas, his M.A. from the University of Arizona, and his Ph.D. from Purdue University, all in history. His focus has been late 19th- and early 20th-century United States, American West, and Native American history. Peter has served as Assistant Director of Education at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson, Education Director at the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, Arizona, and Executive Director at Willamette Heritage Center. He is now the Executive Director at the Museums of Western Colorado.



Julia McHugh began her career at the Museums of Western Colorado in June 2014 as the Curator of Paleontology and Site Manager for Dinosaur Journey and jointly as an instructor in the Geology Department at Colorado Mesa University. Before coming to Dinosaur Journey, she worked as a paleontology research assistant at Oklahoma State University’s medical school, instructor for the OSU chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and as a research associate at the Sam Nobel Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. She has a passion for teaching and for paleontology and loves leading excavations and paleontological trips with the museum. She has worked on excavations in Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Oklahoma and has worked with natural history museums throughout the United States and South Africa. She has a B.A. in Geology from Hanover College, a M.S. in Geosciences from Idaho State University, and a Ph.D. in Geoscience from The University of Iowa. 



Erin Johnson Schmitz is a Colorado native and comes to us from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science where she worked as an Image Archives Assistant. She earned a Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University and also holds Bachelors of Arts degrees in History and Anthropology. Other than the Denver Museum, Erin has worked with the Lakewood Heritage Center and History Colorado. Erin is passionate about digitization and has given presentations at several museum professional organizations on how to build a successful digitization plan. In addition to museums, Erin loves to spend time outdoors hiking with her young family and is an avid baseball fan.

erin enews





General Email for information (970) 242-0971

Bailey, David Curator of History
Email David
ext. 2215
Booth, Peter Executive Director
Email Peter
ext. 2204
Darling, Matt

Cross Orchards Site Facilitator

Email Matt

(970) 261-7839
Hatch, Carla

Office and Memberships Manager; 

Trips and Digs Reservations
Email Carla

ext. 2212
Kerven, Don Facilities Manager
Email Don
(970) 260-4410
Jones, Carly

Education and Volunteer Coordinator

Email Carly

McHugh, Julia Curator of Paleontology
Email Julia
(970) 858-7282
Schmitz, Erin Curator of Collections and Archives
Email Erin
ext. 2210
Vliek, Erik Business Manager ext. 2213
Wilkinson, Cindy

Gift Shops Manager

Email Cindy

(970) 858-7282
Yanez, Denise

Rental Coordinator

Email Denise

ext. 2206

Facility Phone Fax
Cross Orchards (970) 434-9814  
Dinosaur Journey Museum (970) 858-7282 (970) 858-3532
Loyd Files Research Library (970) 242-0971  
Museum of the West (970) 242-0971 (970) 242-3960
Whitman Educational Center (970) 242-0971