Category Archives: Paleontology

2018 Digs Preview

Dinosaurs of the Western Slope: A Four-Day Paleo Expedition Summer 2017 is over, but at the Museums of Western Colorado we already are planning the 2018 ‘dig’ season. One of the new experiences to be offered in 2018 is a longer expedition, designed for the most avid dinosaur lover! Those for whom one day out at the quarry or in the lab simply is not enough will spend four days fully immersed in paleontology of … Read More

Museums of Western Colorado Volunteer Kay Fredette Honored as Colorado’s Outstanding Tourism Volunteer of the Year

As a retired dental hygienist, she used to clean people’s teeth. Now, as a 78-year-young superstar volunteer at Dinosaur Journey in Fruita, she cleans dinosaur teeth, bones, and other fossil specimens. For her 31 years of volunteer work with the Museums of Western Colorado, Kay Fredette was honored in October at the annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference with the 2017 Jack Snow Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. “I cannot imagine anyone more worthy … Read More

Opening a Quarry

At the end of spring, on the eve of summer, each year the Museums of Western Colorado prepares to open the Mygatt-Moore Quarry in Rabbit Valley for dig season. It’s not as easy as just unlocking a gate and digging with a shovel… We first have to remove the excess dirt and rock we put over the quarry every fall. We do this to protect the site from fossil poaching, vandalism, and to keep winter … Read More

Summer Exhibit at Dinosaur Journey Museum

This summer, Dinosaur Journey in Fruita will host the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, “Titanoboa: Monster Snake.” Slithering in at 48 feet long and weighing an estimated one-and-a-half tons, a realistic replica of the world’s largest snake is sure to send chills down any visitor’s spine. Sixty million years ago, in the era after the mass extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs, scientists believe that a colossal snake related to modern boa constrictors thrived in a hot tropical … Read More

Loss of a Friend…

We are sad to report the loss of a dear friend of the Museums of Western Colorado, Peter Mygatt. Pete died in his home in Boise, ID on Feb. 23. He was 90 years old. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, journalist, photographer, miner, forest firefighter, car enthusiast and amateur paleontologist, Pete loved exploration and the road less-travelled. In 1981, while hiking with his wife, Marilyn, and friends J.D. and Vanetta Moore, they discovered … Read More

Museum Summer Camps

Robert Gay, Curator of Museum Education Taylor Barnett, Cross Orchards Site Manager The Museums of Western Colorado has a long history of providing hands-on educational opportunities to the youth of the Grand Valley. These have ranged from single-day camps at Cross Orchards to week-length experiences around the Grand Valley and the region. This summer the Museums of Western Colorado is proud to announce that we are expanding our offerings going into summer 2017. This year … Read More

Collaboration with Fruita Monument High School

As Curator of Education I take the job of involving the youth of today in our Museums seriously. Even before coming to work for the Museums I was ensuring that tomorrow’s leaders saw the value and importance in museums and research through a high school paleontology program. I am proud to announce that this idea is now being carried forward here in the Grand Valley. In the fall of 2016, I began working with Billy … Read More

Bears Ears Follow-up

On Dec. 28, 2016, President Barack Obama used the authority assigned to him under the Antiquities Act of 1906 by Congress to declare a Bears Ears National Monument. Now, most of the public debate surrounding this area has focused on the wealth of ancient sites, artifacts, rock art, and tribal connections to the area. But the paleontological resources of the area are also highly significant (see my accompanying article about my trip to Washington, D.C. … Read More

Rob Goes to Washington

On Oct. 31, 2016, I was invited to speak in Washington, D.C., to the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the USDA Forest Service, and the U.S. Department of the Interior. Why? To provide information and expertise on the paleontological resources of southeastern Utah, an area that has been receiving intense scrutiny as one that needs additional protection for its natural and cultural resources. As a paleontologist who has spent almost all my career working … Read More