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2010 Gregory Award Recipient

Patrick Leiggi

Patrick Leiggi

Patrick Leiggi is the Administrative Director of Paleontology and Director of Exhibits at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University in Bozeman. Joining the Society in 1983, Patrick has served the SVP as a chair or member of the Government Affairs Committee since 1991. In addition, he was the host committee chair for the 2001 annual meeting in Bozeman and is a co-founder of the SVP-affiliated Save America's Fossils for Everyone (SAFE).

Patrick began his career in 1980 as a preparator in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at Princeton University under John R. Horner and Donald Baird. At the end of 1983 he joined Kenneth Carpenter at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia to design and construct the Academy's Dinosaur Hall, which was completed in 1985. During this period he continued to work part-time at Princeton to help with the eventual transfer of the vertebrate collections to Yale University.

In 1985 Patrick moved to Montana where he rejoined John R. Horner as the museum's first Chief Preparator of Paleontology. Together they built the paleontology program at the Museum of the Rockies that people know today. As a member of the SVP's government affairs committee, Patrick is a co-author of the legislation, "The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act" with Ted J. Vlamis, Michael O. Woodburne and many Congressional staffers. The United States Congress passed the legislation in 2009, a process that took more than 17 years to accomplish.

Besides the early influences of John R. Horner and Donald Baird in his career, from then and now Patrick has been fortunate enough to work with some of the finest paleontologists in the field including David Weishampel, Mark Goodwin, Robert Makela, Phillip Currie, Peter Dodson, William Clemens, Kevin Padian, Catherine Forster, Raymond Rogers, David Varricchio, Gregory Erickson, Kristi Curry Rogers and Scott Sampson.

Patrick is co-author and editor of the collaborative volume, Vertebrate Paleontological Techniques with Peter May, and co-author of the children's book, "The Story of Big Al: Saving a Dinosaur for the Future," with Brent Breithaupt.

At home Patrick serves as a Regional Director and alum of Leadership Montana, a program designed to develop a sustainable core of committed leaders to understand, listen and learn how to deal with complex issues across the state of Montana. He currently serves on the Montana State Golf Association Board of Directors and has been instrumental in planning their fundraising program.

Patrick is married to Sheldon L. McKamey who is Dean and Director of the Museum of the Rockies. He enjoys joining his colleagues in the field when he can find the time, as well as cooking, time with family, friends and colleagues, golf and writing music for the guitar.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Leiggi.