Teeming with dinosaur bone repositories, Alberta has been the location of many important discoveries throughout the past century.
On June 28, world-renowned paleontologist Dr. Phillip J. Currie will share insights on recent dinosaur-related discoveries in Alberta during a free talk at the Royal Alberta Museum’s Glenora site.
The talk, titled Exploring Alberta’s Lost Worlds, is being hosted by the Friends of the Royal Alberta Museum Society (FRAMS) in honour of the organization’s 35th anniversary.
“Alberta has so many interesting stories and it’s going to be a pleasure to hear Dr. Currie tell just one of them,” said FRAMS communications chair Kelley Abercrombie.
FRAMS is a not-for-profit organization that promotes and supports the RAM. Throughout its 35-year history it has helped to fund the bug room, purchased a full-cast Allosaurus skull, as well as the iconic life-size Columbian mammoth cast, and funded the Museum School program.
Currently, FRAMS concentrates on improving accessibility through its Go! Program, which provides complimentary day passes to families and individuals who are not normally able to visit due to financial constraints. It also runs an internship program for Indigenous students interested in working in museums.
Abercrombie said they reached out to Currie with “blind hope.” The famous paleontologist spends his time travelling between Mongolia, China, Argentina and Greenland, but happened to be in Alberta this week working in Dinosaur Provincial Park.
Currie is thought to be the source of inspiration behind Sam Neil’s character Allan Grant in the Jurassic Park movie franchise. He found the first dinosaur eggs in southern Alberta; identified the first feathered dinosaurs as part of the Canada-China Dinosaur Project; and in 1996 discovered bones from as many as 26 Albertosaurus near Red Deer – changing the world-view on the carnivore’s social structure.
Currie, who has a museum in Wembley, Alta. named in his honour and was instrumental in founding the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, also has connections to the RAM.
He was curator of earth sciences at what was then the Provincial Museum of Alberta, after completing his PhD at McGill University in 1981.
When the RAM opens next year in its new downtown location it will become the largest museum in western Canada. The move has FRAMS excited about the next 35 years and beyond.
“We’re looking to create a much more exciting, vibrant, dynamic community of people who are interested in everything to do with history,” said Abercrombie.
FRAMS members get access to exclusive talks and tours of the museum.
Currie’s talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. on June 28 at the RAM’s Glenora site. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are needed as space is limited. Tickets are available on Eventbrite or by phoning 780-453-9103. Reservations close June 26.