About

About

Museum of the Rockies (MOR) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, a college-level division of Montana State University, a Smithsonian Affiliate, and a repository for state and federal fossils. MOR is recognized as a world-class cultural and natural history museum and research facility. It is renowned for displaying an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils, including the fully-mounted Montana's T. rex skeleton!

MOR delights members and visitors with changing exhibits from around the world, cultural and natural history exhibits, planetarium shows, educational programs and camps, insightful lectures, benefit events, and a museum store.

Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, MOR is one of 1,083 museums to hold this distinction from the more than 35,000 museums nationwide. The museum is also a member of The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) Travel Passport Program and the Montana Dinosaur Trail.

The museum is proud to have sister-museum relationships with the Carter County Museum, Mifune Dinosaur Museum, Aso Volcano MuseumFukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Meet our team and learn about our boards in the Departments and Boards section of this website.

Engage. Inspire. Discover.

We envision a world where all are inspired to engage in life-long learning and the process of discovery.

Museum of the Rockies inspires life-long learning in science, history, culture, and art; advances knowledge through collections, research and discovery; and presents engaging, vibrant exhibits and educational opportunities. Museum of the Rockies brings the world to Montana and shares Montana with the world.

Integrity.
We are committed to the highest standards of professional ethics, scholarship, research, curation, education, outreach, and engagement.

Curiosity.
We are inquisitive and inspire our audience to engage in the process of discovery and learning.

Ingenuity.
We value and encourage creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness.

Leadership. As a world-class research facility and regional history museum, we anticipate and lead change while striving to meet the needs of our diverse communities.

Excellence.
We recognize and honor the intrinsic reward and inspirational value of excellence in all we do.

Entrepreneurship.
We remain open to opportunities and know that responsible risk can yield remarkable results.

Collaboration.
We develop and encourage mutually beneficial collaboration that helps further the museum's mission.

Stewardship.
We practice ethical and fiscal accountability and strive for transparency and careful stewardship of resources, including collections, staff, facilities, and donations.

Sustainability.
We ensure the museum's future with robust financial management of income and expenses; and strong, effective philanthropy and endowment development.

Our members, the Bozeman community, and visitors show their appreciation for Museum of the Rockies.

Bozone’s Best of Bozeman Awards

  • Best Place for Kids' Activities: 2009 – 2020
  • Best Place for Family Fun: 2013 – 2020

Bozeman Magazine’s Readers Choice Awards

  • Best Museum/Historic Site: 2016 – 2021
  • Best Place to Take Your Kids: 2016 – 2021
  • Best Place to Impress Out of Town Guests 2019 – 2020
  • Most Memorable Event in the Past Year: 2016 Wine and Culinary Classic

TripAdvisor

  • Top Things To Do In Bozeman
  • Travelers’ Choice (previously Certificate of Excellence): 2020
  • Certificate of Excellence: 2012 – 2019

Dr. Caroline McGill, a doctor from Butte, Montana, founded Museum of the Rockies in 1957. McGill worked in partnership with MSU’s President, Dr. Roland R. Renne, and with Dr. Merrill Burlingame, head of the history department, to establish the museum. She also served as the museum's first curator. Her gifts included an extraordinary collection of Montana historical objects that were first housed in three Quonset huts on the MSU campus. The museum was originally named the McGill Museum.

A volunteer corps of around 30 townspeople helped organize the collection in these Quonset huts for the first few years. The Museum was officially incorporated in 1965 as the Museum of the Rockies. By 1970, MOR hired its first full-time director, Les Drew. He brought professionalism to MOR and oversaw the design and construction of the first two museum buildings.

Mick Hager became the director in 1982 and had the vision to expand MOR. He hired Jack Horner as the curator of paleontology. In his nearly 34-year career at MOR, Mr. Horner established a world-class paleontology research facility and expanded the focus of the Museum to include one of the most important dinosaur fossil collections in the world.

Sheldon McKamey began her work at MOR as our marketing professional in 1987. She became the executive director in 2003 and served until her retirement in September of 2018. During her tenure as the executive, Shelley led the renovation of our Taylor Planetarium and our Bair Lobby, kicked off our biggest benefit events, led the installation of our Hall of Horns and Teeth, led the renovation of the Martin Children's Discovery Center, and made the purchase of our Egg Mountain site possible. She worked with our staff to bring many changing exhibits to our community, including The Villas of Oplontis, King Tut, Frogs, Crocodiles, Guitars, and more. During her tenure, visitation doubled. The Curatorial Center for the Humanities was Shelley's way of rounding out a magnificent career. She worked diligently to secure funding for this building, which was built on budget, on schedule, and earned the LEED Gold certification for sustainable building practices.

In September of 2018, Christopher Dobbs joined MOR as its executive director. He has joined us as a visionary leader, with more than 27 years of experience in museums with roles in exhibits, strategic planning, and management. Chris holds a Master's Degree in museum studies. Prior to joining MOR, Chris has worked at Mystic Seaport Museum of America and the Sea, Noah Webster House, and Connecticut River Museum.