Museum of the Rockies is remarkable in several key aspects ensuring a quality visitor experience.
The combination of its paleontological collections, commitment to research and education, Taylor Planetarium, regional focus, quality exhibits, and community engagement contribute to the "it factor" that makes Museum of the Rockies a standout institution in the field of natural history museums.
Meet our amazing team and learn about our board of Trustees in the Staff and Departments 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 invites all people to discover natural science and cultural history. The museum’s exhibits, collections, programs, and research create a community resource that brings the world to Montana and shares the Northern Rockies with the world.
We are committed to the highest standards of professional ethics, scholarship, research, curation, education, outreach, and engagement.
We are inquisitive and inspire our audience to engage in the process of discovery and learning.
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.
We recognize and honor the intrinsic reward and inspirational value of excellence in all we do.
We remain open to opportunities and know that responsible risk can yield remarkable results.
We develop and encourage mutually beneficial collaboration that helps further the museum's mission.
We practice ethical and fiscal accountability and strive for transparency and careful stewardship of resources, including collections, staff, facilities, and donations.
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
Bozeman Magazine’s Readers' Choice Awards
Bozeman Daily Chronicle's Gallatin's Greatest Awards
2021 TripSavvy Editors’ Choice Award for Culture Vultures
Lonely Planet Best Things to in Bozeman
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.