Pat Leiggi's life-long interest in paleontology started in Guyot Hall at the Princeton University Museum of Natural History as a child. Later he attended Windham College in Putney, Vermont where he studied philosophy, political science, and music, but in 1977 his interest in paleontology was renewed when he met paleontologist Jack Horner, who was working for Dr. Donald Baird, Director of the Princeton University Museum of Natural History. After volunteering for three years in the fossil preparation laboratory, Pat was hired as Assistant Curator.
In 1983, he went to the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia to help develop and build its new dinosaur hall. Upon completion of the project in 1985, Pat rejoined Jack at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University where they built the paleo program that today enjoys a national and international reputation. In 2016, he became Director of Paleontology, Exhibits, and MOR Exhibitions. After Horner’s retirement, Pat began transforming the paleontology department for the future by expanding its research and collecting focus and adding to the paleo staff which has grown to eight professionals.
Pat is best known for leading the Wankel T. rex dinosaur excavation in 1990. The specimen is now called the Nation’s T. rex and will be on display at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. He also produced a series of nationally and internationally traveling paleontology exhibits for MOR.
Pat initiated and led an 18-year effort to pass The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, 2009, federal legislation that protects fossils on America’s federal lands, He edited and authored the collaborative technical volume, Vertebrate Paleontological Techniques, P. Leiggi & P. May, 1994, Cambridge University Press, and in recent years has initiated several global community engagement projects, most notably the Kumamoto Montana Natural Science Museum Association in Japan.
Leiggi, P., Ancell, C., 2016: Sharing Montana with the World: The Museum of the Rockies Engaging Communities in Kumamoto, Japan, Gallatin Valley Life, 2016-2017 Issue.
Leiggi, P., Breithaupt, B., 2009: The Story of Big Al: Saving a Dinosaur for the Future, Wyoming Geological Survey Publications, 71 pgs.
Leiggi, P. and May, P., Editors, 1994: Vertebrate Paleontological Techniques, Volume One; Cambridge University Press, New York, 344 pgs.
Leiggi, P., May, P., 1994: Introduction to Vertebrate Paleontological Techniques, Volume One; In Vertebrate Paleontological Techniques, Volume One; Editors Leiggi, P. and May, P.; Cambridge University Press; pgs. 1-2.
Leiggi, P., Schaff, C. R., May, P., 1994: Macrovertebrate Collecting, Field Organization and Specimen Collecting; In Vertebrate Paleontological Techniques, Volume One; Editors Leiggi, P. and May, P.; Cambridge University Press; pgs. 59-76.
May, P., Reser, P., Leiggi, P., 1994: Laboratory Preparation, Macrovertebrate Preparation; In Vertebrate Paleontological Techniques, Volume One; Editors
Leiggi, P. and May, P.; Cambridge University Press; pgs. 113-128.
Leiggi, P., 1994: Reprinted: Protecting Vertebrate Fossils on Public Lands: Saving the Earth's Library; Partners in Paleontology Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Fossil Resources, pgs. 116-118.
Leiggi, P., 1993: Protecting Vertebrate Fossils on Public Lands: Saving the Earth's Library; National Geographic Research and Exploration, pgs. 8-11.
Leiggi, P., 1992: The Vertebrate Paleontological Resources Protection Act/Senate Bill3107. Fossils for the Future, Northern Plains Governors' Conference.
Makela, R and Leiggi, P., 1989: Reinventing the Wheel; Curator: 32/2; pgs. 123-130.
Leiggi, P., 1989: The Use of Vinyl Polysiloxanes and Quick Setting Epoxies in Paleontology; Journal of Paleontology: 63 (2); 256.
Leiggi, P., 1987: A Few Points To Make, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Bulletin: 140; pg. 49.
Member, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Member, Geological Society of America
Vice President, Kumamoto Montana Natural Science Museum Association