Each month, Dinosaur Ridge recognizes our wonderful volunteers by showcasing the contributions of one volunteer. Thank you to each of you for your outstanding commitment to the mission of Dinosaur Ridge!
May 2021 – Bob Koehler
Over several years, Bob volunteered with Dinosaur Ridge occasionally for special events such as Dinosaur Discovery Days, Scout Days, and outreach events. In December of 2020 he finally retired from the oil and gas industry and joined us on a more active basis in the exhibit hall as a docent. Bob says: “Teaching people about geology is fun, little kids on up to adults. My favorite things are invertebrate paleontology and stratigraphy. As part of the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission I learned a lot about the industry, history of exploration in Colorado, the different producing basins, and more.” Bob also volunteers twice a week at the Wings over the Rockies. Bob says he owns a bowling ball, was abducted by aliens, and is nicknamed “Bozo” to all his friends.
April 2021 – Mike Harkness
As a professional geophysicist Mike had visited and been intrigued by our unique geological and fossil site in the 80’s – before Friends of Dinosaur Ridge was founded in 1989. After his retirement from the geotechnology field in 2017, he found his way to our Trek through Time exhibit hall where he could share his interest in fossils and geology with visitors from around the world. Since then, he has also served in a variety of volunteer roles from leading tours to helping at outreach events and staining the dinosaur tracks. Most recently, he has been a tremendous help as a “Ridge Monitor” – walking the Ridge on a weekly basis to pick up litter and report any damage, erosion or rockfall at our sites. In his spare time, he has collected fish on Dinosaur Ridge sponsored collecting trips and manages his fossil and mineral museum in his basement. To keep abreast of all things geologic, he is also a member of WIPS (Western Interior Paleontological Society) and FMS (Fluorescent Mineral Society). Thank you, Mike, for being such a valuable member of our volunteer team!
March 2021 – Alyssa Putnam
Alyssa is a dinosaur fanatic! Having visited Dinosaur Ridge growing up as a child, she was inspired to become an avid fossil collector. While she was never able to study paleontology and currently manages a dog daycare, she started volunteering at Dinosaur Ridge in 2019 to fill her dino-void. Alyssa has volunteered in a variety of capacities from dabbling in fossil casting to helping with outreach events. She was also one of our few dedicated greeter/docents who got us through the most difficult months of 2020 and now has a regular shift every other Saturday. Alyssa enjoys talking with visitors and thinks that too few people in Denver know what a gem we have at the Ridge. (Ask her to show you her impressive arm tattoo featuring our track site impressions!)
February 2021 – Larry Lens
Larry is a retired oil and gas geologist with 32 years at Amoco and BP. He has also been working with PetroSkills and continues to do contract teaching. Larry started volunteering with Dinosaur Ridge in July of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and has already given close to 250 hours of service over the last 6 months! He loves the outdoors and enjoys inspiring young people to be scientists by leading our public walking tours and greeting our visitors every Wednesday in the exhibit hall as a docent. Larry loves to read technical articles about anything to do with science (earth and cosmic geology, dinosaurs, the environment, energy). If not at the Ridge and the weather is fine you’ll find him out fly fishing. Otherwise, he’ll be in his basement working on 2 different scales of model electric trains which is both for his pleasure and for his grandkids!
January 2021 – Dave Jenne
Dave Jenne started volunteering at Dinosaur Ridge in 2009 as a guide at the Western Interior Seaway exhibit during Dinosaur Discovery Days. His wife Sue and friend Betty Rall (a critical early leader of Dinosaur Ridge) got him interested and involved. Soon after, he constructed the scale model of the future track cover, now located at the Discovery Center. After retiring from his full-time database administration job in 2016, Dave began working as a docent at the Trek Through Time exhibit. More recently, he has been conducting walking tours, helping with the virtual school tours and, in his “Dino Dentist” role, repairing broken teeth for the museum brachiosaur. “I enjoy discussing paleontology and geology with visitors and learning from them as well. And the field trips offered through Dinosaur Ridge are especially enjoyable and informative.” When not volunteering, Dave enjoys hiking, biking, photography and spending time with family, including his five grandchildren, all of whom enjoy visiting Dinosaur Ridge.