The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum’s has a new Executive Director with quite an impressive résumé! The River of Death and Discovery Dinosaur Museum Society recently appointed Linden Roberts to the position, which she began in late April. She has spent her career working in museums throughout the world. Most recently, she worked for We The Curious in Bristol, England, but she has also worked at Ontario Science Centre, the Royal Alberta Museum, Body Worlds, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Her global experience includes everything from exhibit design to project management.

Roberts will be a great asset to the museum, and she is also enthusiastic about her new role. Roberts said, “I’m excited about this position. We have a motivated, qualified and dynamic team here, which I hope to build on. I’m here to help the museum reach its potential. This facility is an investment in Northern Alberta.”

Roberts prior experience gives her a good perspective of how unique and important the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum really is. She said, “No other museum offers quite this opportunity. There’s a real bone bed nearby for visitors to truly experience paleontology. The Museum is about this place, not a portal to somewhere else. There is also active, ongoing research.”

In addition to the physical geography around the museum, it also has the benefit of being near the youthful population of the Grande Prairie area. Roberts plans to keep an intergenerational experience at the forefront of the museum’s mission. She also plans to strengthen the museum’s financial position and prominence as a regional attraction and tourist destination.

We wish Roberts well in her new position, and look forward to seeing how the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum will continue to engage the community and beyond!

Read the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum’s press release here.

Due to the abundance of bears in the Olive Lake Area, vehicles are prohibited from stopping along Highway 93 South from McKay Campground to Settler’s Road Turnoff. Both grizzly and black bears have been spending time along the side of the road searching for natural foods. The early season green-up and dandelions along this 15 km stretch of highway attracts the hungry bears emerging from hibernation.

It may be tempting to stop to get a better look at them, but stopping is restricted for several reasons.

Parks Canada lists the following three reasons for the restriction in the bulletin published on May 16, 2019:

  • Stopping creates traffic hazards that are dangerous to passing vehicles.
  • Stopping increases danger to wildlife through habituation to people and vehicles.
  • Traffic congestion can increase the chance of wildlife being struck on the road.

Stopping is also a danger because Highway 93 has narrow shoulders and blind corners in this stretch. The prohibition on stopping will protect both the bears and travellers.

There are two exceptions to the restriction from stopping along the road in this area. First, vehicles that are legally required to stop for safety checks are still allowed to do so. Second, drivers are still welcome to park their vehicles in designated trailhead parking lots.

Parks Canada and the RCMP is taking the ban seriously and will regularly patrol the no stopping zone. Penalties for violations range from a $115 ticket to a mandatory court appearance and maximum fine of $25,000. The restriction will stay in effect until bears move away from the highway when food becomes more plentiful at higher elevations.

Remember that feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited in the national parks. If you see people feeding bears or other wildlife, please promptly report the incident to Banff Dispatch at 403-762-1470 or via radio. If you choose to stop outside of the no-stopping zone, make sure to follow safety precautions, such as staying inside your vehicle, only pulling over (with all four wheels on the shoulder!) if it’s safe to do so, etc.

For more information on bear safety, refer to these resources from Parks Canada.