Murie Audubon General Meeting & Program


Triceratops, Sauropods and T-Rexs, Oh My! Or Why Wyoming was such a good place for Dinosaurs.

JP Cavigelli returns for our first program of this season. Jean-Pierre Cavigelli (JP) is Prep Lab Manager, Field Trip Organizer and Collections Manager at the Tate Geological Museum in Casper, Wyoming. A graduate of Lexington High School (Massachusetts, class of 1979) and with a biology degree from the University of Chicago (class of 1983), JP became interested in paleontology too late to get a degree in it. This led him to a summer spent in Wyoming in 1983 doing field work in search of small Cretaceous mammal teeth with a University of Wyoming team. JP fell in love with Wyoming but left for a five year adventure in fun and poverty as a ski bum and whitewater rafting guide in Colorado and Australia. JP came back to Wyoming in 1990 to be part of a paleontology field crew at the UW again. He stayed in Laramie working off and on in paleontology for 14 years, doing field work as well as a two year post as the Collections Manager for the UWs Dept. of Geology and Geophysics. He also was a fossil outfitter, running Western Paleo Safaris for six years. For the past 25 years, JP has been doing freelance fossil preparation in his basement and garage. He has had the good fortune of having been invited to join paleontological expeditions to Mongolia, Niger, Tanzania, Alaska and North Dakota. In his 15 years at the Tate Geological Museum he has led collecting trips all over the state to collect small and large fossils from Dee the Mammoth and Lee Rex to microscopic mammal teeth (see above) and really old insects.

When he is not involved with fossils, JP enjoys birdwatching, traveling, and failing to get on Jeopardy!. He recently got married to his percalifragilisticexpialidocious wife Becky, and can smell retirement from his office door. Wyoming is synonymous with dinosaurs to a lot of folks who give a hoot about dinosaurs. The American west was critical in the discovery and popularization of dinosaurs starting in the early 20th century. But have you ever stopped to ponder why? Why Wyoming? (I could ask Why Montana, but that doesn’t rhyme and we don’t care about Montana). JP will talk about why WY and more from a paleontology point of view. Program Chair note: I suspect that JP didn’t think that I would publish his total biography, but it reflects his personality, professionalism and why we enjoy having him back often as a guest speaker.

Remember folks, we’re moving to the 2nd Thursday of the month, but at the same venue. Please join us on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 at 7 pm at the Izaak Walton Clubhouse at 4205 Fort Caspar Road for this program. As always, the program is free and open to the public! Hope to see you there!

Bruce Walgren-Program Chair

Field Trip – EKW

Murie Audubon will have a bird trip to EKW on Saturday, Aug 28.  We will meet by the river, just north of the Platte River Shelter at 7:00 AM.  Hopefully we will see some migrants.  Call me at 262-0055 with any questions, or if you want to know where we are when you get to the park.


Butterfly Field Trip for July 10 has been cancelled

Butterfly Field Trip for July 10 has been cancelled due to a lack of butterflies.

We have decided to cancel the Murie Audubon Butterfly Field Trip Scheduled for July 10.  There are very few butterflies at lower elevations.  While there are more on Casper Mountain, Dwaine Waggoner didn’t find enough variety or numbers to make showing people various butterflies very easy.   The drought last year and this spring was very hard on butterflies and other insects.  We decided that if we could only show people a couple of species of butterflies, it just wasn’t worth everyone’s time.  We hope for better conditions next year.

Stacey Scott

Audubon “Piggery” clean-up Saturday, May 29

We need volunteers!

Let’s meet at west end of Morad Park where trail splits at 9:00 AM. I’ll bring trash bags, gloves, pick-up grabbers from The River clean-up HQ at the Pumphouse. If we can get 3-4 volunteers, we should be able to do a good job in about an hour. I would divide into two groups: one doing the river trail and wetland area then up the hill to the sagebrush area west of the deep gully; the other group doing the area around the quonset hut and along the bluff following the layout of the new trail down to Morad Park. Just a suggestion depending on how many volunteers we get.