This archived article was written by: Tadd Mecham
The CEU Prehistoric Museum has a new director: Dr. Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Kenneth Carpenter’s resume is impressive, having published 11 books and published in over 200 scientific and popular publications. He was also a curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for 20 years and has appeared in over 30 television programs about dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
Some might find it odd that a man so over qualified for the job has ended up in Price, Utah. The truth is that Carpenter has worked with some of the people from the Price locale, so he was familiar with the area. When the last director of the museum left, he saw this as an opportunity to bring his set of skills to this museum, which he said has always shown a great deal of promise, up to a national level of recognition.
He has many new goals for the museum. Among these are the plans for a new alligator home and to gut the lab and clean it up a bit. The plan is to make half of it an archeology viewing lab, in which the public can observe people working on various projects. The other half will be a fossil lab so people can watch fossils getting cleaned and repaired.
There are also plans to redo the dinosaur skeletons and to give them more modern poses. They plan to show the skeletons interacting in a way they would if they were alive. All of the remains in the CEU Prehistoric Museum were found together, so it would make sense that they may have interacted many years ago. This will also make it easier for visitors to the museum to imagine them as fleshed out creatures, rather than just remains.
There are also plans to take down the Utahraptor skeleton and re-articulate it, then set it up in the lobby of the museum. The idea behind this is, at the moment, if you were to walk into the museum there would be nothing telling you where you are. Having the Utahraptor, which is an icon for this museum, meet visitors in the lobby will let them know right away where they are and what they are going to experience at the museum.
For Carpenter, the aspect of his career he enjoys the most is the paleontology and the research. Also the field work and going to dinosaur sites around the area, many of which are only around an hour away from Price.
His favorite dinosaurs are the armored ones, the Ankylosaurs. When asked why, he simply replied, “Because they’re ugly.”
Carpenter is proud of the research that he does. He hopes that it is something that will last a very long time, and not be forgotten once he is gone. He loves his job, saying that if money weren’t an issue he would still be doing the same thing.