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CMU Montrose Lecture Series to Feature Rick Trujillo

Uncovering a dinosaur trackway in the San Juan Mountains

The Colorado Mesa University Montrose Campus Lecture Series kicks off this year with local legend Rick Trujillo. Trujillo was a member of the Ouray High School class of 1966 and is well known for his accomplishments in both mountain running and geology. After earning his degree in geology at the University of Colorado and All-American honors in cross-country, he started working at the Camp Bird Mine above his hometown of Ouray. In the preceding decades, he worked across the western United States and throughout Central and South America. Today, he continues collaborating with specialized geologic colleagues on sites of interest near Ouray.

In this talk, Jurassic Park at Ouray: Uncovering a Sauropod Dinosaur Trackway, Trujillo will recount how he first noticed a series of dirt-filled holes in the 1950s while roaming the mountainsides above Ouray as a 10-year-old. Even then he knew they were dinosaur tracks, but it wasn’t until over a half-century later that Trujillo returned, geology degree in hand, with the resolve to document them.

“It occurred to me that I was probably the only living person who knew of the tracks,” said Trujillo.

What he and other geologists unearthed would turn out to be a Sauropod trackway from the late Jurassic Era (~160 million years ago). A small brontosaurus or apatosaurus made the 134 imprints, creating a “grapevine” trackway that is unique among such sites recorded around the world.

Join Trujillo and the CMU community for a free talk on Sep. 19 from 6:30-8pm at Cascade Hall on the CMU Montrose Campus. This event is open to the public.

For more information, contact CMU Montrose Campus Instructor of English Rhonda Claridge at 970.249.7009


Written by Giff Walters