Welcome to our series, #WHYoming, brought to you in partnership by Kaumo Law.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
This week, I had a chance to sit down with Dave Mead. He is the Exhibits Coordinator at the Sweetwater County Museum, and has worked in museums for over 30 years.
A native of Missouri, he began his career at the St. Joseph and Pony Express Museums before moving west to work at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. Mead has a passion for natural and cultural history and enjoys sharing it with others.
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Dave, how did you end up in Green River?
I accepted a job offer from the Sweetwater County Museum in 2009, so left Idaho and ended up here, living in a camper until we could permanently relocate.
What is something unique about you?
I am an avid birder, which is unique in southwest Wyoming. While birding is not that popular here, it is one of the most popular pastimes in America. According to recent statistics, there are over 45 million birders in the U.S. that collectively spend over $50 billion annually on their hobby.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
As an outdoorsman, I appreciate the Green Belt the most. I enjoy birding, kayaking, fishing and walking the dog along the river on a daily basis.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
“Never discuss politics or religion with anyone that you don’t really know. Otherwise, you may quickly get better acquainted than you want to be!”
– Dave Mead
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
Outdoors; at Seedskadee NWR, on the Green Belt, at Flaming Gorge and out in the canyons and sagebrush. We have a wealth of public land in Sweetwater County, although some may not fully appreciate it.
“Coming from the Midwest where most land is privately owned, I truly enjoy the opportunities here for recreation on our public lands.”
– Dave mead
Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse or drive a car?
I would prefer non-motorized travel when possible, especially in the sagebrush. I can observe birds much better when on foot, plus it’s quieter so I can hear them too—which is key to their location and identification.
Unfortunately, ATVs have dramatically increased access so it’s tough to find any level of solitude, even in the most remote places.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
I would never sing at karaoke night. However, my wife is such a talented singer that the audience begins making requests. If I were to sing, they would request my removal!
How would your friends describe you?
I think my friends would describe me as friendly and loyal with a sense of humor, even though they think most of my jokes are dumb.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I have developed a lot of museum exhibits over the years that I’m proud of, although no singular one stands out. My largest exhibit was Dinosaur Times in Idaho and one of the most popular ones was Wyoming’s Outlaw Trail.
Most recently, I am proud of our Sweetwater County sesquicentennial monument, which was conceived of by Brie Blasi and designed by me.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Tom Petty and I share a resemblance, but he recently passed, so I don’t know if he is eligible.
Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?
I enjoy living here for the reasons previously mentioned: outdoor recreation, public lands, etc. It’s great to be so close to Yellowstone, the Tetons, the Winds, the Uintas and other wilderness areas.
I also enjoy my work at the museum and within the community.
If you’d like us to interview yourself or someone you know for #WHYoming, please send us suggestions to Lillian@sweetwaternow.com