Meet our Volunteer of the Quarter, Markie Massey
We recently held our second quarterly board meeting. It was precisely three minutes shorter than our first, at two hours and twenty-two minutes. At least six of those minutes were spent discussing and voting for our first Volunteer of the Quarter. We didn’t think of it at the last meeting because, well, we didn’t have a lot of volunteers. Now we have (*checking*) thirteen! Crazy.
One of them has been especially enthusiastic and dedicated this quarter, and if you follow our Twitter feed, you already know her work. Markie Massey took over the Twitter account for me a few months ago and has posted far more regularly than I had time for, helping to forward our mission of building awareness of Mongolian dinosaurs and paleontology around the world.
She let us subject her to a short interview so you could get to know her better.
ISMD: How did you first get involved with the ISMD?
Markie: I first heard about the ISMD from an episode of the I Know Dino podcast. Thea had been interviewed on the show about her work in the ISMD and brought up the [Indiegogo] campaign. I’ve been in love with Mongolian paleontology since my college years, back when I started reading about Roy Chapman Andrews, and had to go check out the campaign. I donated and kept up with the newsletters, excited to see all the awesome dinosaur education going on out in the Gobi. One of the updates sent out asked for volunteers and I replied right away. I wanted to be a part of the ISMD in some way.
ISMD: What do you like about volunteering with the ISMD?
Markie: Interacting with paleontologists, paleoartists and other dinosaur enthusiasts like myself on social media is so much fun. I get to make connections with people doing amazing work and keep up with their projects.
ISMD: What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the ISMD?
Markie: Besides the normal stuff like reading, writing and playing Legend of Zelda, I also volunteer for The Planetary Society as well. I’m a volunteer coordinator for the DFW (Dallas / Fort Worth) area and run some events for them sometimes. I really love working with science oriented non-profits! Maybe in the future, if I’m lucky, I can turn this love into my full time job.
ISMD: Describe something related to paleontology that you’ve always wanted to do.
Markie: I’ve always adored dinosaurs since I was a kid. I think most people, even if they don’t grow up being paleontologists, have a favorite dinosaur at some point. Some of us just never let go of that and grow up to be total dinosaur nerds. I took paleontology in college and got to dig out at the Arlington Archosaur Site during the summer of 2008. It was love at first dig, but sadly I wasn’t able to finish and become a real paleontologist. So now I get to volunteer with the fantastic people at ISMD and support those doing good work out in the field by advocating science education.
ISMD: What’s your favorite Mongolian dinosaur?
Markie: Now that’s a ten million dollar question! It’s a hard choice between Protoceratops, Oviraptor and Velociraptor. All of them have profound scientific importance to the field of paleontology, but really it boils down to how adorable I think they are.
Congratulations Markie, and keep up the good work! By the way, the featured photo by Douglas Neman up top is of Markie and a Tyrannosaur at our Dallas March for Science table. The Saurolophus tees and stickers you see are currently available in our shop.