Dr. Harry L. “Bing” Blewitt, a retired chemistry professor at The University of Alabama, has been a volunteer in the paleontology collections at The University of Alabama Museums since 1999. He has spent well over 7000 hours cataloging and putting away specimens in the collections, but he has also helped to prepare some specimens and rearranged the vertebrate paleontology collection taxonomically. His main interests lie in vertebrate paleontology, particularly mosasaurs. He has counted more than 1000 mosasaur remains, making the Alabama Museum of Natural History collection (under the care of the Department of Museum Research and Collections) one of the largest mosasaur collections in the world. Bing has worked with several curators and collection managers in the past and since 2019 with the current Curator of Paleontology, Dr. Adiel Klompmaker. Bing continues to volunteer to the present day, coming in at least once a week.
Recently, Bing hit a true milestone as a volunteer. He has now helped to catalog 3000 records and put the associated specimens away in their appropriate place in the paleontology collection. As a sign of appreciation, he was presented a well-deserved Volunteer Achievement Award for this milestone on February 16.
“We are very grateful for Bing’s truly remarkable dedication and his enthusiasm,” Klompmaker said. “Without Bing’s efforts over the last 23 years, the paleontology collection would not be the way it is today!” Volunteers play a very important role in a variety of ways in museum collections across the nation and Bing is a fantastic example of it.