I spent today continuing to familiarize myself with Southern California by visiting the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, located in Claremont on the campus of The Webb Schools. Once I arrived, Museum Director Don Lofgren, Curator Andy Farke, and Outreach Director Kathy Sanders kindly spent the better part of a day showing me around their museum and discussing museum operations and California paleontology.
The Raymond Alf Museum is operated by The Webb Schools, a private high school, and paleontology and museum operations are heavily integrated into the school’s curriculum. Many students participate as authors on research projects, including the description of “Joe“, a baby Parasaurolophus published last year in PeerJ, and now on exhibit in the museum:
Of course, the Western Science Center also shares a campus with a school, the Western Center Academy. One of my goals in visiting the Alf Museum is to see how they’ve combined their research and educational efforts.
Besides “Joe” there are tons of interesting fossils and casts on display in the museum. There are numerous titanothere skulls from Eocene deposits in South Dakota and Nebraska:
The Alf has one of the most impressive displays of fossil vertebrate trackways I’ve ever seen. There are plenty of dinosaur tracks, but how many museums have multiple examples of fossil camel tracks?
Or how about cats?
There are also numerous impressive slabs of Permian Coconino Sandstone that are covered with multiple reptile trackways:
I’d like to thank Don, Andy, Kathy, and the rest of the staff at the Raymond Alf Museum for taking the time to meet and show me around their excellent museum.