Over 20,000 visitors a year find their way to the Alf Museum. The museum has two circular exhibit areas totaling 4,000 square feet: the Hall of Footprints and the Hall of Life, totalling 4,000 square feet of space.
Renovated in 2002, the Hall of Footprints showcases one of the museum’s most important holdings, a unique fossil track and trackway collection that is among the largest of its kind in the United States. Featured specimens include the only known trackway of a “bear-dog” carnivore from North America. Other displays include camel, bird, cat, and elephant tracks from the Mojave Desert, as well as lizard, dinosaur, and spider tracks from Arizona and Utah. Visitors can see the inner workings of a paleontology museum, the fossil preparation lab and a collections storage room, through windows cut into the walls.
The Hall of Life, renovated in 2011, showcases the Earth’s 4.6 billion year old history. The hall inspires visitors to seek a deep appreciation of their place in the history of the planet, challenging them with a fundamental question: “What are you going to do with your moment of time?” Design highlights include wall-size murals showing ancient environments and a time line depicting important episodes in the history of life. The hall is divided into six sections, with the first describing basic scientific principles and the museum’s history, followed by areas highlighting life forms from four major eras of geologic time: Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic. The final section showcases student- and staff-designed exhibits, featuring current museum research or recently discoveries made by students on peccary trips.
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