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Andrew Farke

New Director Appointed at Alf Museum, Current Director Transitions to Emeritus

Andrew Farke, Ph.D., has been appointed the next director of the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, only the fourth individual to hold this position since the museum’s founding in the late 1930s. Farke is currently the Augustyn Family Curator and director of research and collections at the Alf Museum. Farke succeeds Don Lofgren, Ph.D., who leaves the position in July 2021 to become director emeritus.

Picture of Andy Farke and Don Lofgren
Dr. Andy Farke (left) and Dr. Don Lofgren

“Andy Farke is extremely intelligent and ambitious and brings a host of talents to the table. He has had a major positive impact on all operations and programs at the museum. He’s internationally known for his paleontological expertise and research. Andy will be a terrific director and take the museum to even greater success in educational and scientific endeavors,” Lofgren says.

Farke joined the Alf Museum in 2008. He completed his undergraduate work in geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and his Ph.D. in anatomical sciences at Stony Brook University.

Farke is excited about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“A major priority is to continue our positive momentum with the museum collection and its care,” Farke says. “I’m excited by the budding partnerships developed by the outreach and collections staff, which really challenge past assumptions about what a museum is, what a museum should be, and who the “typical” museum visitor might be.”

Chair of the Board Larry Ashton looks forward to Farke in his new role, “Every new museum director brings their own list of ideas, goals and objectives. Andy has the right mix of these, and the staff to take the Alf Museum to the next level. We all look forward to his long tenure.

The Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology, located on the campus of The Webb Schools in Claremont, California, is the only nationally accredited museum in the USA on a high school campus. The museum is a center for paleontological education and research by maintaining and continually expanding its outstanding collection of over 195,000 specimens. The fossil collections consist of vertebrate, invertebrate, plant, and track way specimens, as well as many other miscellaneous specimens. The museum’s fossil track way collection is widely recognized as one of the largest and most diverse in the nation. Also, the Alf Museum provides a unique research program for Webb students where they study fossils they find on collecting trips and publish the results of their research in collaboration with museum staff, a unique program for secondary school students only offered at Webb.

Asked about Farke’s appointment, Head of School Taylor Stockdale shared his excitement about what the future holds for Webb and the Alf Museum.

“Without a doubt, Andrew Farke is the educator and leader we need to carry the extraordinary legacy of the Alf Museum at The Webb Schools into the future,” Stockdale says.

For more information, see this article from The Webb Schools.

Paleontologist and Educator Alexis Mychajliw Honored by Alf Museum

Dr. Alexis Mychajliw

The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology recognized Dr. Alexis Mychajliw with the Alf Award for Excellence in Paleontological Research and Education at the annual Peccary Society event, on October 16. The award honors a paleontologist who demonstrates exceptional achievement both in original scientific research, as well as in education and outreach at the primary and secondary school (K–12) levels.

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Update: Museum Resources for Colleges

Although the Alf Museum remains closed to the public, we have developed many virtual experiences to be used by college-level educators and students from home. This page summarizes currently available options.

Virtual Museum:

The Alf Museum has a fully virtual, interactive museum available on our website (https://www.alfmuseum.org/about-us/exhibits/). Students can take self-guided tours of the Alf Museum and can be used with previously made assignments as an alternative to in-person visits. Please be advised that some portions of signage are not legible in the virtual museum. We encourage educators to test compatibility of the virtual museum with assignments and make adjustments as needed.

Virtual Experiences:

The Alf Museum also offers virtual group tours utilizing the virtual museum guided by Alf Museum educators. These are currently being offered at no-cost to educators and registration in open for the Fall. Visit us online to see more information or to register: https://www.alfmuseum.org/schools-and-educators/virtual-experiences/

Fossil Friday Chats:

Looking to add more engagement with scientists to your class? Every Friday, you can join the Alf Museum and the Western Science Center for Fossil Friday Chats. Each week, we invite a guest scientist to chat about their research and take questions from a live audience online. Past episodes are available on our Facebook page and upcoming episodes are Facebook Live. (Live episodes coming to YouTube soon)

Upcoming episodes: https://www.facebook.com/AlfMuseum/live_videos/

Recorded episodes: https://www.facebook.com/watch/198373920530/529748157617840/

 

The Alf Museum remains dedicated to serving our community as an educational resource during this difficult time. Please let us know how we can be of service to you as an educator, and we will do our best to provide assistance!


For virtual tours, please contact our Tours Manager, Monique Reyes: mreyes@alfmuseum.org

For other inquiries regarding educational content, please contact me, Gabriel Santos: gsantos@alfmuseum.org

Virtual Museum Now Available!

Explore the Alf Museum online! Our virtual museum is now available, for both the Hall of Life and Hall of Footprints.

Directions:
– Click on the white circles to move through the museum.
– Click on small blue circles for information on the fossil specimens.
– Scroll up or down on your mouse to zoom in to fossils and exhibits.

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