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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.