Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology

(Paleontology)

Claremont, California, USA

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Biographical Information

The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology was founded by and named after Dr. Raymond M. Alf, a math and science teacher who first took Webb students to the desert in search of fossils in the early 1930s. In 1936, Alf and student Bill Webb found the skull of a new species of fossil pig, or peccary. The discovery of "The Peccary" sparked in Alf a life-long commitment to the study of paleontology and led to the founding of the museum that bears his name. In addition to its two floors of exhibits, the Alf Museum is a center for paleontological education and research, with a focus on the paleontology of western North America. In addition to many skeletal specimens, the museum's fossil trackway collection is widely recognized as one of the largest and most diverse in North America. The Raymond Alf Museum of Paleontology also acts as a unique resource for students of The Webb Schools, as they have the opportunity to learn all about paleontology in the classroom, museum, and field. Reciprocally, the museum benefits from a large workforce of enthusiastic and able student collectors and curators. Over 95% of the 150,000 fossils in the museum's collection were unearthed by students and staff. In 1998, the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology gained national accreditation from the American Association of Museums, the highest honor a museum can achieve. Thus, the Alf Museum is now the only accredited museum located on a high school campus in the United States.

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