Sam Noble Museum curator receives national service award - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sam Noble Museum curator receives national service award

Richard L. Cifelli (Source Sam Noble Museum) Richard L. Cifelli (Source Sam Noble Museum)

NORMAN, OK (KSWO) — Richard L. Cifelli, Ph.D., the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History’s curator of vertebrate paleontology, was honored with the prestigious Joseph T. Gregory Award for outstanding service to the welfare of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. 

“This is a great honor,” Cifelli said after accepting the award at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City. “Within this society there’s a culture or a tradition of service. It’s everybody pitching in, so you’re part of a team.”

Randall L. Nydam, Ph.D., a professor of anatomy at Midwestern University in Arizona, wrote in his nomination letter about Cifelli’s tireless work to salvage collections that were improperly stored and on their way to being lost to neglect.

“He has been tremendously productive in his career, and the majority of what is known of early mammal evolution is largely based his numerous discoveries and contributions to the science,” Nydam said. “Even in light of this tremendous success, Rich has also always been an everyday guy. When meeting people, he always introduces himself as ‘Rich … Rich Cifelli,’ placing emphasis on being on a first-name basis with everyone. Rich is an excellent scientist, a valuable member of the vertebrate paleontology community, and a great person. The Joseph T. Gregory Award is one of many accolades he deserves.”

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