J. Keith Rigby, Jr. Fossil Collection

5aJ. Keith Rigby, Jr. (1947-2011)

5bProfessor Rigby and "friend"

Paleontologist J. Keith Rigby, Jr., joined the Notre Dame faculty in 1982 in the Department of Geology, later combined with the Department of Civil Engineering to form what is now the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences.  He taught courses in physical geology, historical geology, environmental geology, and sedimentation and stratigraphy, and was recipient of a Distinguished Scholar Award from the College of Science and Teacher of the Year Awards from Sorin Hall and the College of Engineering.  In July 1997, Rigby led a team of volunteers from the Earthwatch Institute on a paleontological expedition in northeast Montana where, at a site near the Fort Peck Reservoir, the team unearthed a fossilized skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex, widely regarded as the largest specimen ever found.  The fossil collection contains material collected by Professor Rigby and his students as well as fossils that were contained in the University’s Science Museum that once occupied much of the building that is now the LaFortune Student Center.  The fossil collection was transferred to the Museum of Biodiversity from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences and named in memory of Professor Rigby in 2012.