A new life sciences building at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will be named after famed Alaska naturalist Margaret “Mardy” Murie, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Murie grew up in Fairbanks and was the first woman to graduate from the precursor of UAF, the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. She and her husband, biologist and author Olaus Murie, are legends among conservationists and both played pivotal roles in the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Margaret Murie’s 1962 book “Two in the Far North” remains an Alaska classic. In 1998, Margaret was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She passed away five years later at age 101.
UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers lauded Murie’s “dedication, passion and curiosity (that) we hope to instill in our students.”
The $109 million West Ridge science building scheduled to open next fall will be named in Murie’s honor. The 100,000-square-foot research facility will improve the laboratory and classroom space that biology and chemistry students use.