UAF science building to be named for naturalist

University of Alaska regents are honoring the school’s first female graduate by naming a building after her.

The Life Sciences Building at the UA Fairbanks will be named for Margaret “Mardy” Murie.

She graduated in 1924 from the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines and went on to an acclaimed career as a naturalist and author.

A UA announcement says Murie helped pass the nation’s Wilderness Act and pushed for creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

President Bill Clinton in 1998 awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.

Murie was married to biologist Olaus Murie.

Construction of the building named for Murie will be completed next summer and will open to students and researchers in the fall.