Image of Mardy Murie sawing wood at camp, n.d.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Collection, NCTC Archived Museum, MAMurie15
Mardy Murie, the first woman to graduate from what is now known as the University of Alaska Fairbanks, studied Arctic wildlife and ecosystems in Alaska during the 1920s and the 1950s. Along with her biologist husband, Olaus Murie, and with their baby son in tow, Mardy explored the remote headwaters of the Old Crow River that flows from Arctic Alaska into Canada. Among their important findings was the discovery that large animals such as caribou need vast areas of undisturbed land to thrive. Their collaborative scientific work and conservation advocacy helped lead to creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by US Congress in 1980.