"Margaret Elizabeth Thomas was born in Seattle in 1902, but spent her childhood in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 1924, she was the first woman to graduate from the University of Alaska. Her marriage to Olaus in 1924 began a lifetime of travel, scientific research, and involvement in conservation activities. Mardy and Olaus had three children, Martin, Joanne, and Donald. Mardy is the author of several books, including Two in the Far North and Wapiti Wilderness. She played a key role in the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the greatest land preservation act in U.S. history. Mardy served on the Council of the Wilderness Society, received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Alaska, the Audubon Medal, and was an Honorary Park Ranger. She was on the founding board of the Teton Science School. In 1998, Mardy was awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom, which President Bill Clinton bestowed on her for her lifetime service to conservation. In 2000, filmmakers Bonnie Kreps and Charles Craighead released Arctic Dance: The Mardy Murie Story. Her most recent accolade came at her 100th birthday celebration when Mardy was awarded the National Wildlife Federation’s highest honor, the 2002 J.N. Ding Darling Conservationist of the Year Award. Mardy passed away in 2003 at the age of 101 on the Murie Ranch."