New Home for Geosciences Unveiled at SUU

Published: April 22, 2019 | Author: Rachelle Hughes | Read Time: 2 minutes

Mark and Julie Svoboda Geosciences Building

Southern Utah University's Geosciences program unveils its new state of the art home on May 2 at 10:30 a.m. at the dedication for the Mark and Julie Svoboda Geosciences Building. The renovation of the former business building will offer 26,123 square feet of space for SUU's Geosciences.

The Geosciences Building received a facelift both externally and internally and was redesigned as an environment where the study of earth's history coexists with contemporary design and technology. Two full-size Utahraptors greet visitors to the south entrance, and a wall sized topographic map of Bryce Canyon National Park in the first-floor lobby pay homage to Utah geoscience. The advanced geographic information systems (GIS) lab and renovated classrooms allow for an updated space and equipment for students to pursue programs in geology, geography and geographic information systems (GIS).

"We live, and work, amidst some of the most stunning natural exposures of Earth history," said Robert Eves, Dean of SUU's Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science. "Geoscientists from all over the US not only teach the geology of the Southwest in their classes, they bring their students here on field trips and summer field camps. Moving into this new facility will provide larger, better equipped classrooms and labs, and will signify to all that the geosciences are an important field of study at SUU."

Utahraptors in Geosciences Building

"What we have done is replace existing areas with new, enlarged spaces. We haven't created new spaces, with the exception of student meeting and study areas spread throughout the building, but we have enlarged the footprint of every classroom and laboratory in the new facility," said Robert Eves.

A large financial gift from geologist and SUU graduates, Mark Svoboda ('80) and his wife Julie Gillies ('81) helped expand the home for geosciences. The Svoboda's love for geology began when they met at SUU's Geology Club during a field trip to the Grand Canyon. After both he and his wife graduated, Mark went to work briefly in the oil and gas industry before he earned a geology baccalaureate from Weber State in 1982, and a master's degree from the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada in Reno in 1988.

Mark and Julie Svoboda

Now he and Julie are sharing their geologic success by providing funds for a first-class home for the geosciences, including geography, at SUU. "This project never would have happened without the gift from Mark and Julie Svoboda. Their generosity, their desire to give back to their alma mater and change the lives of SUU students is really remarkable. We can't thank them enough," said Cameron Brooks, SUU executive director of development.

Tags: Campus Building Dedication Geosciences

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