With a gift from the Rosewood Foundation of Dallas, Texas, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum has named its Geology Field Station Cabin in honor of Texas geology and earth sciences teacher Steve Seay (1950 – 2012). The Draper’s Expedition Trailhead features two cabins: the Byrd Naturalist Cabin, and now the Steve Seay Geology Field Station Cabin, located next to the John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery, also a contribution from the Rosewood Foundation and named in 2005 for Seay’s lifelong friend.
A native of Dallas, Seay attended St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas, a school to which he returned to teach geology and earth sciences after graduating from Stanford University in 1972. He later earned a master of arts in teaching in 1984. At St. Mark’s, Seay served as Chairman of the Science Department for seven years. He continued to teach after leaving St. Mark’s, leading student field trips in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska. Throughout his life Seay returned to Cody and the Yellowstone region, where he often hiked in the Shoshone National Forest and frequently visited the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
“Steve didn’t just teach students—he connected with fellow human beings,” says former chair of the St. Mark’s Science Department Stephanie Barta. “…when I would pass Steve’s classroom, I could subliminally sense something akin to static electricity in the air—learning in its most original form.”
According to Dr. Charles R. Preston, the Draper’s senior curator, the geology cabin features six interactive computer stations, ‘touch me’ specimens, and colorful geological maps and illustrations.
“From the Yellowstone hot spot and continuing volcanic and seismic activity, to the grandeur of the Grand Tetons and the intriguing molten rock dikes and ‘hoodoos’ of the nearby Absaroka Mountain Range, our geology cabin introduces visitors to the forces that continue to shape the Greater Yellowstone region and our planet,” Preston explains. “It’s exactly the kind of interactive learning Steve Seay loved. His passion for broadening young minds and helping them explore beyond their landscape is admirable and worthy of recognition. Steve is truly the type of inspiring teacher we seek to acknowledge and honor through many of our programs at the Center of the West.”